Newcrest Mining intends to run the Cadia gold mine in New South Wales with power sourced from the Rye Park wind farm north of Yass.
The gold miner has agreed to purchase renewable power from the Rye Park wind farm developer, Tilt Renewables, over a period of 15 years.
Newcrest stated that Rye Park would become the largest wind farm directly enabled by a corporate power purchase agreement in Australia.
Expected to move from the development stage into financing and construction, Rye Park is targeted to start operations in January 2024, where Newcrest will contract for more than half (55 per cent) of Rye Park’s planned 400 megawatt output.
This is equivalent to more than 40 per cent of Cadia’s projected energy demand from 2024 and a 20 per cent reduction in Newcrest’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Newcrest managing director Sandeep Biswas said that the new contract would also help the company maintain competitive energy costs.
“This is a critical step in our transition to sustainable energy use at our operations. As part of our climate change policy released last June, we have committed to a significant reduction in emissions intensity, and this agreement is a major step towards delivering on that objective,” Biswas said.
“We continue to explore ways to reduce Cadia’s emissions intensity and our long term aim is to virtually eliminate Cadia’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.”
Tilt Renewables chief executive Deion Campbell said the long-term offtake agreement with Newcrest would underpin the investment decision for its largest wind farm to date.
Should the project receive board approval, construction may start within the next 6-9 months.
At Cadia, Newcrest is planning for a further increase to its processing plant nameplate capacity from 33 million tonnes to 35 million tonnes a year, with the second stage of this development receiving board approval in October.
Biswas said Newcrest would also continue to pursue other initiatives to reduce its emissions intensity at other operating sites.
Newcrest aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.