Tag Archives: mine power

Pacific Energy secures hybrid power PPA for Thunderbird mineral sands project

Pacific Energy says it has signed a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement with Kimberley Mineral Sands (KMS) for the Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia.

Under the agreement, Pacific Energy will design, build, own and operate a 16 MW high efficiency gas power station combined with 2 MW of battery storage and an on-site LNG storage and re-vaporisation facility with 10 days’ storage capacity.

The agreement accommodates the future addition of solar energy and the parties will commence working on this augmentation as soon as possible to create a larger hybrid power facility, Pacific Energy says.

Pacific Energy CEO, Jamie Cullen, said: “We are extremely pleased to have been selected to deliver an efficient power generation and gas storage solution for KMS’ flagship Thunderbird project.”

Sheffield Resources Executive Chair, Bruce Griffin, added: “We look forward to KMS expanding their relationship with Pacific Energy, and for the support from Pacific Energy to deliver a stable and efficient energy solution for Thunderbird. We welcome this important milestone step in establishing Thunderbird as the next major mineral sands producer in the near future.”

Construction is due to commence in December 2022.

KMS is owned 50:50 by Sheffield Resources and Yansteel.

A bankable feasibility study released earlier this year outlined a A$484 million ($325 million) Stage 1 project using a Single Mining Unit Plant that underpinned a 10.4 Mt/y mining operation and a processing plant design feed rate of 170 t/h. The Stage 2 project saw a duplication in year five of Stage 1 mining underpinning a 20.8 Mt/y mining operation and an increase in the processing plant feed rate to 290 t/h.

Pictured above: the Thunderbird process plant layout (power generation & storage area inset)

Aggreko brings in virtual pipeline power for Labyrinth’s exploration project

Aggreko, a leading provider of mobile and modular power solutions, has successfully deployed a remote power project at an exploration project in Canada using its virtual pipeline power approach.

The solution enabled Labyrinth Resources Limited to complete a challenging mining exploration project while reducing CO2 emissions and fuel costs, according to the company.

Labyrinth needed remote power for a five-month gold mining exploration project. The site is in a remote location on the Quebec–Ontario border, where no grid power is currently available. Temperatures in the region fall as low as -30°C. In addition to extremely low temperatures, the high cost of diesel fuel was also a concern. Labyrinth needed a portable power solution that would operate in the site’s harsh environment using a better fuel source.

Aggreko assessed the need and conditions and recommended a virtual pipeline power system to deliver compressed natural gas (CNG). The company set up a CNG power plant by installing two 300 kW natural gas generators and a 60 kW diesel generator to deal with peak loads. The virtual pipeline approach facilitated smoother delivery of CNG by way of 48 ft (14.6 m) containers trucked to the mine site.

During its five-month operation, the Aggreko virtual pipeline power solution reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 75 tons (68 tonnes) versus diesel generators, reduced NOx emissions by 10 tons, and saved over $300,000 in fuel costs. This allowed the customer to put more resources into the mining exploration itself, with a significant reduction in emissions to meet local regulations and avoid fines, Aggreko says.

“We appreciate the support of the Aggreko team,” Matt Nixon, CEO of Labyrinth Resources, said. “The selection of a lower-emission fuel source for our power requirements aligns with Labyrinth Resources ESG policies and reinforces that sustainable solutions for our operations are decision drivers, as opposed to afterthoughts.”

Geoff Bland, Product Manager for Power Generation and Energy Storage at Aggreko, said: “At Aggreko, we have deep experience in powering remote locations and providing clean CNG power. Our equipment and engineers were fully capable of dealing with harsh conditions and reducing emissions.”

Steve Stafford, Sales Leader for Manufacturing and Mining at Aggreko North America, added: “The mining industry is undergoing an energy transition as it moves towards integrating renewable and alternative fuel solutions. The Aggreko virtual pipeline power solution allowed the customer to get the job done faster, more cost-effectively, and with a significant reduction in emissions.”

