Gold Road Resources and Gold Fields are installing a renewable energy hybrid microgrid to boost the throughput of their Gruyere gold project joint venture (JV) in Western Australia.
The Gruyere gold mine is a 50:50 JV between Gold Road and Gold Fields and will target 10 million tonnes per annum throughput by boosting the mine’s power capacity to 64 megawatts with the renewable energy microgrid.
The cost of the expansion is expected to be between $32 million and $38 million and will increase Grueyre’s power capacity to 64 megawatts.
Gold Road managing director and chief executive officer Duncan Gibbs said the power expansion will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The power expansion at Gruyere provides an elegant technical solution that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, decreases costs and enables an increase in plant capacity up to a targeted 10 million tonnes per annum from the current nameplate design of 8.2 million tonnes per annum,” he said.
“This will, not only see increased annual cash flow generation for the business, but it will help drive additional unit cost reductions as Gruyere is further defined as a tier one, low cost and long life gold producer.”
Phase 1 of the installation will include a 4-megawatt gas engine which will be finalised by mid-2021, while phase 2 involves the installation of a 13-megawatt solar farm and 4.4-megawatt battery energy storage system by the end of 2021.
Energy and natural gas company APA Group has been awarded a contract to install the energy infrastructure, and will also own and operate the 13-megawatt solar farm and 4.4-megawatt battery energy storage system.
Gold Fields executive vice president Stuart Mathews said the renewable energy microgrid is part of the company’s aim of strengthening its energy security.
“The installation of renewables as part of our total power solution at Gruyere reflects Gold Fields’ strategic objective to strengthen energy security, optimise energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint through the adoption of innovative new technologies,” he said.
The Gruyere gold project has a mineral resource defined as 148 million tonnes at 1.2 grams per tonne for 6.2 million ounces of gold.
It is one of the largest underdeveloped gold deposits in Australia.