REGIS Resources has begun the task of identifying the landowners along its preferred route for a 70 kilometre pipeline to the McPhillamy Gold Project near Blayney.
Regis confirmed in July it had signed a non-binding heads of agreement with Centennial Coal and Energy Australia to take between four and five gigalitres of waste water each year from the Mount Piper Power Station and Springvale Mine.
Under the deal, Regis would receive the water free but would foot the bill for piping and pumping the water to the McPhillamys site.
The mining giant has identified its preferred route for the underground pipeline and NSW general manager Rod Smith said they were about to start contacting affected land owners in a bid to negotiate access to their properties.
“We’ve identified a corridor that pretty much follows existing easements for powerlines and gas pipes but there are sections where there are no existing utilities and we would have to go through people’s property,” Mr Smith said.
“In those cases, the first thing we do is contact the land owner and introduce our proposal and explain at a high level what is happening.
“If they are positive about access for studies and ultimately an easement then we would continue those discussions with further meetings.”
Mr Smith said Regis would need access to properties for just two or three days to dig a trench, lay the pipes and conduct its testing.
Regis would be responsible for rehabilitating and replanting the area and could require an ongoing agreement to return to the property for any maintenance issues.
“Ideally these things don’t take much maintenance but we need safeguards in place in the event of something unexpected,” Mr Smith said.
“Normally, 90 per cent of the land owners we approach do not want to be obstructive but there would be a few who have an issue with we’re doing.
“Land owners all get compensation and we would hope they would see the pipeline would not have much impact on them, but if someone is strongly opposed to co-operating with us then we would have to find a way around them.”
Mr Smith said Regis hopes to have the McPhillamys mine operational by the second half of 2019.