Labyrinth is an Australia-based resource company with projects in Western Australia and Canada. The company is focused on Labyrinth and Denain gold projects that are some 230 km apart along highway 117 and situated in a mining jurisdiction hosted by the Abitibi Greenstone Belt. The Denain project is 60 km east of the town of Val d’Or and comprises 13 claims across a tenure area of 360 ha at the eastern abutment of the Cadillac-Larder Lake Fault, which also hosts the Canadian Malarctic gold mine. The mineralisation at Labyrinth gold project is hosted within east-west trending quartz veins that can be traced for at least 1.4 km along strike and run parallel with the trend lithology.

Snowline Gold brings in solar generation system to power Yukon exploration camp

Snowline Gold says it has entered into a five-year lease agreement with the Indigenous-owned Nacho Nyak Dun Development Corporation (NNDDC) that has seen it install a 27 kW solar generation system at the Rogue project in the Yukon of Canada able to reduce CO2 emissions from the Forks exploration camp.

Designed and built by Yukon-based Solvest Inc, the solar generator will dramatically reduce diesel consumption at Snowline’s 45-person camp on its Rogue project, located within the Traditional Territory of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun (FNNND).

Estimates provided by Solvest based on data collected from Snowline’s 2021 field program predict the new solar generator could save up to 12,572 litres of diesel per season, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the camp generator by 90%.

This reduces not only fuel costs, but also the total number of flights required to support the project, resulting in a net positive impact both financially and environmentally, Snowline says. Additional benefits include the associated reduction in diesel generator operating time, which lessens camp noise to create better living standards for crew, while also lowering the potential for disturbance of local wildlife.

Installation of the solar generator system is complete, and the system is now fully operational, providing a majority of the camp’s power, according to Snowline.

“Investments such as this are examples of how Indigenous businesses are leading the way in accelerating the green economy, and innovations such as this provide opportunities for such entities to become increasingly engaged in the mineral resource sector,” Jani Djokic, CEO of NNDDC, says. “We see this investment as just the first of many of its kind and we are working towards building a fleet that can be deployed throughout the Traditional Territory.”

Steve Rennalls, Operations Manager for Snowline, said: “This project is a tangible example of how Snowline is realising our corporate vision. It increases efficiency while creating financial and environmental value. It improves our employees’ work environment, it is yet another collaborative project with the NNDDC, and it is provided by Solvest, one of the Yukon’s most innovative companies.”

Scott Berdahl, CEO and Director of Snowline, added: “We are grateful to the NNDDC and to Solvest for presenting Snowline with this opportunity to innovate. The initiative puts Snowline into another ‘first mover’ category as we look for ways to eliminate the negative and enhance the positive impacts of our exploration activities. We trust the data collected will be instrumental in allowing additional resource companies to effectively assess potential renewable energy solutions.”

Cooperation with NNDDC owned and affiliated companies has been instrumental to Snowline’s discovery successes, it says. These companies have provided substantial support to the company’s 2021 and 2022 field programs, providing general exploration services, vegetative reclamation, drilling, fixed and rotary wing air support, and other services.

Snowline is exploring its flagship >85,000 ha Einarson and Rogue gold projects in the highly prospective yet underexplored Selwyn Basin.

Pacific Energy adds hydrogen power options with ENGV, Nel arrangements

Pacific Energy has announced the acquisition of ENGV, an Australia-based leading turnkey provider of green hydrogen production and refuelling facilities, as well as entered multi-year exclusive supply arrangements for Australia and New Zealand with Nel ASA of Norway, one of the world’s largest manufacturer of electrolysers.

The ENGV acquisition further advances Pacific Energy’s in-house capabilities, uniquely positioning the group to be the only sustainable distributed energy provider in Australia with internal capability to provide and integrate all renewable energy technology and services, the company says. This includes solar, wind, battery, LNG and now hydrogen, as well as traditional gas- and diesel-fired generation.

ENGV was established in 2013 as a full-service provider in all areas of hydrogen, natural gas, biomethane and LPG and has grown with the evolving Australian clean energy market. It is recognised as the market leader in green hydrogen and renewable gas services and solutions, Pacific Energy says.

