NEW REPORT: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR RENEWABLES IN MINING
“Declining ore reserves have been pushing mining companies to seek opportunities in ever-more remote locations and driving innovation across the industry. As mining leaders face this mix of challenge and opportunity, energy remains integral to the success and profitability of projects.” So begins a new report from Deloitte Canada and NORCAT, a Canadian non-profit, that succinctly summarises the challenges and opportunities that will be faced by miners in the coming decade.
“Among other factors,” the report continues, “energy-supply constraints, exposure to energy price volatility, and new environmental regulatory frameworks and licensing requirements are increasing the pressure to generate and use energy in a cleaner and more efficient way.” The authors note increasing pressures in several areas that are leading miners toward renewable sources of energy, including:
- Energy security
- Productivity declines
- Technological innovations
- Stakeholder pressure
- Energy price volatility
The report acknowledges that many mining companies are already on the road to increasing use of renewables, and that they are realizing a wide variety of benefits, including:
- Cost savings
- Revenue generation
- Reputation, social license
- Health, Safety and Environment
In addition, the report highlights several benefits often overlooked when looking solely at CAPEX/OPEX or environmental considerations. One is the potential for renewable energy technologies to offer benefits and even revenue streams that extend beyond the life of the mine. The authors assert that while “it can be more difficult for the types of mines with shorter lifespans to envision the benefit of technologies that extend past the life of a mine,” renewable solutions are emerging that are redeployable to other sites, and that offer opportunities “to derive value from … surrounding operations and local communities.”
247Solar Plants™ are particularly suited to such pursuits. Their ability to offer combined heat and power (CHP) around the clock can support heat-dependent industrial processes at the mine site, as well as other industrial operations. They can also continue to provide power to, and derive revenue from, local communities long after the mine itself ceases operations.
Read the full report here.
BDO: “SOCIAL LICENCE” SOON TO BE NEEDED FOR MINES TO OPERATE
“Social licence to operate, or simply social licence, is the acceptance of a mine or mining company by its employees, by its community stakeholders and by the general public.” According to global consultancy BDO (via Mining.com), “social licence will soon be akin to a mining licence, without which mining companies will find it impossible to operate.” BDO’s new paper, SOCIAL LICENCE TO OPERATE IN MINING - Current trends & toolkit, focuses on mining companies’ growing need for social licence amid 21st century demands for transparency and accountability.
While the authors expect an extended stakeholder network including ethical investment funds, international human rights activists, international financial institutions, and local and national governments to demand increasing engagement and transparency from the mining industry, they point to a silver lining. “The global shift from fossil fuels to a low carbon future is possible only through the development of green economy minerals. Far from being the villain, the mining industry is part of the solution, and it should reposition itself as such.”
For example, the metals needed to make rechargeable batteries used in smartphones, tablets and electric vehicles, as well as the green infrastructure needed to generate and store the electricity needed to run them, include graphite, manganese, vanadium, nickel, cobalt, copper, rare earths, and lithium. This, along with efforts to lower the carbon footprint of mining operations, presents the mining industry with a “golden” opportunity to play a strong positive role in the emerging green economy.
"We see great potential for 247Solar to be part of [the future of mining], particularly in remote off-grid locations.”
247SOLAR TEAMS WITH WHITTLE CONSULTING TO OPTIMIZE MINING OPERATIONS
247Solar and global mining industry advisors Whittle Consulting have agreed to a long-term collaboration to integrate 247Solar’s breakthrough round-the-clock clean power technology into Whittle’s Strategic Optimization models for mining.
Whittle Consulting offers Integrated Strategic Planning services to the mining industry through a team of highly experienced industry specialists. With technical expertise in a range of disciplines including geology, mining engineering, metallurgy, research, mathematics, computing, finance, operational/financial modelling and analysis, Whittle Consulting provides a fully integrated approach to planning and optimizing mining enterprises across all parts of the value chain.
Whittle Consulting CEO Gerald Whittle says, “The mining industry is committed to going carbon neutral, and switching to renewable energy will be a major component of that. Most mines run 24/7 so storage of renewable energy is key. We see great potential for 247Solar to be part of that future, particularly in remote off-grid locations.”
Whittle Consulting is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, with offices in the United Kingdom, United States of America,
Canada, South Africa, Chile, Peru, and Indonesia.