Tag Archives: mine power

Orezone makes Bomboré headway with Lycopodium EPCM award

Orezone Gold is moving closer to the construction phase at its 90% owned Bomboré project in Burkina Faso after awarding an EPCM contract for the gold asset, completing a Phase I Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) with nearby communities, and making progress on awarding both mining and power plant Build-Own-Operate contracts.

The company has awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction management contract to Lycopodium Minerals Pty Ltd, a company, Orezone says, has an excellent track record of delivering projects on time and on budget in West Africa.

When it comes to the Phase 1 RAP, Orezone said all villages and infrastructure have now been completed.

“Relocation of households is proceeding smoothly with relocation substantially complete,” it noted. “This opens access to all areas required for the preparation of the process plant, surface infrastructure, and key mining areas including the off-channel reservoir and tailings storage facility.”

Alongside this work, Orezone has undertaken a competitive tender process for the contract mining agreement at Bomboré, including bidder site visits and a detailed assessment of proposals received.

The company plans to award the open-pit mining contract in early 2021 to allow for contractor mobilisation, site establishment, and commencement of pre-production mining by the end of the March quarter.

Bids for the Build-Own-Operate power plant, meanwhile, have recently been received from companies specialising in providing power solutions in West Africa, Orezone said. The company expects to award this contract in the current quarter.

Orezone’s 2019 feasibility study on Bomboré envisaged a 5.2 Mt/y throughput operation able to produce, on average, 117,760 oz of gold over a 13-year mine life where both oxide and sulphides would be mined and processed.

The company said negotiations for conventional project debt covering a major portion of the initial project construction budget of $153 million were advancing “rapidly and smoothly”, with expectations of binding debt commitments being announced later this month.

As currently planned, first gold is scheduled for early in the September quarter of 2022.

Patrick Downey, President and CEO, said: “Awarding the EPCM contract to Lycopodium is a key step to ensure the continued successful development and construction of the Bomboré project. With more than 12 mines built in West Africa, Lycopodium’s track record of building efficient mines on time and on budget is unparalleled.

“Lycopodium is very familiar with Bomboré, having performed the 2018 Feasibility Study, the 2019 Updated Feasibility Study, and the previously completed front-end engineering and design.”

Downey said Lycopodium will be able to immediately build on its past work and progress the project in a cost effective and timely manner.

CSIRO talks up carbon dioxide game changer for low emission mining operations

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, says a next generation supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) powerplant could help accelerate mining operations to low emission outputs and meet large renewable energy targets.

Constructed by the Gas Technologies Institute (GTI), General Electric and other industry partners in the United States, these sCO2 powerplants are being explored in a collaborative program involving CSIRO.

The 10 MW-electric sCO2 pilot plant, currently being constructed in Texas, USA, will demonstrate a fully integrated power cycle that can be easily configured to operation on renewable energy, CSIRO says. When completed in June 2021, it will be the largest sCO2 powerplant demonstration facility of its kind in the world and will represent a significant step toward sCO2 technology commercialisation, it added.

While most powerplants use steam turbines to produce electricity, sCO2 powerplants use high temperature CO2 instead. By avoiding the use of water, advanced sCO2 power plants using renewable energy inputs have significant potential to transition mining operations to a low emission future, CSIRO says.

“The advantage is that sCO2 is a higher density working fluid, which means sCO2 power plants can be smaller, more efficient and not reliant on water for steam and cooling,” it said. “sCO2 powerplants can also be autonomous and operate using a wide range of heat sources.”

This makes such powerplants an ideal candidate to replace diesel generation in off-grid mining operations, as renewable energy can be used to power their operations for longer periods of time.

Many mining companies are committed to transitioning to low emissions technologies and widespread implementation of sCO2 power generation technologies could be a game changer for the mining industry globally and help accelerate the world’s transition to a low carbon future, according to CSIRO.

CSIRO’s partnership in the Gas Technologies Institute Program will improve understanding of how sCO2 powerplants can enable lower and zero emission technology solutions, and how they might be used in remote off-grid mining and community locations as a low-cost alternative to diesel fuel power generation, it said.

The powerplants also provide a potential future replacement for large grid-connected electricity generation.

A renewable energy solution

For CSIRO, the use of concentrated solar thermal (CST) technologies to provide the renewable energy solution for these sCO2 power plants is also a focus. CST technologies capture and store heat, which make it an ideal solution for a sCO2 powerplant. The Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI), which is managed by CSIRO, is leading efforts in this area.

