Operations in Africa Transition Towards Clean Energy Mining
Nearly one-third of mining companies on the continent have targets around renewable energy utilization and are actively looking towards cleaner and greener energy technologies to help drive sustainability in the mining sector, according to a recent Hogan Lovell’s “Future of Mining: Sustainability” report.
Respondents to the survey said increased utilization of green energy is key to bringing various benefits to their respective countries, such as net carbon reduction, a positive impact on communities, employee wellbeing and increased water recycling as well as a greater adherence to voluntary Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards. This transition to green energy has already shown an improvement in commercial metrics, increased brand equity, access to more investors and global climate restoration.
Clean Energy Operations
In April, the Vancouver-based B2Gold, a low-cost international senior gold producer that owns and operates gold mines in Mali and Namibia, announced the commission of an off-grid, hybrid solar battery system at Fekola, one of the biggest gold mines in the world, in southwest Mali.
Jointly implemented with Suntrace GmbH and BayWa r.e., the 30 MW solar plant and 15.4MWh battery storage unit together, constitute the world’s largest such hybrid system for the mining industry and is on course to be 100% complete by the end of June this year.
During the daytime, the new solar plant generates enough energy to permit the shutdown of three out of the mine’s six heavy fuel oil (HFO) generators with the battery storage compensating energy generation fluctuations, thus assuring a reliable operation that will allow for up to 75% of the mine’s electricity demand to be covered by renewable energy. The new plant is set to save 13.1 million liters of HFO and help reduce CO2 emissions by 39,000 tons annually.
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