Bellevue aims for green gold

Bellevue Gold has taken a pivotal step towards its aspirational goal of becoming Australia’s first ASX- listed gold miner with net-zero emissions, by signing an early works agreement with Energy Developments (EDL) for its Bellevue gold project.

The deal locks in long-lead items for its power station ready for the processing plant commissioning in mid-2023, which will enable the company to continue its world-leading carbon mitigation strategy, based off proven technologies with a Tier 1 power supplier.

Bellevue’s strategy is to be powered by a forecast average of 80 per cent renewable energy each year using a wind, solar and battery hybrid power solution.

EDL built, owns and operates a similar turnkey power solution at the Agnew gold mine located 35km south of the Bellevue project.

Bellevue and EDL are currently negotiating a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the project, which is subject to approval by the Boards of both companies.

The power solution is central to Bellevue’s goal of generating the lowest carbon emissions per ounce of gold produced by any major Australian gold mine, with forecast emissions of between 0.15t CO2e/oz to 0.2t CO2e/oz.

As well as being the lowest emitter on a per ounce basis, the project is forecast to have the lowest total Scope 1 emissions of any major mine in Australia, giving the project the cleanest power supply in Australia based on a greenhouse gas per kilowatt hour basis of power generation.

By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with a renewable energy power station and undertaking other sustainable initiatives, Bellevue aims to produce carbon-neutral gold, giving the company a major competitive advantage in global investment markets. This also provides potential for the company to seek a premium for the sale of ‘green gold’.

The power station will prioritise the use of renewable energy and will also include a gas engine configuration, which will ensure there is always sufficient power for the mine, even in the rare absence of solar and wind resources.

EDL will supply trucked LNG to the project to maintain optionality for any future technological innovations in thermal generation alternative fuels. Importantly, trucked LNG provides a much cleaner fuel than diesel which was an important consideration to reduce emissions as far as possible.

The facility will have the ability to use more power – such as crushing and heating – when increased renewable energy is available, reducing thermal requirements. The planned infrastructure includes an oversized crushing circuit to facilitate a processing rate of more than 1.5Mtpa (against current throughput rate of 1Mtpa), allowing the operational flexibility in this area for an optimised match up of the renewable energy demand to the renewable energy resource.

Bellevue managing director Steve Parsons said EDL had a highly successful track record of designing and implementing hybrid power station micro-grids across Australia.

“EDL is a leader in hybrid off-grid power stations,” he said. “Its skills and experience will help ensure we maximise the use of renewable energy at the Bellevue Gold Project.”

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).
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