Wasabi Energy Ltd (WAS) - AGG contract with AngloGold Ashanti Australia
RNS Number : 1989S
Wasabi Energy Limited
28 November 2012
28 November 2012
Wasabi Energy Limited
("Wasabi," "the Group" or "the Company")
Water subsidiary signs contract with AngloGold Ashanti Australia
· First mining deployment of AGG's AquaArmour™ with AngloGold Ashanti
· Environmental considerations and flexibility of AquaArmour™ product key
to winning business
· Secondary sale to existing client for a further 7000 square meters
· Growing pipeline of upcoming sales
Wasabi Energy Limited (ASX:WAS, AIM:WAS, OTCQX:WSBLY) ("Wasabi"), an emerging
power producer, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, Aqua Guardian
Group ("AGG"), of which Wasabi owns 79.2%, has completed its first mine site
sale and deployment in Western Australia with AngloGold Ashanti Australia
AGAA has taken the lead on environmental excellence in water management by
signing an agreement with AGG to roll out its innovative modular evaporation
and algal control system, AquaArmour™, at the Tropicana Gold Mine in Western
Australia. AngloGold Ashanti Australia's parent company, AngloGold Ashanti, is
the third largest gold producer in the world. It has 20 sites in operation
across 10 countries with a focus on four operational regions which all display
semi-arid to arid, water stressed zones, namely; South Africa, Continental
Africa, Australia and the Americas.
Executive Chairman of Wasabi, John Byrne, commented, "The deployment of
AquaArmour™ in the mining industry is a significant step forward in the
ongoing evolution of AGG. The mining sector has been a key target market due
to the large number of mine sites in arid, water stressed areas and the
importance of water to the mining process and to the local communities. In
Australia there are 364 operating mines([i]). Approximately half of these
mines are located in Western Australia, South Australia or the Northern
Territory. The majority of mines use open water storage facilities and are
located in arid areas (e.g. western and central Australia) where water
availability is relatively low and access to water is expensive.
"In 2011 over $8.3 billion was spent by the mining industry on water with the
Australian mining industry incurring a total water expenditure of $1.5
billion, which was more than any other country and almost double the next
biggest spenders being Chile and China([ii]).
"With their rigorous health, safety and risk management assessments, this sale
and deployment to a global mining company demonstrates the compliance of the
AquaArmour™ product and we expect an increase in mining sales. The product
has already been tested and successfully deployed in a number of environments,
ranging from residential water, storm water harvesting and now mine site uses,
for the effective mitigation of evaporation, algal control and maintenance of
"We have received interest from a wide range of potential customers in both
the mining sector and water authorities and we continue to see an acceleration
of the pipeline from initial contact through to sale and deployment of the
modules. We look forward to providing ongoing updates as the activities of our
water subsidiary, AGG, grow.
"We would like to acknowledge AngloGold Ashanti's commitment to the
environment and water conservation at its Tropicana mine through the
application of the AquaArmour™ modules."
Tropicana, 70% owned and managed by AGAA with Independence Group holding the
balance, is located 330 kilometres east-northeast of Kalgoorlie-Boulder on the
western edge of the Great Victoria Desert in Australia. The Tropicana mine
site covers 13,000 square kilometres of very remote terrain. The climate is
arid and experiences temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius and between
150mm and 250mm of rainfall per year. The deployment of AquaArmour™ provides
an economically viable, simple solution to securing the site's water security
and water quality. The mine is currently under construction and is scheduled
to pour first gold in the December 2013 quarter.
The AquaArmour™ modular evaporation and algal control system will be utilised
in a water storage at the reverse osmosis water plant at Tropicana, the main
supply of water to the site.
For Tropicana Gold Mine Business Improvement Co-ordinator, Ian Winn, it was
the flexibility and environmental credentials of AquaArmour™ that proved
central to the decision-making process.
Ian Winn commented: "The product is portable, very flexible, easily scalable,
requires minimal maintenance and has a 20-year life. The transferability of
the product is also an important factor for us as we are able to move it to a
different pond, or even change the shape of the pond, and we don't need a
large amount of labour to move it. The other point is that water does not
collect on the surface so we don't need to pump it out and if one unit does
get damaged it is easy to replace."
While Tropicana represents AGG's first mining application, seven installations
have already been undertaken in Australia with further deployments to occur in
the coming months. Installations to date include Victorian Water Board
affiliates GWM (Grampians, Wimmera Mallee) Water, Gippsland Water and South
Gippsland Water. In South Australia, clients include the District Councils of
Mt Remarkable and Boolaroo.
We are now seeing interest from existing clients in expanding their use of
AquaArmour™ with a recent purchase of AquaArmour™ for a second storage
covering approximately 7000 square meters by one of the water utilities. As
in situ performance data becomes available we anticipate an increase in
secondary sales to existing clients and those considering initial smaller
deployments before committing to multiple sites.