For mining operations, the use of portable, scalable and low-cost thermal energy storage (TES) will be a critical enabler for sCO2 power plants. TES can be used to store heat, which can then be used day or night to run a sCO2 power plant.

The addition of TES can make 24/7 renewable mining operations a reality, CSIRO says. Australia’s TES efforts under the GTI Program will be delivered in partnership with Graphite Energy.

Keith Vining, Research Group Leader for Carbon Steel Materials, CSIRO Mineral Resources, said taking advantage of Australia’s solar resource to operate sCO2 powerplants for the purposes of mineral processing is a positive development.

“Metal production is highly energy intensive,” Vining said. “In most cases metal production from Australia’s mineral resources is performed overseas using traditional fossil fuel energy sources.

“In a low carbon world, there is an opportunity to perform more on-shore processing and replace traditional fossil fuel energy sources with renewable energy resources in the commodity value chain. The use of sCO2 powerplants operating on renewable energy could make this opportunity a reality.”

This research is part of the Joint Industry Partnership of the Supercritical Transformational Electric Power (STEP) project known as STEP Demo.

The construction of the STEP project demonstration plant is nearing completion, with equipment installation underway in San Antonio, Texas. It is expected to be operational in mid-2021.

The site will be able to demonstrate performance over a range of operating conditions and allows flexibility to be reconfigured to accommodate ongoing testing and technology optimisation, according to CSIRO.

The supercritical CO2 cycles will be able to operate using a wide range of heat sources, including fossil fuel (natural gas), renewables (concentrated solar, biomass, geothermal), next-generation nuclear, industrial waste heat recovery, and ship-board propulsion.

Wärtsilä takes on power plant performance contract at Lihir gold mine

Wärtsilä is to help optimise the performance of the Lihir gold mine’s 170 MW power plant, in Papua New Guinea, as part of a 10-year tailored guaranteed asset performance agreement signed with Lihir Gold Ltd, part of Newcrest Mining.

The agreement has shared business case incentives based on key performance indicators (KPIs), which reduce operational cost and enhance power availability, supporting the mine’s production targets, according to Wärtsilä.

The 10-year agreement, worth over €150 million ($183 million), was signed in October and is targeted to take effect from the end of the March quarter. The expected revenues for 24 months of operation, some €20 million, have been included in Wärtsilä’s order book in the December quarter.

Lihir’s 170 MW power plant provides a critical electricity supply to run the operations of the mine. It has 22 Wärtsilä engines, of which the last one was commissioned in 2013.

The incentivised KPIs will lead to an increase in revenue and a reduction in operational cost, according to Wärtsilä, with the partnership enabling Lihir Gold to focus on gold production while Wärtsilä takes care of optimising the power plant performance.

The agreement will also provide the customer with maintenance and parts cost predictability, including a reduction in working capital.

The agreement includes full technical support, real-time monitoring of the equipment from Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centres, condition-based maintenance and asset diagnostic reporting, operational advisory support, as well as all planned and unplanned maintenance of the generator sets and auxiliaries. The agreement KPIs with shared incentives are based on fuel and oil consumption and power availability, with the option to adjust these KPIs by mutual agreement should the market change.

Daniel May, Manager – Power, Utilities, Projects & Engineering, Lihir, Newcrest Mining, said: “During the initial market engagement process, it was determined that Wärtsilä’s experience, track record and capabilities in Papua New Guinea made them the best partner to further develop the partnership agreement that has now been signed. This is a flexible solution that delivers incentives and benefits to both parties.”

Henri van Boxtel, Energy Business Director, Wärtsilä Energy, added: “This agreement takes a holistic approach to the plant’s operations and maintenance, and reflects the importance of the strategic partnership between Wärtsilä and the customer. By linking the availability and performance of the power generating plant to the mine’s productivity, we are establishing a flexible and beneficial business case that promotes efficiency and delivers real value over the entire lifecycle of the power plant. We are at the same time aiming to increase the reliability of the electrical supply, which can help raise the mine’s output.”

The total installed base of Wärtsilä’s power generating equipment in a number of projects in Papua New Guinea is 381 MW, of which 170 MW has been supplying power to Lihir Gold.

Solar and gas power to energise Gruyere gold mine expansion

APA Group has been contracted to expand the power generation capability of the Gruyere gold project, in Western Australia, as part of a contract that will include the addition of a renewable energy hybrid microgrid, solar power and battery energy storage system.

