Image Credits : The El Zorro Project and the five targets across the identified gold corridor. Pic supplied: (TSO) Visual for illustration purpose
2 minutes read

Tesoro advances crucial water supply for developing El Zorro in Chile’s Atacama mining province

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the advancement of crucial water supply to Tesoro Gold’s El Zorro Project in Chile has been inked with Aguas CAP, which has a desalination plant ~25km away from the explorer’s 1.3Moz Ternera Deposit.

Securing water supply for projects in Chile’s arid Atacama region is a pivotal step towards de-risking mine development.

Tesoro Gold (ASX:TSO) is pushing forward with these infrastructure options after defining a 1.3Moz gold resource at its Ternera Deposit, part of the 570kmEl Zorro Project, where the company is still looking to expand its gold resources.

Recent exploration work is focused on proving up a prospective 20km-long gold corridor at five high-priority targets that are currently being drilled.

Water supply options

Aguas CAP’s desalination plant provides desalinated water treatment and supplies services to industrial customers in the Atacama region.

As part of the desalination process, it produces wastewater (brine) which is currently discarded to the ocean – TSO is looking to see if it can find a way to turn that waste into a viable water source for El Zorro.

The MoU with Aguas CAP establishes an understanding to jointly investigate the technical and economic feasibility for the supply of water and/or brine and delivery to the Project.

The two parties will start the development of a draft business plan which considers, key areas such as the construction of infrastructure, project funding, potential for future expansion and operating expenditure.

The benefit to Aguas CAP is the ability of being able to dispose of post-desalination brine through an environmentally low-impact option.

Separately, TSO is in the process of obtaining a maritime concession from the Chilean Government for accessing Punta Obispito’s shoreline for seawater – providing a further water supply option.

Additional environmental studies and permits are required before construction and the operation of a seawater pipeline from the maritime concession area can be approved, however, the granting of the concession will provide a nearby alternative option for the supply of water to El Zorro.

TSO Managing Director Zeff Reeves says reaching a mutually beneficial outcome with Aguas CAP would provide a major benefit to El Zorro and further de-risk the Project.

“Having multiple potential options for water supply emphasises the location advantage of El Zorro, being proximate to existing infrastructure and service providers necessary for the economic development and operation of a gold mine,” Reeves says.

“In our view, El Zorro is located in one of the best locations in the world for development of a gold project and we look forward to continuing to advance and de-risk the project.”


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