Atalaya Mining is looking to take advantage of a natural abundance of sunlight at its Proyecto Riotinto copper operation in Spain with the development of a 50 MW solar plant.
The company announced today that it has started the permitting process for the plant build, with the 50 MW generated set to be used for “self-consumption” at the operation.
Technical studies carried out by a third party during the past months have indicated that, in addition to making a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions, the solar project is economically viable and could potentially contribute to reducing Proyecto Riotinto’s operating costs, Atalaya said.
“The decision to pursue the solar project is in line with Atalaya’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and to continue to have a positive impact on the people, environment and society surrounding the mine,” it added.
During the permitting period, the company will evaluate the various financing options being proposed by industry players in Spain.
Subject to completing the permitting process and securing financing, construction is targeted to commence by mid-2021.
Alberto Lavandeira, CEO of Atalaya Mining, said: “We are pleased to be committing to this solar initiative which will be one of the largest projects of renewable self-consumption in the industry. This is only a first step in achieving our long-term sustainability goals, but one that will have a positive and near term impact on Proyecto Riotinto.”
Earlier this year, Atalaya Mining completed an expansion of the operation to hit 15 Mt/y, up from the previous rate of 9.5 Mt/y.