Gold mining firm Bellevue expects to acquire a premium for its product after signing an influence deal that may see 80 per cent of the ability wants of a giant new mining venture in Western Australian to be delivered by wind and photo voltaic.
Bellevue has struck a 15-year energy cope with Zenith Vitality that may mix a fuel fired energy station, wind, photo voltaic and battery storage.
Wind and photo voltaic are anticipated to supply as much as 80 per cent of the power’s total energy wants, together with mining and processing, and 100 per cent of its wants throughout instances of excessive renewables, when the fuel and diesel models shall be turned off.
The mining firm has intentionally designed its processing circuit to time shift its energy use to instances of low price and nil emissions wind and photo voltaic. It goals to have the bottom greenhouse fuel depth of any main Australian gold venture and expects to get a premium for its “inexperienced gold” product due to it.
“The excessive utilisation of renewable power within the energy station and the flexibleness to time-shifting actions with renewable power availability is central to our purpose to be Australia’s first net-zero gold producer,” mentioned Bellevue managing director Darren Stralow.
“In addition to being environmentally accountable, this method might see Bellevue obtain a premium worth for its gold.”
The Bellevue venture, which expects to begin manufacturing within the second half of the yr, is positioned in WA’s Jap Goldfields, not removed from the Agnew gold mine that pioneered using wind, photo voltaic and battery storage at an off grid website, a venture partly funded by the Australian Renewable Vitality Company.
It’s also in the identical area as Liontown’s Kathleen Valley lithium venture, the place Zenith is constructing the most important off-grid hybrid renewable microgrid within the nation, with 30MW of wind and 16MW of photo voltaic to be supported by a 17MW/19MWh battery, 27MW of fuel era, and 5MW of diesel standby.
That venture will ship round 60 per cent of that mine’s wants. The Bellevue mine could have 85MW of capability made up of 24MW of wind, 19MW of photo voltaic, 15MW/33MWh of battery storage, and 30MW thermal (fuel and diesel).
“It’s a giant capital outlay, however as a result of we now have an extended mine life we will make it work,” Stralow advised RenewEconomy. He mentioned the general “levellised price of electrical energy” can be about the identical, however “we’re doing it as a result of it’s the proper factor to do.”
Many massive mining initiatives are actually trying to make use of largely wind and solar energy, and time shifting manufacturing and processing to instances of excessive renewables. They do that as a result of it’s less expensive than utilizing fuel or diesel, and low emissions are actually essential in world provide chains.
Bellevue has additionally joined the Electrical Mine Consortium that consists of 20 ASX-listed and personal mining and companies corporations whose purpose is to additional decarbonise the trade.
It has additionally executed a refining settlement with ABC Refinery beneath which Bellevue’s gold will be refined individually. This can allow Bellevue’s gold to be marketed as a ‘inexperienced’ product, reflecting its net-zero standing, which can in flip open the door to Bellevue receiving a premium worth for its gold.
Building of the ability station is already beneath means, with the earthworks and concrete foundations for the thermal station full.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of Renew Economy, and can be the founding father of One Step Off The Grid and founder/editor of the EV-focused The Driven. Giles has been a journalist for 40 years and is a former enterprise and deputy editor of the Australian Monetary Overview.