Internationally, AGG are in the process of establishing initial sites, in
particular in South America, where a number of large mining operations are
based in arid areas such as Chile. Opportunities for deployments in North
America are also being pursued with the first deployment in the water
intensive fracking industry expected in the near future. AGG have been
building linkages to increase their capability through partnerships with local
companies in international jurisdictions for manufacturing, marketing and
deployment of AquaArmour™. More recently in WA, the Merredin Shire Council
with assistance from engineering consultancy firm Cardno (WA), has installed
AquaArmour™ on a stormwater harvest and recovery pond. This project was a
finalist in the Infrastructure Innovation category and was highly commended at
the AWA WA Water Awards 2012.
The cost and usage of water is becoming a major issue for many areas. In the
South American mining area in the Atacama Desert in Chile, 66% of the water
used is by the mining industry([iii]). Due to the high demand for water, the
water rights are selling for US$2,500 to US$3,800 per megalitre (ML)([iv]).
Much of the water used at the mines is desalinated which is estimated to cost
US$3,000 to US$4,000 per ML([v]).
Within the fracking market for shale gas in the US it is estimated that a
typical shale gas well requires 11.4 to 15.1 ML of water for drilling and
completion([vi]) which is the equivalent of 4 to 6 Olympic sized swimming
pools. The shale gas industry currently pays at least US$3,700 per ML for
source water to use in hydraulic fracturing of gas wells(6).
Within Australia the water lost to evaporation from major dams in 2011 was
24,236.6 gigalitre (1GL = 1,000 ML)([vii]) which is over 9.5 million Olympic
sized pools. In November 2010, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported
that the amount of water consumed by the mining industry across Australia in
2008-09 was 508 GL. With the mining sector growth especially in iron ore, the
mining water use projections provided in the Pilbara Regional Water Plan,
2010-2030, is expected to increase from approximately 75 GL/year in 2006 to
over 230 GL/year by 2012([viii]). Within Australia the cost of water in arid
regions is in excess of AUD$2,000 per ML.
Significant cost savings can be achieved by the use of AquaArmour™ to prevent
evaporation. AquaArmour™ has an estimated cost between AUD$411 and $1,438 per
The AquaArmour™ system is scalable and projects have been as small as 950
square metres to 23,000 square metres, while early stage discussions have
progressed for a 150-hectare deployment.
Independently verified to save 88% of the water that would otherwise be lost
to evaporation, the technology also inhibits algal growth by lowering the
temperature of the water and minimises ultra violet and visible light
penetration by 95%. A sustainable and environmentally safe solution for
mining, agriculture, urban and rural water storages, it also has no effect on
dissolved oxygen levels.
Made of virgin polymer HDPE plastic, AquaArmour™ does not react with chemicals
like caustic soda, cyanide or highly acidic water, while at the same time it
will not leach any contaminants to the water surface - something particularly
important for potable water.
Being hexagon in shape, the modules tessellate together, forming a blanket
across the water surface. Each module is kept stable on the water's surface
because it holds 80 litres of water as ballast and is designed to withstand
winds of up to 200km per hour.
For further information, please contact:
Wasabi Energy Limited
John Byrne, Executive Chairman +61 (0)3 9663 7132
Diane Bettess, COO
Cenkos Securities - London Financial Advisor, Broker &
Ivonne Cantu +44 (0)207 397 8900
Newgate Threadneedle - UK Media Enquiries
Josh Royston +44 (0)207 653 9850
About Wasabi Energy
Wasabi Energy Limited is listed on both the Australian Securities Exchange
(ASX: WAS) and the AIM market in London (AIM: WAS) as well as American
Depository Receipts trading on OTCQX Market (OTCQX: WSBLY). Wasabi Energy is
an emerging power producer that also invests in sustainable technologies. Its
power business is based on the proprietary Kalina Cycle® power generation
technology which utilises low grade, waste heat from industrial facilities or
geothermal sources to produce electricity. In a typical industrial application
of the Kalina Cycle® technology can increase energy efficiency in an
industrial plant by up to 20%. Through its strategic investments Wasabi Energy
owns a 79.2% interest in Aqua Guardian Group, the developer of the
AquaArmour^TM a water management, conservation and algal control product. Aqua
Guardian Group also has a 22.7% interest in the air, water and minerals ASX
listed company CleanTeq (ASX: CLQ). Wasabi Energy also owns a 19.2% interest
in Lignol Energy Corporation (TSXV: LEC) an advanced bio-refinery group who
recently purchased an 11% interest in Australian Renewable Fuels, a separately
ASX listed company (ASX: ARW) which produces liquid biofuels from a variety of
non-food grade feedstocks, from Wasabi Energy.
[i]Geoscience Australia - Australian Mines Atlas
[ii] Global Water Intelligence, "Mining a rich seam for water companies", Vol
12, Issue 7 (July 2011)
[iii]Azzopardi , T. (2011) Chile's Drought Dilemma, Business Chile,
[iv] BBC News (23 March 2012) - War for water in Chile's Atacama Desert: Vines
[v]Mining magazine (2009) Water, water everywhere?, 10/09/2009
[vi]Black &Veatch, "Nexus of Water and Energy"
[vii]AGG company website
[viii]Integrating the mining sector into water planning and entitlements
regimes, March 2012
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
MSCBKFDQKBDDFDB -0- Nov/28/2012 11:00 GMT
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