“ENGV was the first – and is the most experienced organisation – in deployment of hydrogen and renewable gas technologies in Australia and has completed multiple design and install projects incorporating hydrogen refuelling station facilities, electrolysers and fuel cells,” it said.

The company has a suite of long-standing supply agreements with global suppliers of hydrogen and renewable gas production, refuelling, compression and transportation equipment, including Nel, Hexagon Purus, PowerCell and KwangShin.

Jamie Cullen, Pacific Energy Group’s CEO, said he was thrilled to announce the addition of ENGV to the group.

“This is an incredibly exciting acquisition and milestone for our group, as we embark on a national growth strategy and add the final piece to complete our renewable energy capability profile,” he said. “We have been witnessing a transformation in our industry in recent years and our pipeline of potential new projects has evolved to be comprised of around 75% renewable energy. This compares with less than 20% only a few years ago, and we now have full turnkey capabilities across all major renewable energy technologies for our mining, industrial and government customers.”

Sean Blythe, Founder, and CEO of ENGV, added: “This is a great opportunity for ENGV to accelerate our growth in tandem with the rapidly expanding hydrogen and renewable gas markets in Australia. Becoming part of the fast-growing Pacific Energy group will bring mutual opportunities to our respective businesses and staff. Personnel from both organisations already have good working relationships resulting from the work we are doing together at Denham in Western Australia, where we are delivering Australia’s first renewable hydrogen microgrid facility.”

Cullen, meanwhile, said he was excited to have cemented exclusive electrolyser supply arrangements with Nel. The company recently attended the official opening of Nel’s latest production facility in Herøya, Norway, which is the world’s first fully automated electrolyser production facility, with an initial capacity of 500 MW, scalable up to 2 GW.

Established in 1927, Nel supplies electrolysers globally and estimates that is has supplied over 75% of all electrolysers to date globally. This includes a 3.5 MW electrolyser it supplied to ENGIE as part of a project to deliver the world’s largest fuel cell haul truck for Anglo American.

Nel has had supply agreements in place with ENGV since 2018 and these have now been renewed with Pacific Energy exclusively across the Australian and New Zealand markets, Pacific Energy said.

Nel’s Vice President Sales & Marketing (EMEA – Oceania), Raymond Schmid, said: “We recognise the importance and emergence of Australia in the green hydrogen market. The abundance of solar, wind and land resources provide the perfect landscape for green hydrogen production and together with Pacific Energy, we are excited to play a major role as the industry develops this decade and into the next.”

Aggreko heralds three decades of mine power innovations

After operating for more than 60 years, Aggreko, a leading provider of mobile modular power, temperature control and energy solutions, is reflecting on its entrance to mining more than 30 years ago.

The company, founded in 1962, entered the mining industry in 1991 and, about a decade later, pioneered modular cooling in underground mining.

Aggreko Australia Pacific Managing Director, George Whyte, said the Netherlands-born company – now active in about 80 countries globally – has played an evolutionary role in mine power and temperature control.

“In 1991, Aggreko secured its first ever mining project, which was at the Benambra zinc and copper mine in Victoria, Australia,” Whyte said. “At the time we were the only company to put 1 MW of power technology into a modular container. Later, in 2001, we pioneered modular underground mine cooling in the rental market, also in Australia. Prior to that, mines would purchase fixed cooling and ventilation systems for their operations.

“Some other mines we supported early on included Mt Dimer, Youanmi, Century Zinc, Granites Gold Mine and the Olympic Dam expansion – which is Australia’s largest open-pit mine. Some of these mines are still around today.”

Whyte said energy services at mines had expanded since then.

“Where we once supported mines operationally with their short-term power and cooling needs, we organically developed into an engineering solutions provider, now active at more than 300 mines globally,” he said. “Over time, our solutions have also become more complex from providing airflow modelling for underground cooling and ventilation to providing fully hybridised micro-grids.