This news came within Gold Road Resources Limited’s and Gruyere Mining Company’s report on power expansion initiatives at Gruyere, a 50:50 joint venture between Gold Road and Gold Fields, around 200 km east of Laverton.

APA has been contracted to install an additional 4 MW reciprocating gas-fired engine by mid-2021 (Phase 1) and build, own and operate a 13 MWp solar farm and 4.4 MW battery-energy storage system by the end of 2021 (Phase 2) under the existing Electricity Supply Agreement (ESA) that runs until November 2033.

The cost of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 expansion will be amortised over the term of the ESA and is forecast at A$32-38 million ($24-28 million). Phase 1 and Phase 2 will increase the installed power capacity at Gruyere to 64 MW.

The benefits of the sustainable power expansion at Gruyere include:

  • Reduction of carbon emissions by an estimated 16,000 t/y CO2-e;
  • Anticipated 5% power supply unit cost saving (MWh), at current gas market prices;
  • Ameliorating gas power generation capacity constraints, including the derating of gas engine performance at high ambient temperatures;
  • Enable increased plant throughput up to the target of 10 Mt/y;

Gold Road Managing Director and CEO, Duncan Gibbs, said: “Gold Road is proud to be part of this green energy initiative. We have long stated our intention to be an ESG leader, and this initiative follows on from the recent commissioning of a solar and battery power solution at our Yamarna exploration facility.

“The power expansion at Gruyere provides an elegant technical solution that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, decreases costs and enables an increase in plant capacity up to a targeted 10 Mt/y from the current nameplate design of 8.2 Mt/y. This will not only see increased annual cash flow generation for the business, but it will help drive additional unit cost reductions as Gruyere is further defined as a Tier One, low cost and long-life gold producer.”

Gold Fields Executive Vice President, Stuart Mathews, said: “The installation of renewables as part of our total power solution at Gruyere reflects Gold Fields’ strategic objective to strengthen energy security, optimise energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint through the adoption of innovative new technologies. The success of the recently completed renewable energy projects at our Agnew and Granny Smith mines has given Gold Fields the confidence to ramp up use of these technologies across our global operations.”

E and I Zambia helps power up process plant for copper miner

Electrical control and instrumentation specialist, E and I Zambia, says it has successfully completed a large project on a new process plant for one of Zambia’s leading copper miners.

The contract included the installation of six electrical substations, 20 transformers, five 1,250 kVA diesel generators for back-up power and a 950 m overland conveyor. Almost 250 km of cable was pulled and nearly 15 km of cable racking was constructed, according to the company.

Also completed were six earth mat rings, 12 mast lights and a range of general plant earthing and lighting installations around the plant, as well as the fitting and termination of instruments. E and I Zambia conducted the work between January 2019 and April 2020, in close collaboration with both a leading design house and the end-client, the company said.

According to Projects Manager, Dave Opperman, the company has a sound track record in the country, having been active on the copperbelt and beyond since 2002.

“The experience of our team on site, the quality of our artisans and the training of workers ensured that the quality of this job was world class,” Opperman says. “While prioritising safety and quality, we were still able to adapt to the inevitable fine-tuning of project parameters and schedules, and to deliver on the client’s timelines.”

The safety standards were reflected in the achievement of 395 Lost-Time Injury Free days. This was achieved despite a busy site – peak manpower grew to over 270 employees and subcontractors – in a project that consumed almost 590,000 manhours. Almost all the staffing on the project was local, the company said.

“Being so well established in Zambia, we have a solid database of skilled artisans that we can draw upon for large projects like this one,” Opperman says. “The country has a good foundation of these trades, and we can select the most suitable profile of skills to match the project.”

He noted that the company is also able to optimise its local procurement through its network of reliable suppliers, while maintaining a strong cross-border supply chain for large and specialised equipment and components from South Africa.

In line with quality standards, each phase of the project involved the sign-off of both in-house and external quality control officers. This ensured all work was carried out in accordance with engineering designs and industry standard specifications before being certified ready for use.

E and I Zambia is also able to draw on the extensive technical capacity of South Africa-based EnI Electrical, an operating entity within Zest WEG.

Polyus connects Natalka to Ust-Omchug — Omchak power line

Polyus says the Ust-Omchug — Omchak power project in the Magadan region of Russia has been completed, with its Natalka gold mine now connected up to a new 220 kV power grid.

