How-To: Utilize Solar and Wind Energy in Your Mining Operations
Over the last few years the archaic perception of the mining industry has changed. The sector has shifted to realign focus on environmental initiatives and alternative energy sources, while staying committed to financial prosperity. The combination has been a win-win.
One of the most drastic changes mining companies have embarked on is alternative energy.
According to a recent article by EcoMatters.com, the United States and China have both commenced initiatives to make solar power competitive with coal-powered electricity.
“CleanTechnica reported last week that for systems with the right economies of scale -- 10 megawatts or higher -- solar power can now be generated for between $70 and $100 per megawatt hour. That is four times lower than in 2009. China and the United States both have plans to make solar competitive with coal-powered electricity within a few years.”
South Africa’s third largest gold miner, Harmony Gold, has been on the forefront of utilizing solar into its electricity mix.
According to PV Insider, “The the company has started building a 5- to 7-megawatt solar park in Free State province, and another 18-MW facility in North West province, with the goal of alleviating pressure on peak energy usage.”
The company is also working to use mine-impact land and tailings to pilot biocrop procreating in the form of giant king grass and sugar beet. By combining renewable with bioenergy and land rehabilitation, Harmony Gold will be able to use the biocrops as feedstock to generate natural gas as a fossil fuel substitute.
Another major company to implement alternative energy is Glencore. The commodity trader recently installed a 3MW wind turbine and energy storage facility at its Raglan mine in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, in Canada.
“The aim is to cut the use of expensive diesel at its fully diesel-powered operations, where energy accounts for up to 23% of operating costs,” Mining Weekly reported.
“The focus of the first phase is to test the three storage technologies in Arctic conditions, ahead of the roll-out of a larger wind farm at the mine site.”
By using renewable energy to run a mine, mining companies have finding viable options to own and control their own power supplies. In addition, excess power generated by solar and wind at mines can also be sold to utility companies helping to offset costs.
The abovementioned companies are just a few of the initiatives mining companies can utilize to implement alternative energy into their mining operations. Overall, it’s a win-win for the environment as well as the wallets of mining companies.
Newmont acquires Canada’s GT Gold in $325mn deal
Newmont, the world’s biggest gold miner, has acquired Canada’s GT Gold in a deal worth $325mn. The gold giant now controls the Tatogga gold-copper project in the Traditional Territory of the Tahltan Nation.
“With the acquisition of GT Gold and the Tatogga project in the highly sought-after Golden Triangle district of British Columbia, Canada, Newmont continues to strengthen our world-class portfolio,” commented Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer.
“We look forward to continuing to build a respectful and meaningful relationship with the Tahltan Nation, including the community of Iskut. The relationships we have with Indigenous communities, First Nations and host communities are critical to the way we operate. We will partner with the Tahltan Nation at all levels, and with the Government of British Columbia to ensure a shared path forward as the Company understands and acknowledges that Tahltan consent is necessary for advancing the Tatogga project.”
Newmont’s acquisition includes the Tatogga project, comprised primarily of the Saddle North deposit, which has the potential to contribute future significant gold and copper annual production. There are also further exploration opportunities beyond the known deposits at Saddle North within the land package. The Tatogga project adds to Newmont’s existing interest in the prospective Golden Triangle through the company’s 50% ownership in the Galore Creek project.
Newmont is the world’s leading gold company and a producer of copper, silver, zinc and lead. A world-class portfolio of assets, prospects and talent is anchored in favourable mining jurisdictions in North America, South America, Australia and Africa. The American miner is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month.
With gold prices on the rise, the last six months has seen gold industry M&A activity accelerating. A recent Mckinsey report, advises that the industry need to be mindful of mistakes made during the previous gold price boom, when growth was chased unidirectionally by several companies.