“Of the limited number of off-grid renewable power plants in the world, Aggreko owns and operates three of them, and this is something we are very proud of. Where it was once common for miners to own and operate their own power plants on-site and for us to supply bridging power, it is becoming more common for us to build, own and operate the power plant for a mine’s life.”

Whyte said digitalisation has been one of the biggest transformers of the mining industry, helping assist with emissions reduction and safety improvements.

“Digital technology provides the data needed to reduce unpaid down-time on mine sites for instance or discover how solar and batteries behave under cloud cover,” he said.

Aggreko Global Head of Mining, Rod Saffy, said Aggreko was a truly global power provider and its experience in a wide variety of industries, applications and locations were part of the company’s success.

“Aggreko is truly a global company, and consistency across our businesses practices has earned us a reputation for having the highest ethical, environmental, equipment and safety standards wherever we go in the world,” he said.

Aggreko has a team of more than 6,000 people who operate across 80 countries. It has a diverse team including engineers, data scientists, technicians, and power station operators – who demonstrate there aren’t any conditions too cold, hot, or tough to operate in, the company says.

A recent project included staff enduring extreme environments of the Andes-mountain ranges in Salares Norte, Chile, to establish a hybrid and solar power plant 4,500 m above sea level. Another project saw teams transport equipment via icy roads to provide 6.5 MW of power and heating to a silver mine (Silvertip) in British Columbia, Canada. It was there that within three months Aggreko installed and commissioned a virtual LNG fuel supplied power plant with a heat recovery system. The team also operates in hot climates like Africa and Australia where they establish power plants in the soaring heat or desert.

Saffy and Whyte believe mining is at the forefront of technology and innovation, and the progress being made in the industry paves the way for other global industries such as manufacturing, construction and major events.

“The mining industry has some of the most robust environmental and safety standards in the world and the innovations in the industry are truly exciting,” Saffy said.

Aggreko’s latest technologies include its 1,300 kW Ultra-Low Emissions Package – a world-first power generation system which effectively eliminates up to 99% of all controlled emissions from diesel generator exhaust streams. Emission levels are 90% lower than the next best available technology on the market.

Other technologies the company has either deployed or developing, include modular solar power; Organic Rankine Cycle technology (heat from generator exhausts converts into useable energy); renewable energy solutions (such as wind farms, solar and hydro power); mobile wind solutions and pumped, mechanical and flywheel energy storage; and fuels such as hydrogen and biofuels (which will become more prevalent in the next decade and can be switched into Aggreko’s modular power generators).

Aggreko has a net-zero emissions goal by 2050 and has a 2030 target to reduce diesel use in its customer solutions by 50%.

Zest WEG E-House powers up HIG mill at South Africa platinum mine

A purpose-designed electrical house (E-House) from Zest WEG is driving one of the largest new high intensity grinding (HIG) mills in the southern hemisphere, recently installed at a platinum mine in South Africa’s North West province, Zest WEG says.

The size and operational parameters of the mill place demanding requirements on the equipment in the E-House, according to Tyrone Willemse, Senior Proposals Manager at Zest WEG. Constructed in South Africa incorporating a range of products – produced and distributed by Zest WEG – the E-House design also delivers world-class standards of safety and fire protection, the company said.

“The key benefit of the prefabricated E-House concept is the time it saves the customer and the high level of quality that can be ensured through its construction and testing under ideal workshop conditions,” he says. “The process is also streamlined as the complete project falls under a single provider, who takes full responsibility for delivering on-time and on-budget.”

This E-House includes the HIG mill’s variable speed drive (VSD) and all its associated auxiliary circuits and starters. A range of WEG transformers and motors are also part of this project. With its extensive in-house expertise, Zest WEG generates fully detailed designs for its E-Houses, using 3D computer assisted design software.

“For this application, the E-House consists of a medium voltage room and a low voltage (LV) room,” Willemse notes. “The MV room houses the well-known WEG MVW01 VSD, with an integral oil type 12 pulse transformer manufactured locally at our transformer manufacturing facility in Wadeville.”