The total construction capital of this project (excluding VAT) amounted to around RUB10 billion (around $126 million), with some RUB6.5 billion attributable to state subsidies received by the company over the 2016-2019 period.

The new line provides additional energy transmission capacity, improving the reliability of low-cost renewable power supply in the region, the company said.

Earlier this year, Polyus signed a large-scale five-year electricity supply contract with regional hydropower company, PJSC Kolymaenergo, a subsidiary of PJSC RusHydro. As of today, Natalka covers 90% of its electricity demand from renewable sources.

Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer of Polyus, said: “The Ust-Omchug — Omchak line is an important infrastructure project that facilitates continuity of operational processes at Natalka. It also contributes to our company’s development as a responsible operator, as Polyus is committed to creating a low-carbon and sustainable future.”

Woodside and EDL to supply LNG to Strandline’s Coburn mineral sands project

After securing a contractor to build the power generation facilities at its Coburn project in Western Australia, Strandline Resources has appointed subsidiaries of Woodside Energy and EDL, in joint venture (WEJV), as preferred contractor to supply LNG to the mineral sands development’s power generation facilities.

The WEJV solution provides Strandline with a long-term clean, reliable and affordable solution for Coburn, the company said.

Under the WEJV proposal, LNG will be supplied via road train from Woodside’s Pluto LNG Truck Loading Facility near Karratha, Western Australia.

“Coburn’s mine site power infrastructure is based on a low-cost, low-emission solution integrating LNG-fuelled generation with state-of-the-art solar and battery storage technology (provided by third parties),” the company said.

The proposed LNG supply contract is over a 10-year term (with appropriate pricing review and adjustment mechanisms) and enables Strandline to capture energy supply cost savings relative to the definitive feasibility study published in June 2020.

As preferred contractor, the parties will now compile final contract documentation subject to the satisfaction of Coburn’s lenders and agreement between the parties.

Strandline Managing Director, Luke Graham, said the appointment establishes an important long-term relationship with two industry leaders in the energy sector, in Woodside and EDL.

“The company continues to move rapidly towards development of Coburn and these key contract appointments to well-credentialled suppliers provide delivery certainty,” he said.

Strandline energises Coburn mineral sands plan with Contract Power BOO agreement

Strandline Resources says it has taken another important step towards development of its Coburn mineral sands project in Western Australia by appointing Contract Power Australia as preferred contractor to build, own and operate (BOO) the power generation facilities for the project.

Coburn’s purpose-designed power infrastructure is based on a low-cost, low-emission solution integrating natural gas fuelled generation with solar and battery storage technology.

The proposed power solution enables Strandline to capture energy supply cost savings relative to the definitive feasibility study published in June 2020, it said.

Contract Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pacific Energy Ltd, specialises in turnkey design, installation and operation of energy assets and has a strong track record of delivery in the mining sector of Western Australia, Strandline says.

Coburn’s power station will be located near the mineral separation plant. The power station is designed for a maximum demand capacity of 16 MW and average consumed power of circa-10 MW. Natural gas will be supplied by others under an industry standard long-term LNG supply agreement and trucked to an on-site storage and re-vapourisation facility supplied by Contract Power (Contract Power’s typical LNG-fuelled power station build layout, pictured), according to Strandline. The LNG then feeds a set of engine generators on an N+1 basis and has circa-30% solar penetration for the major stable loads. Generation is at 11 kV with step up to 22 kV for power transmission to the project loads across the mine site, Strandline says.

As preferred contractor, the parties will now compile final contract documentation to the satisfaction of Strandline and Coburn’s lenders. The contract is based on a 15-year BOO (and maintain) commercial model with fixed and variable payment regime for power consumed over the term.

This appointment follows Strandline’s recent A$18.5 million ($13.1 million) equity raising to advance early works development activities while finalising the balance of project funding. Strandline says it continues to make strong progress towards definitive finance documentation and conditions precedent for the NAIF A$150 million loan facility and is advancing discussions to secure a commercial debt tranche expected to stand alongside the NAIF funding.

Since raising the A$18.5 million, Strandline has appointed Macmahon as the principal contractor to provide site-wide civil and bulk earthworks construction services for the project, instructed Piacentini & Son to design and construct three mobile dozer mining units for Coburn and awarded preferred EPC status to Primero Group for the mineral sands asset.

Strandline Managing Director, Luke Graham, said the appointment marked another key step in its strategy to bring Coburn into production and establishes an important relationship with Contract Power, a leader in sustainable clean energy generation in Western Australia.

