Mining firm strikes funding deal for desalination plant at planned mine
Mining firm, White Mountain Titanium, has agreed a deal with US private equity company, Nexo Capital Partners, to fund, construct and manage a desalination plant to form part of White Mountain's planned Cerro Blanco mining project in Chile.Under a letter of intent, the desalination plant will be built at no cost to White Mountain. The miner will supply the land, right of ways and environmental permit to construct the project and Nexo will provide the funding. White Mountain would contribute the land, right of ways and environmental permit to construct the project and Nexo would provide funding.
Nexo's statement that it has sought the services of an "innovative US water technology company based out of Boston, Massachusetts" whose systems will "significantly increase the fresh water recovery over that achievable through reverse osmosis alone," has sparked speculation the it is looking to deploy the zero liquid discharge, forward osmosis technology of Oasys Technology.
White Mountain said that prior to construction of the Cerro Blanco mining project, water from the desalination plant would be sold to third parties in the Huasco Valley region. Once the mine is in operation, water that would be surplus to requirements would continue to be sold to third parties.
The letter of intent expires on 31 October 2015, or when an agreement is settled whichever is earliest. if the parties can reach mutually agreeable terms. Nexo has agreed to advance and pay up to one-half of the legal costs of White Mountain in connection with the preparation of the definitive agreement.