Willemse explains that the WEG MVW01 makes use of high voltage insulated-gate bipolar transistors, which lower the amount of power electronics needed. This also reduces the mean time to repair, so that operations can be quickly restored in the event of a major fault on the system.

“The WEG MVW01 powers a WEG 3.75 MW MGR eight pole 3.3 kV directly-coupled squirrel cage induction motor,” says Willemse. “This motor is specially designed to be vertically mounted to meet the HIG mill’s operation and maintenance requirements.”

Both the motor and the VSD were designed to meet the aggressive torque requirements during some phases of the mill’s operation. The combination handles the torque requirements that periodically exceed 170% for more than three minutes, giving the customer the necessary flexibility, according to Zest WEG. The LV room contains the motor control centre (MCC) that feeds all the auxiliary circuits of the mill.

“Importantly, we have installed the newly arc-proof type-tested IEC 61641 WEG board, which has the best rating for personal protection,” Willemse says. “In the event of an internal arc, the MCC is fitted with an explosion duct that transfers any explosion safely out of the building.”

Another aspect of the safety features is a fire detection and suppression system that meets the customer’s demands. The two rooms are fitted with their own fully automated room-flooding suppression systems, which can flood the space with gas that douses electrical fires but is not dangerous to humans.

“The system can detect smoke at a very early stage, and can also check against false triggering,” Willemse says. “More than two smoke detectors must react, activating a loud bell for evacuation or cancellation, before flooding takes place.”

The LV room also houses WEG CFW11 LV VSDs, which feed premium efficient WEG motors. The E-House’s small power and lighting circuits are fed by one of Zest WEG’s locally manufactured SANS780-compliant transformers.

Voltvision brings energy efficiency enhancements to Endeavour’s Hounde mine

Voltvision, the high voltage (HV) electrical data analytics business, has announced the successful completion of Phase 1 of what it says is a pioneering energy efficiency and operational enhancement project at Endeavour Mining’s Houndé Mine in Burkina Faso.

The results of this initial phase have proved so constructive that Voltvision has been commissioned to roll out the project to all of Endeavour Mining’s mines and development projects across West Africa, it said.

This project hinges on Voltvision’s big data software solution, a program that has been designed by mining specialists and engineers to optimise energy consumption and improve predictive maintenance on all high voltage equipment used on mine sites. This software is coupled with a data extraction cube, a secure ‘plug-and-play’ analytics device installed on a mine’s network. This device extracts and transmits hundreds of energy-related data points to the cloud-based software using Wi-Fi /4G networks, Voltvision explained.

Manoli Yannaghas, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Voltvison, says: “The Phase One roll out of this project was intended to provide high resolution data extraction in support of existing data systems presented in mobile- and PC-based dashboards. This allowed the mine’s technical team to monitor incoming grid power quality and the power quality across the Houndé power system. It has also allowed the accurate recording and logging of power usage as well as the movement from source to point of use again across the whole HV and MV networks.

“Phase 1 of the project commenced in December 2021 when the Cube device was remotely installed across Hounde’s high voltage electrical network, with assistance from the Endeavour team. The ‘plug-and-play’ nature of the device allowed the project to commence with minimal hassle and zero downtime in production.

“In the four months since this installation, a wide range of data points, numbering more than 200 individual points, have been collected and analysed. Early analysis of this data has facilitated a clear and comprehensive understanding of how the mine’s electrical network is behaving and how power is utilised in real time. This has made it possible for the Endeavour team to identify hidden problems and inefficiencies and understand what changes are required to achieve greater energy efficiency across the entire operation. The correction of such efficiencies can deliver quick cost savings and CO2 reduction as well as edging closer to operational excellence.”

The data recorded in this initial phase is a solid foundation for Phase 2, which is due to commence in May, he added.

“Phase 2 is intended to identify further power savings opportunities; develop early warning mechanisms for grid outages; and extract demonstrable Scope 1 and 2 GHG emission numbers. Voltvision will also provide highly accurate asset management services on capital equipment using algorithms it has developed with leading machine learning universities to provide advanced warnings of performance changes and fault development.”

