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.
Global iron ore production to recover by 5.1% in 2021
Global iron ore production fell by 3% to 2.2bnt in 2020. Global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to 2,663.4Mt between 2021 to 2025. The key contributors to this grow will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%). Key upcoming projects expected to commence operations include South Flank in Australia (2021), Zulti in South Africa (H2 2021), Serrote Da Laje in Brazil (H2 2021) and Gudai-Darri (2022), according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2Mt in 2019 to an estimated 591.1Mt in 2020. The reduced output from the iron ore giant, Vale, was the key factor behind Brazil’s reduced output, while delays in the auctioning of mines in Odisha affected India’s output in 2020.
“Miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to effective measures adopted by the Australian Government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron ore output.”
Looking ahead, the global iron ore production is expected to increase by 111.3Mt to 2,302.5Mt in 2021. Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340Mt of iron ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245–255Mt, supported by the start of the Samarco project in December, which is expected to produce between 1–2Mt.The company has retained its guidance for Australian mines at 276–286Mt on a 100% basis, due to scheduled maintenance work at its ore handling plant and tie-in activity at the Area C mine and South-Flank mine.
Bajaj added: “The remaining companies are expected to produce more than 600Mt of iron ore, including FMG, whose production is expected to range between 175–180Mt supported by its Eliwana mine that commenced operations in late December 2020, and Anglo American, which is expecting to produce between 64–67Mt. Vale is expected to resume 40Mt of its production capacity, taking its overall production capacity to 350Mt in 2021, with production guidance of 315-335Mt.”