Australia is fast becoming the global centre for renewables for mines, according to world-leading industry conference organiser Canadian-based, Energy and Mines. The number of Australian mining operators seriously assessing and investing in renewables is growing rapidly. This has been driven by favourable economics and additional benefits including carbon reductions and social license. Both major and mid-tier Australian mines are adopting renewables.
South32 recently announced its 3MW solar farm for its Cannington mine in Queensland for which SunSHIFT is providing its re-deployable solar solution. Once complete, this will be the second largest solar project for a remote, off-grid Australian mine.
Similarly, Image Resources is investing in a 3-4 MW solar farm adjacent to its Boonanarring mine and processing plant, which are currently under construction. This ‘behind the meter’ solution will deliver around 25% of the facilities electricity needs. GMA Garnet, a leading supplier of garnet used in blasting and water jet cutting, has locked in energy prices for the next 13 years for its Western Australia operations through a long-term power purchase agreement for wind and solar.
OZ Minerals also recently announced plans to build a solar and battery storage facility at its Prominent Hill mine in South Australia, and is looking at further investments in renewables to support other projects in the region. The mine also became the first resource company to sign a transmission cost partnership with a renewables developer through its recent deal with SolarReserve.
Finally, New Century Resources is investing in SunSHIFT’s portable and scalable solar system to supply power for the refurbishment of its Century mine at $120/MWh which is a fraction of the $400/MWh it had been paying to run diesel during Care & Maintenance. And Copper Mines of Tasmania (CMT) has an ambitious plan to make Mt Lyell on Tasmania's west coast Australia's first zero emissions mine through investments in electrification and renewables.
In addition to these projects, there is quite simply a wealth of major mines and mid-tier leaders at various stages if assessing and approving renewable energy investments for remote and grid-tied sites. While these projects are not yet public, many will be showcased at this year’s Energy and Mines Australia Summit on June 27-28 in Perth.
"What we are seeing is quite a transformation in the market around mining companies' appetites to adopt renewable energy generation,” comments Will Rayward-Smith, General Manager, SunSHIFT. "Scalability is very important because mining companies want to include a renewable option but may not want to progress to a high penetration system straight away.”
"At sites where we also integrate wind, the mine can offset more than 70% of its fossil fuel usage,” observes Amiram Roth-Deblon, Head of Global Business Initiatives, juwi Renewable Energies. “We are currently designing such solar-wind-battery hybrids for multiple sites in Western Australia."
This heightened activity has positioned Australia as the fastest growing market for renewables for mines. Senior mining representatives are now preparing to meet with global renewables experts in Perth this June 27-28 to discuss renewables integration. This 2nd annual Energy and Mines Australia Summit, features presenters from BHP, Sandfire Resources, Fortescue Metals Group, Rio Tinto, South32, Nyrstar, Oz Minerals, Australian Vanadium, Panoramic Resources, Montezuma Mining Company, Resolute Mining and Gold Fields.
SunSHIFT is the in association sponsor for the summit which offers a complete picture of current opportunities and challenges in integrating alternative energy options for remote, fringe-of-grid, and grid-connected mines. The event is also supported by juwi Renewable Energies, VSUN Energy, Hatch, Aggreko, Zenith Energy, and ONETIDE Modular Systems. Last year WA energy company Advanced Energy Resources, owned by the Castelli Group, announced a major wind/solar farm at the conference.
For more details on these projects and the upcoming Summit visit Energy and Mines Australia Summit website. Energy and Mines is the leading global information and event media provider for energy management and operations of the mining sector. Through its global Summit series (Canada, South Africa, Chile, UK, Australia) web portal and newsletter, Energy and Mines brings together the mining and renewable energy sectors to drive solutions for affordable, reliable and sustainable power for mines. www.energyandmines.com
For more info, contact:
Adrienne Baker, Director, Energy and Mines, firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 819 319 3101
If you are an Australian resources reporter, there are complimentry places available.
This article is the third of 'Adapters', a series exclusively for Perth Media clients and partners, profiling news of innovative small businesses, start-ups and not for profits in WABN.