A Renewable-Powered Mine and Township in Australia
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) last year announced funding for a ground-breaking two-phase project in far north Queensland that will supply renewable energy to Weipa’s bauxite mine, township and port.
ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, said the collaborative $23.4 million project was a first for Australia and a first for ARENA, and would demonstrate the potential for renewable energy to provide reliable and competitively priced power to remote mining operations.
“ARENA is providing $3.5 million towards the first stage of this solar photovoltaics (PV) project, which will provide 1.7MW off-grid power to the mine, town and port facilities under a 15 year power purchase agreement with Rio Tinto Alcan,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“First Solar and Ingenero will deliver ground-mounted thin-film PV to the site; a total of 18,000 solar PV panels will be installed during this first phase, contributing up to 20% of daytime demand and offsetting the mining operation’s reliance on diesel fuels.
“This is the first time a mining company has adopted renewable energy for its Australian operations and is the first project to be funded through the Industry arm of ARENA’s Regional Australia’s Renewables Program.”
Mr Frischknecht said ARENA had committed up to $7.8 million for a second phase of the Weipa project, contingent on the success of the initial phase in 2014.
“Due for completion in 2017, the second phase is intended to deliver an additional 5MW PV system; it will include a significant storage component and be capable of meeting up to 100% of daytime power demand at Weipa at certain times,” Mr Frischknecht said.
Frischknecht said off-grid communities and businesses have had little choice but to rely on diesel generators that are expensive to run and subject to volatile fuel prices.
“Transporting fuel long distances for generators is dangerous and subject to variable weather conditions – it is a costly, unpredictable arrangement that doesn’t make good economic sense,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“ARENA has made it a priority to work with major mining companies to find solutions and overcome roadblocks associated with integrating renewable energy into off-grid locations.
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.