AngloGold Ashanti Inks Gas Pipeline Deal in Western Australia
AngloGold Ashanti (GSE: AGA) has signed a $140 million deal to build a natural gas pipeline for its Sunrise and Tropicana gold mines in Western Australia.
The agreement with APA Group calls for construction of a new 292km pipeline that will connect to the existing 1380km Goldfields gas transmission pipeline, which currently connects to Alinta Energy’s Newman power station and services Glencore’s Murrin Murrin nickel mine.
The deal will help the AngloGold save millions of dollars in energy costs at its remote mines.
“Gas power generation is expected to reduce cash operating costs at both sites by between $25 and $30 per ounce," AngloGold senior vice president Australia Michael Erickson said.
"The pipeline and gas transportation agreement will also provide continuity of fuel supply, reduce exposure to diesel price volatility and significantly reduce the number of trucks on the road.”
The agreement will provide both mines with 100 percent natural gas while retaining diesel backup capacity.
According to APA managing director Mick McCormack, the pipeline can be expanded in the future to service other mines in the region. "Access to natural gas, a reliable and cost competitive energy supply will assist our new and existing customers in reducing costs at their mining operations.”
AngloGold isn’t the first miner turning to natural gas. Earlier this year Fortescue Metals Group announced a similar signing for long-term gas transportation, helping the company reduce costs.
As the world’s third largest gold producer, AngloGold Ashanti owns 100 percent of the Sunrise mine and a 70 percent stake in Tropicana.
Construction on the project is slated to start February 2015 with the first gas scheduled for the Tropicana mine in January 2016.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.