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Johannesburg-based Gold Fields – one of the world's largest gold mining firms – has invested AUD110 million in renewable energy and battery storage at its Australian mining operations.
Gold Fields Executive Vice President for Australasia, Stuart Matthews announced last week that the company aims to incorporate renewable energy at its St. Ives gold project in Western Australia.
The company has spent AUD70 million on the introduction of a wind and solar power and battery storage at its Agnew gold mine in Western Australia, which includes an 18 MW wind farm, a 10 710 panel 4 MW solar farm, a 13 MW/4 MWh battery energy storage system, and an off-grid 12 MW gas-diesel engine power plant.
Matthews noted that Gold Fields will continue to invest AUD80-100 million per annum to grow its reserve base in Australia.
"There is no intent to stop that level of investment," Matthews said, adding, "We're investing $37 million (AUD) per annum on exploration at St. Ives and $24 million (AUD) at Agnew and we've been rewarded for that by not just replacing depletion every year, but now providing a lot of growth."
Gold Fields has also spent AUD17 million on a hybrid power system at its Granny Smith operations, powered by more than 20,000 solar panels with support from a 2 MW/1 MWh battery system, which will produce approximately 18 GWh of electricity per year. The integration of renewable energy sources at the Granny Smith mine are expected to reduce the facility's CO2 emissions by 9,500 tons equivalent per year and will reduce the mine's fuel consumption by 10-13%.
The company is also expected to spend AUD23 million to expand the renewable energy hybrid microgrid at its Gruyere joint venture gold mine, which is currently expected to be commissioned by Q4 2021. This expansion will increase the mine's capacity by 45%, enabling the plant to mitigate approximately 10 million tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
Gold Fields is the second largest gold producer in Western Australia, and operates nine mines across Australia, Africa, and Peru.