Voltvision’s electrical management software is in the process of being rolled out across the rest of Endeavour’s operations, as mentioned.

Yannaghas concluded: “Through this initial Phase 1, we have formed an excellent working relationship with Endeavour Mining and are exceptionally pleased with the results produced thus far. We look forward to further engagement and assisting the company in optimising its HV electrical asset base, realising cost savings and facilitating the decarbonisation of its mine and project portfolio.”

Newmont’s Gosteva urges action to achieve mining industry’s decarbonisation goals

Partnerships between miners and mining equipment, technology and service (METS) providers will prove key in solving the emissions reductions and sustainability targets mining companies have set for 2030 and beyond, Victoria Gosteva, Decarbonisation Program Manager at Newmont, said at the SME MineXchange Annual Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City today.

While outlining Newmont’s Energy & Decarbonization Program on stage, Gosteva made important statements about how the wider industry could decarbonise its operations and hit the goals it has set. Newmont, itself, has set a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 30% by 2030, with an ultimate goal of being net zero carbon by 2050.

Gosteva, urging actions over the near term, said partnerships with the METS community would be needed to set the companies on the right track to hit their sustainability goals, explaining that it was not only the technology-readiness element that needed to be addressed, but also the required infrastructure to, for example, charge electric vehicles.

“We can no longer afford to be fast followers as an industry,” she said. “There is really not that much time left to reach the 2030 targets.”

She said the investment community was also taking note of the need to decarbonise mine sites, with emissions likely to become a big contributor of company valuation metrics in the future.

Focusing on Newmont’s journey, in particular, she highlighted the $500 million the company committed over five years toward climate change initiatives back in 2020.

In addition to a number of PPA agreements looking to decarbonise the power grid of many of its remote mines, she also highlighted the 2021 signing of a strategic alliance with Caterpillar Inc to deliver a fully connected, automated, zero carbon emitting, end-to-end mining system, as well as a number of “energy efficiency” type of projects related to automation, data analytics and other projects that came under these initiatives.

Many of these projects were being helped by an enhanced investment system and process that incorporates and addresses emissions through an embedded carbon pricing mechanism. Gosteva said adding an emission calculator into these models where every project has an emission aspect in the investment review saw many of these projects develop a solid business case.

One project that has been helped by this is the strategic alliance with Caterpillar that will see the introduction of first-of-a-kind battery-electric haulage technology and automation at the gold miner’s Cripple Creek and Victor (CC&V) and Tanami mines in the USA and Australia, respectively.

Under the agreement, Newmont plans to provide a preliminary investment of $100 million as the companies set initial automation and electrification goals for surface and underground mining infrastructures and haulage fleets at Newmont’s CC&V mine in Colorado, USA, and Tanami mine in Northern Territory, Australia. The goals include:

  • Introduction of an automated haulage fleet of up to 16 vehicles at CC&V planned through 2023, with a transition to haulage fleet electrification and implementation of Caterpillar’s advanced electrification and infrastructure system with delivery of a test fleet in 2026. Actions include validating first-of-a-kind battery-electric haulage technology in the years prior to full production of autonomous electric haulage equipment;
  • Caterpillar will develop its first battery electric zero-emissions underground truck to be deployed at Tanami by 2026. The deployment includes a fleet of up to 10 battery-electric underground haul trucks, supported by Caterpillar’s advanced electrification and infrastructure system. This includes first-of-a-kind battery electric haulage technology for underground mining in 2024, the introduction of battery autonomous technology in 2025, with full deployment in 2026.

Gosteva highlighted that this project – which would also see the companies work on re-using batteries for energy storage when they hit their end of life in mobile mining applications – was very important to the company achieving its goals, but acknowledged that there was no silver bullet to achieving its targets.

Total Eren, Chariot and Tharisa to build solar PV plant at PGM mine

Total Eren, a renewable energy independent power producer, and Chariot, an Africa-focused transitional energy company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tharisa plc to develop, finance, construct, own, operate and maintain a solar photovoltaic project for the supply of electricity to the Tharisa PGM mine, in the North West province, South Africa.

