Certarus Ltd says it has entered into a long-term agreement with McEwen Mining to convert and supply the Fox Complex in Ontario, Canada, with compressed natural gas (CNG) for mine air heating in the underground ventilation system.
CNG will be used to replace propane as the primary fuel for heating at both the Froome and Black Fox Mines, Certarus said.
CNG is a high-performance, lower carbon fuel alternative that offers cost savings and emission reduction benefits, according to the company. In addition to helping to lower the mine’s carbon footprint, the flexibility of Certarus’ mobile decompression and storage equipment also allows for the CNG fuelling system to be removed in the summer months when it is no longer required for mine air heating.
Curtis Philippon, President and CEO of Certarus, said: “Certarus specialises in delivering lower carbon fuel options to customers in isolated areas – and it doesn’t get more remote than the bottom of an open-pit mine. While the site poses a few logistical challenges, we can safely deliver clean CNG to help McEwen maintain operations, reduce emissions and improve environmental performance at the Fox Complex. This is our first time mobilising in a pit mine, and it serves as another great example that Certarus can deliver low carbon energy solutions to our customers, anywhere they operate.”
Rory Greyvensteyn, Director of Operations, McEwen Mining Canada, said: “At McEwen Mining, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the environmental performance of our operations. With Certarus’ mobile CNG delivery, we have a better option to heat our mines, without having to install and store permanent fuel tanks. We can lower costs, simplify fuel logistics, and reduce our carbon footprint. That’s a big win for our business.”
At current gold resources of 2.96 Moz (measured and indicated) and 1.15 Moz (inferred), the Fox Complex represents a large gold resource base in the Timmins district. McEwen Mining is preparing a Fox Complex Expansion Preliminary Economic Assessment with the objectives to extend mine life to 10 years and to increase gold production at Fox to 100,000-150,000 oz/y at all-in sustaining costs of $1,050/oz of gold.