A joint venture between two of the largest mining companies in the world has just taken a huge step towards becoming a much more sustainable mine operator.
Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation (PVDC), a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation and Goldcorp, has announced that it has signed a 10-year natural gas supply contract at its Pueblo Viejo mine.
Under the contract, signed with AES Andres DR, S.A, PVDC will convert the Quisqueya I power generation facility at the mine from heavy fuel oil to natural gas.
In switching to natural gas, PVDC is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the mine by approximately 260,000 CO2 equivalent tonnes per year.
A new gas pipeline will be constructed and PVDC will invest around $7.5 million as a commercial gas production date has been targeted for the second half of 2019.
“Pueblo Viejo is already a core asset with industry-leading margins and a strong track record of operational excellence,” said Greg Walker, Senior Vice President, Operational and Technical Excellence. “Converting the mine’s power plant to natural gas is expected to reduce Pueblo Viejo’s cost structure and drive incremental improvements in cash flow over the life of the mine, driving additional long-term value for our owners, as well as our government and community partners.”
Pueblo Viejo is located in the Dominican Republic, approximately 100 kilometers northwest of the capital city of Santo Domingo.
The mine produced around 650,000 ounces of gold at the site in 2017, with around 585,000 – 615, 000 ounces forecasted for 2018.