Gold Fields has partnered with Aggreko to explore the possibility of introducing renewables at its Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia (WA).
Two years ago, Aggreko replaced the existing diesel power station at the mine with a gas-fuelled reciprocating engine station.
After securing a contract to build and operate the 21MW power station in 2016, Aggreko has worked on plans to provide 7.3MW of solar power generation, as well as a 2MW/1MWh battery system.
Gold Fields is focused on integrating them with the existing gas supply in order to create a hybrid power station.
The upgrade is in line with the company’s plans to increase the use of renewable and low-carbon energy sources across its operations.
As part of the plans, the mining firm aims to meet at least 20% of total life-of-mine power requirements in new projects using renewable sources.
Gold Fields Australasia executive vice-president Stuart Mathews said: “The integration of renewables at Granny Smith mine is a demonstration of Gold Fields’ ongoing commitment to both environmental sustainability and innovation at its operations.
“These proposed new measures are intended to reduce our carbon footprint by utilising the latest hybrid energy technologies.”
All three of the company’s gold mines in WA are operated by using gas-powered electricity.
Aggreko AusPac managing director George Whyte said: “Our mining clients have faced a challenging market place and power generation is a significant proportion of operating costs. Our global capability offers additional flexibility which reduces investment and operational risk.”
Gold Fields is also undertaking thermal station expansion at the Granny Smith mine, which, along with the proposed new hybrid power station, will enable the company to meet the increased daily power needs of the entire mine of 24.2MW.
Of the total daily power requirement, around 8MW will be allocated to the Wallaby underground mine and the remaining 16.2MW will be used to power the processing plant, associated facilities and the mine camp.