The solar PV project is initially anticipated to be 40 MW peak with demand expected to increase over the life of the Tharisa Mine. This MoU is the first step towards implementation of the project and signing of a long-term Power Purchase Agreement for the supply of electricity on a take-or-pay basis, the companies said.

Fabienne Demol, Executive Vice-President & Global Head of Business Development of Total Eren, said: “We are very pleased to be entering into this MoU with Tharisa. Through our partnership with Chariot, we are keen to assist mining companies in Africa to reduce their carbon intensity and energy costs, via implementing renewable power solutions into their operations. We are eager to bring our global expertise in solar generation to Tharisa mine and we look forward to delivering further renewable projects for our mining customers in Africa and worldwide.”

Benoit Garrivier, Chariot Transitional Power CEO, added: “This is a great outcome for Chariot’s Transitional Power division and demonstrates the financial and sustainable benefits that our offering can bring to mining companies operating in Africa. The Tharisa team are very forward looking and understand that the addition of a solar PV project at their mine in South Africa will bring significant benefits to the business. Together with Total Eren, we are excited to start working on the financing and development of the project and we will update the market further on this and other opportunities that we are progressing in due course.”

Tebogo Matsimela, Head of ESG at Tharisa, said: “Tharisa plays a significant part in the global energy transition movement, and we are committed to producing these key metals in a sustainable manner. The solar power solution provided by Total Eren is but one of several steps we are taking to ensure our flagship Tharisa Mine, which has a life of mine of over 50 years, has a reduced carbon footprint.

“Our goal is to reduce our carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and ultimately become net carbon neutral by 2050.”

Tharisa Minerals produces PGM concentrate and metallurgical- and specialty-grade chrome concentrates from a shallow open-pit mine near Rustenburg, North West province. The Genesis and Voyager plants at the operation have a combined nameplate capacity of 4.8 Mt/y of run of mine.

Nickel Mines targets further CO2 cut with SESNA solar power MoU

Nickel Mines Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with PT Sumber Energi Surya Nusantara (SESNA) to implement, if certain economic parameters are met, 200 MWp of solar capacity within the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP).

The MoU provides for SESNA to undertake the role of “Project Initiator” for developing, financing, constructing, commissioning, owning and operating a 200 MWp solar farm project to significantly scale up the supply of renewable energy to the company’s Hengjaya Nickel (HNI) and Ranger Nickel (RNI) nickel processing operations within the IMIP.

Under the proposed agreement, Nickel Mines will be the long-term offtake partner for SESNA and will not be required to contribute any capital funding. The indicative tariff for electricity is considered competitive with other similar scale solar projects, the company said.

SESNA is, Nickel Mines says, an established and leading solar development company in Indonesia, owning and operating a portfolio of solar feed-in-tariff (FIT) and microgrid projects as well as providing services and solutions such as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) capabilities, solar financing and other technical development support to commercialise solar projects.

The potential 200 MWp solar project supplements the existing 396 kWp plus 250 kWh battery storage project which the company has entered into with SESNA for integration into the facilities at the Hengjaya mine (pictured), which is scheduled to commission this quarter. The Hengjaya mine, which hosts a JORC compliant resource of 185 Mt at 1.3% Ni and 0.08% Co, currently sources its power from diesel-powered generators. It is anticipated that the Hengjaya mine solar project will reduce diesel consumption by approximately 31 million litres over the 25-year projected project life.

Nickel Mines Managing Director, Justin Werner, said: “It is estimated this solar project could supply up to 20% of HNI and RNI’s current electricity requirements and, in doing so, account for a material reduction in annual CO2 emissions. This solar project marks an important first step in our ’Future Energy’ collaboration with our partner Shanghai Decent and our joint commitment to a more sustainable future for Indonesia’s nickel industry.”

The solar project may be implemented in stages with SESNA committing to finalise and deliver a project proposal within three months of signing the MoU, at which point the company may elect to proceed or terminate the MoU at its discretion.