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Glencore spending millions in search for new water source for CSA mine

Swiss mining and commodities giant Glencore PLC has invested in a multimillion-dollar project to secure a new water source for its CSA copper-silver mine in New South Wales, Australia, The Australian Financial Review reported.

This month, the company will start extracting groundwater from eight new bores as it aims to look for an alternative water source amid a drought that also hit other miners in the region.

The bores reportedly have the capacity to extract about 38 liters per second or about 3.4 million liters per day. However, it will run below that capacity to manage the rates of natural recharge into the underground aquifers.

Peter Christen, the mine's general manager, told the newspaper that Glencore plans to drop the usage of its water entitlement by up to 95% amid advice that water users in the region may see their allocations cut to zero in May unless conditions improve at the Burrendong dam, where water levels are down to 3% of capacity.

"Our aim is to become fully self-sufficient. In January we will see how close we have come to that. By then it will only be the water that people drink and shower with on site that will be coming from our water entitlement," Christen said in the report.

The newspaper said that Glencore has set up new pipelines, pumps and large tanks and is considering investing in a water filtration plant to raise the quality of the groundwater, the report said.

In August 2019, Glencore reportedly tapped investment bank UBS as an adviser for the mine after a US$575 million deal with Aeris Resources Ltd. did not proceed in April 2019.

In the third quarter of 2019, the mine produced 10,400 tonnes of copper in concentrates and 116,000 ounces of silver in concentrates, falling 19% and 13% year over year, respectively.