Construction will begin this month on a solar-photovoltaic array to power the Degrussa mine in Western Australia.
Sandfire Resources has partnered with German company Juwi Renewable Energy to build more than 34,000 solar array panels which will power the world-class remote copper operation.
The 10.6MW off-the-grid power station is a $40 million project, which will integrate with the existing 20MW diesel power station.
The total solar array will cover an area of 20 hectares, equivalent to 11 Melbourne Cricket Grounds.
Emissions from the diesel power station are expected to reduce by 20 per cent, or 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, thanks to daytime reliance on the solar array.
Sandfire chief operating officer Michael Speadborough told the ABC he hoped their move to sustainable energy would encourage other miners to invest in renewables.
“We've had extreme interest from many of our peers to understand the reasons we're doing this work and how we're going about it,” he said.
“So I think you will see an acceleration of the Australian mining industry looking at renewable energy.”