JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti is advancing decarbonisation projects at the Geita mine in Tanzania, has commenced renewable energy project works at the Tropicana mine in Australia, and a big solar project in Ghana could be next on its list.
The project at Geita, which is located in north-western Tanzania, in the Lake Victoria goldfields of the region, will replace diesel generation at the site with grid power sourced from a more environment-friendly combination of energies including hydropower.
The renewables investment at Tropicana, which is located in Western Australia, has followed the project at Geita.
A large solar project in Ghana, where AngloGold has the Obuasi mine, is envisaged, with more detail being provided on that into the New Year.
For a long time, diesel gensets have been used to generate the bulk of the power for the processing plant at Geita.
“But we are shifting that to the national grid, which has got a higher proportion of its energy from alternative sources, mainly hydropower, and then we’ll keep those diesel gensets on site as backup,” AngloGold senior VP investor relations and group communications Stewart Bailey explained to Mining Weekly during question time after the New York- and Johannesburg-listed company’s presentation of third quarter production performance.
“That process with the State utility at Geita will be happening over the end of this year into next year. We see a significant drop in our emissions on site from that.
“It’s a very good project for us, dependent on hydro levels in the dams in Tanzania being in a good state. But that plan is moving ahead and by around mid-year next year, the full benefit of that should start being seen. It’s actually a reduction in tariff and a reduction in emissions as well.
“Then, more generally, you’ll see that we’ve signed the deal with Pacific Energy at Tropicana. Construction for that project has kicked off and after that Ghana is potentially next on the list,” Bailey added.
As reported by Mining Weekly in June, the AngloGold agreement with Pacific Energy involves the building of one of the largest renewable energy projects in Australia’s natural resource sector and is integrated into the existing power supply for Tropicana.
Pacific Energy will build and operate 62 MW of wind and solar generation capacity at the site.
AngloGold expects the use of renewables will help it reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. “We have a responsibility to proactively identify and address current and future climate-related threats.
“This renewables project at Tropicana is another important step forward for us, not only in realising our overall climate objectives, but also improving our overall security of energy supply and significantly reducing the site’s natural gas consumption,” AngloGold Ashanti CEO Alberto Calderon has outlined.
In 2022, AngloGold announced a plan to cut Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 30% by 2030 through a combination of renewable energy projects and initiatives which improve efficiency or use lower-emission power sources.
The Tropicana renewable energy solution will be integrated into the existing 54 MW gas-fired power station at the mine under a ten-year build-own-operate agreement.
The new infrastructure will comprise four 6 MW wind turbines, about 44 100 photovoltaic panels making up the 24 MW solar plant, and a 14 MW battery storage system.
This is expected to reduce natural gas consumption at Tropicana by about 50%. The Tropicana project is expected to be completed in early 2025.
Third-quarter gold production of AngloGold rose to 673 000 oz from 652 000 oz in the second quarter of 2023 mainly owing to higher ore tonnes processed, partly offset by lower overall recovered grades. The three highest gold production gains quarter-on-quarter were from Africa, with Iduapriem up 27%, Siguiri up 22% and Kibali reporting a 13% increase.