How-To: Save Money Using Less Energy
Like everything in life, the name of the game is saving money and mining companies are no different. These highly complex, billion dollar corporations are continuously looking for new ways to maintain low overhead while simultaneously increasing productivity. And while the logic behind it seems simple enough, finding the right opportunities isn’t.
A slew of companies in northern Nevada are participating in a unique initiative with NV Energy’s Sure Bet incentive program to save money on their operating costs by using less energy.
Sounds easy enough but how does it work?
The program is designed to provide technical assistance and financial incentives to commercial electric customers who make improvements to energy efficiencies within their operations. This can include anything from constructing new facilities using energy saving technologies to merely installing new lighting fixtures.
“These programs help our customers save money and reduce our costs as well,” said Pat Egan, NV Energy senior vice president of customer operations.
So far, participating mines in the program have reduced their combined annual electricity consumption by nearly 1.4 million kilowatt hours. That’s enough electricity to power 155 homes for a year. In addition, combined annual emissions were reduced by 1,048 tons.
According to their website, the NV Energy’s Sure Bet program offers an array of lucrative incentives for commercial businesses including mining companies. Incentives are based on the verified energy savings resulting from their improvements.
“For existing buildings, the Sure Bet Program offers prescriptive incentives for lighting, cooling, motors, refrigeration and vending machine controls. In addition, custom incentives are offered for any measure not covered under the prescriptive project that results in verifiable energy or peak-demand savings, and it also offers building optimization and small commercial direct install incentives and services. There are also incentives specifically designed for new construction projects, schools, irrigation customers, and small hotel/motels.”
Mining companies can especially benefit from the program. The Rawhide gold mine in Nevada saved $76,900 for the year by installing automated variable speed drives on the motors for the mine’s ore crusher and conveyor system. The company also replaced several metal halide lighting fixtures with more energy efficient light emitting diode lights. Along with the annual savings, the gold mine earned $64,145 in incentives from the Sure Bet program.
“We firmly believe that by helping our customers manage energy costs, we can improve their ability to compete. Particularly in the mining business, competition is fierce and worldwide. So, every dollar they can save is a dollar that can be reinvested here in Nevada to help support our economy and create jobs,” said Egan.
Saving money in the mining industry doesn’t have to be complicated, especially with the NV Sure Bet Program. By implementing a few modifications, mining companies can save energy and money while earning incentives doing so.
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.