Canyon Resources Ltd (ASX:CAY) has completed a key Water Resources Interim Baseline Report incorporating hydrology, hydrogeology and water quality data as part of ESIA baseline studies for the Minim Martap Bauxite Project in Cameroon, West Africa.
The report supports the Minim Martap feasibility study which is underway and recognises the importance of sustainability and environmental and social responsibility in mining.
Canyon engaged Africa-based social advisory services firm Environmental and Social Sustainability Ltd (ESS) early on to support the company and responsibly manage sustainability issues.
As part of this work, ESS is managing the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) studies, of which the baseline report forms a key component.
“Fast-track program planned”
Director of projects James Durrant said: “With the help of our dedicated African-based teammates, we are very pleased to have completed the first component of the ESIA inputs, given the impacts of COVID-19 on site activities.
“We have a well-defined schedule ahead of us with a fast-track program planned to complete all the remaining ESIA baseline studies and deliver the impact assessment in line with national regulations and international frameworks.
“The overall objective is to cost-effectively de-risk the environmental and social aspects of the project, and we have assembled a capable team to drive this objective.”
The report highlights the average annual rainfall at the project is 1,434 millimetres with January being the driest month and June-August the wettest months.
This compares favourably to average rainfall in the Guinea bauxite mining regions north of the capital Conakry, where rainfall exceeds 2,000mm.
Evaporation accounts for 50% of the rainfall water balance at the project with 33% being run-off and the remaining 17%, infiltration.
Importantly, no evidence was found of significant near-surface aquifers on the bauxite plateaux during the dry season - water was encountered between 8 and 15 metres, and most of the boreholes and inspection pits were dry during the March 2020 site visit.
Rainfall impacts are a particular focus of the feasibility study in order to adequately manage rainfall and run-off to avoid potential operational impacts.
Final ESIA due mid-2021
Remainding ESIA baseline studies will progress through the rest of the current wet season, during which further water resources data will be collected to formulate a more complete understanding of the water regime.
Other key aspects of the ESIA will include biodiversity, air quality and noise, and socio-economic conditions.
The final ESIA report is due for completion mid-2021.