Engineering & Mining Journal

APR 2017

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Page 35 of 83

RENEWABLE ENERGY 34 E&MJ • APRIL 2017 on Mining & Metals (ICMM) webinar, speakers from "Sunshine for Mines" — a resource-conservation advocacy organi- zation — listed several common obsta- cles, including: Lack of information, which can in- clude lack of awareness of renewable op- portunities, lack of data about costs vs. savings, and a communications/relation- ship gap between mining firms and RE system developers. Lack of "demand pull," referring to ob- stacles inherent in current mining industry management culture, operational mindset, and lack of internal resources, etc. Capital and risk concerns, focusing on power contract structure, accounting and balance sheet issues, lack of awareness of or access to third-party financing. Complexity, referring to the almost universal uniqueness of individual mine sites, along with regulatory risks and un- certainties and real or perceived technical barriers. Sunshine for Mines is a joint initia- tive of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado-based nonprofit organization that provides philanthropic support for development of efficient and restorative use of resources; and the Carbon War Room, another U.S.-based nonprofit fo- cused on "accelerating the adoption of business solutions that reduce carbon emissions at gigaton scale and advancing the low-carbon economy." Sunshine for Mines' goals are to: • Reach, by 2018, a point at which five major mining companies have estab- lished and are implementing ambitious renewable energy integration plans for a total of 3 GW of installed capacity. • By 2025, have renewable energy sourc- es supplying 15% of the mining indus- try's electricity, representing 30 GW of cumulative installed capacity. Sunshine for Mines said it has part- nered with DNV-GL, a Norway-based ma- jor renewable energy consultancy, to offer feasibility assessment and procurement assistance, and is working toward com- pletion of its first project with Gold Fields in South Africa. Dr. Tsakani Mthombeni, group head of carbon and energy at Gold Fields, told the ICMM webinar audience that Gold Fields' commitment to renewable ener- gy is supported by top management — a critical factor for success — and, in part, is focused on achieving 20% renewable energy generation on average in all new mine developments. It shares the goal of supporting industry-wide change with CWR-RMI's Sunshine for Mines program, and Mthombeni said Gold Fields' involve- ment in the program could be useful for pointing the way for other mining com- panies to follow, specifically in developing methods to tackle the common obstacles listed above. For example, "lack of infor- mation" could be overcome by creating a proof point for cost effectiveness; cap- ital, risk and complexity concerns might be alleviated by establishing a standard- ized process and approach; and lack of demand pull could be reversed by using the Gold Fields case study to inspire oth- er companies to participate and adopt RE programs. Looking at All the Options In addition to Gold Fields, other major producers have invested, or plan to in- vest, in substantial RE programs, either as stand-alone projects or in concert with larger energy-efficiency projects. On a broad scale, Barrick Gold has worked with Deloitte to assess the risks of its current energy mix, develop a global emissions profile and pinpoint areas where emerg- ing GHG or climate policies will impact its operations from a carbon pricing per- spective. As part of the initiative, the company will be pursuing opportunities for reduction, including energy contracts, fuel management, renewable energy, waste heat recovery and fuel substitution. Barrick said it approaches energy de- mand management at a systemic level, rather than as a collection of separate processes. That means energy use in some areas (such as blasting) may rise to allow systemic energy intensity to fall (i.e., by reducing energy use down- stream). Energy analytics also features prominently, with the company measur- ing its energy use across every subsystem to set baselines, identify opportunities for improvement and validate its actual savings over time. Elsewhere, in March Iamgold an- nounced the signing of a power purchase agreement involving Iamgold Essakane SA, Eren Renewable Energy SA, Aren Energy and Essakane Solar SAS to begin development of a $20 million, 15-MWp solar power plant in 2017 for the com- pany's Essakane mine in Burkina Faso. The agreement is for an initial period of up to 15 years. Jointly owned by Iamgold (90%) and the government of Burkina Faso (10%), Iamgold Essakane SA, which owns and operates the Essakane mine, produces more than 400,000 oz of gold per year. Essakane Solar SAS, a local en- tity created by the project developers, will A wind farm in Chile provides about 20% of the power needs of Antofagasta's Los Pelambres copper mine. (Photo: Edu3k - CC BY-SA 3.0)

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