Coburn has a JORC compliant mineral resource of 1,600 Mt at 1.2% total heavy mineral (THM), classified as 119 Mt measured, 607 Mt indicated, and 880 Mt inferred. The ore reserve comes in at 523 Mt grading 1.11% THM for circa-5.8 Mt of contained heavy mineral, underpinning an initial mine life of 22.5 years at a mining rate of 23.4 Mt/y.

Aggreko to help power up Colluli potash project

Aggreko has been appointed as the preferred power supply contractor for the 12 MW heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plant at the Colluli potash project in Eritrea, Danakali has reported.

The power company will provide a full scope of support services for the supply, commissioning, and maintenance of the power plant, then transfer to the jointly-owned Colluli Mining Share Company (CMSC), under a five-year buy-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract. Aggreko will also provide the funding for the power solution, which provides certainty over delivery of this preferred solution, Danakali said.

The choice of the BOOT agreement is due to the equipment being available now and not needing to be built, Danakali, a 50:50 owner of CMSC along with the Eritrea government, said. This will also de-risk the development schedule, it added.

The costs of the power solution provided by Aggreko over the five-year contract period is lower than the front-end engineering design study results, according to Danakali.

Aggreko is funding the capital expenditure required for the power plant and all equipment will be transferred to CMSC at no extra cost at the end of the contract period, Danakali explained. This power solution is scalable and can increase/decrease according to CMSC’s needs, it added.

The agreement between Aggreko and CMSC is subject to the conclusion of ongoing negotiations to optimise the scope of works, contract pricing and execution; and board approval of the final investment decision for Colluli.

In July, the Eritrean Ministry of Energy & Mines paved the way for construction to start at the project after accepting the Colluli Notice of Commencement of Mine Development.

Niels Wage, CEO of Danakali, said: “We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Aggreko as our single power provider. With 55 years of experience in delivering high-quality, reliable service to a large number of projects, we are confident they have the capabilities to provide our power needs for Colluli.

“At the early stages of the project development, the HFO solution will provide us with flexibility and reliability, and as confirmed by social and environmental impact assessment, Colluli will have a relatively small impact on the environment. Going forward, once project development is in more of a steady state, we will look to diversify our energy sources towards renewables available in the Danakil region, as per our commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.”

John Lewis, Managing Director, Africa – Aggreko, added: “Our extensive experience in Eritrea and knowledge of the local market means that we are ideally placed to provide a solution which meets the specific needs of Danakali and deliver a reliable power supply for this project.”

Colluli has a JORC-2012 compliant measured, indicated and inferred resource of 1,289 Mt at 11% K20 equivalent and 7% kieserite.

Verditek makes mining inroads with InterGroup PowerMat solar contract

Clean technology company, Verditek plc, has won its first order from the Australia mining sector, agreeing on a contract to supply its PowerMat solar solution to InterGroup Mining Ltd.

The contract win is in line with Verditek’s stated strategy to target verticals in the oil & gas, marine and mining industries, it said.

Verditek’s PowerMat solution will provide solar power to InterGroup’s exploration operations based in Queensland.

The first order is for 75 kW of solar panels at its exploration camp, but InterGroup anticipates a large increase in its power requirements over the coming 12 months, Verditek says, hoping for further larger orders.

“The lightweight durable solar panels will be used as part of a diesel-solar hybrid system, with the solar panels significantly reducing the consumption of liquid fuel and hence offering financial savings to the operator as well as achieving a key objective for InterGroup, in wanting to make their mining operations as green as possible,” Verditek said.

Verditek’s PowerMat solution can be easily moved to any of the company’s sites, Verditek said. The unit is expected to be shipped to Australia in December 2020, with first-stage payment alreaady received.

Steve White, Managing Director of InterGroup, said: “As we expand our operations significantly, we have been looking for a cost-effective way to adopt green technology that will move us towards our aim of being a leader in ecologically-friendly gold production. Given our projected power demands as we ramp up our mine development, we believe there is scope to increase our take-up for Verditek PowerMat to between 1.5-2 MW over the next 12 months.”

Robert Richards, Verditek CEO, said: “I am extremely pleased that we continue to deliver on the strategy of delivering solar solutions to off-grid installations and converting wet fuel users to dry. This first sale of our mobile power solution to the Australian mining sector, through InterGroup, marks a significant achievement. Although the starting order is relatively modest in size we are confident of the potential for much larger repeat orders. This contract win demonstrates that we are on the right track as we expand our business.”