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Readers looking at the title photo of this issue of Mining Report Glückauf may wonder whether this is really the mining journal they have become accustomed to. And the answer is of course “yes”. Renewable energies and mining are not mutually incompatible. Each can benefit from the other and help the other, as demonstrated at Raglan copper and nickel complex in northern Canada, where a set of wind turbines is helping …

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With my best regards // Mit freundlichem Glückauf
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Herne

ISSUE 06/2016

Requirements Related to Renewable Energy Solutions for the Mining Sector

Renewable power options are fairly new to the mining sector and are now just at the beginning of the scaling stage. However, they have gained a lot of momentum in recent years and an increasing number of projects are being realized across the globe and in various climate zones. Nonetheless, the largest share of the overall potential is still untapped – largely due to low electricity or diesel prices and to the on-going low commodity prices that put mine operations under extreme cost saving pressure and don’t allow for any larger upfront investments. Once the current market conditions change it is expected that renewables will see an additional surge in the mining sector.

Authors: Aarti Mona Soerensen, Projektmanagerin Kompetenzzentrum für Bergbau und mineralische Rohstoffe der deutsch-kanadischen Industrie- und Handelskammer, Toronto/Kanada, und Dr. Thomas Hillig, THEnergy Sustainable Consulting, München

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Technology, Processes and People: a Simple Recipe  for the Successful Integration and Operation of Wind  Turbines in Off-Grid Mining Operations

ENERCON GmbH, Aurich/Germany, is a privately-owned manufacturer, constructor and operator of high-performance wind turbines. The company is built on values such as innovation, quality and entrepreneurship; all of which help achieve the goal of providing renewable energy to the world – wherever the need for energy may be. With this vision in mind, ENERCON accepts the challenge of building windfarms in remote and harsh environments such as Antarctica, Caribbean Islands and Northern Canada. This article discusses the factors that contributed to the success of the Diavik and Raglan projects – two projects where wind turbines were integrated to the electrical grid of mining operations in Northern Canada. Despite all the challenges associated with the construction, operations and maintenance of those turbines; performance has exceeded forecasts and financial targets have been attained. Three aspects have made this possible: technology, processes and people.

Authors: Alex Fournier, Bernard Moulins, Eva-Lotta Schmidt, Patrice Godin, Michael Morrow, Felix Rehwald, ENERCON GmbH, Aurich/Germany

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The Cost Savings Potential of Solar Power and Battery Storage for Mining Companies, Taking the Example of the DeGrussa Solar-Diesel Hybrid Off-Grid Project in Australia

In many countries, the cost of solar power is already at about the same level as the cost of power from coal-fired power stations. Especially in comparison with existing diesel power stations, solar power has been able to develop its cost advantages to the full as a result of the continuous fall in system costs. As a decentralized source of energy, solar power stations can also be installed at almost any remote location. This makes them economical especially for energy-intensive industries such as the raw materials industry, with facilities located at a considerable distance from mains power grids. The DeGrussa project implemented by the juwi Group in Australia shows how a solar farm with battery storage can be integrated into the existing diesel generator network of a copper mine and demonstrates the cost savings potential that can be realized.

Author: Felix Wächter, M. A., Pressesprecher der juwi AG, Wörrstadt/Germany

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Sun Instead of Diesel: The Largest PV Diesel Hybrid System in South Africa Supplies a Chrome Ore Mine

Electricity generated from photovoltaic (PV) systems can mean a great deal to mining industries who either have limited or no grid access at all. For companies that rely on a diesel power supply, a PV plant can reduce fuel consumption and thus operating expenditures dramatically. Grid connected facilities could also profit from an additional renewable power supply as it provides a solution for well-known intermittent rolling blackouts or so called load-shedding, of which major parts of South Africa are currently suffering.

In 2012 Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH (CRMPS), Unterhaching/Germany, in collaboration with SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA), Niestetal/Germany, completed the first project combining diesel generators and PV systems at a chrome ore mine in the off-grid region in the South African province Limpopo. With the hybrid system, the mining operator now saves 450,000 l of diesel fuel and 2,000 t of CO2 per year, making it a showcase project for mining applications all over the world where logistics are challenging and where grid power is frequently either unavailable or unreliable.

Authors: Volker Wachenfeld, Executive Vice President (EVP) Business Unit Off-Grid & Storage, SMA Solar Technology AG, Niestetal, und Rollie Armstrong, Geschäftsführer Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH (CRMPS), Unterhaching

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Current Examples of Renewable Energy Use in the Chilean Mining Industry

The mining sector represents the largest source of revenues and the most important sector of Chile´s economy. At the same time the Chilean mining sector is the largest of the country’s industrial energy consumers. The share of energy costs in the total operating costs of Chilean mining operations is between 20 and 40 % and therefore represents a significant factor influencing business profitability. This context has made mine operators increasingly aware of the need for efficient energy supplies. On a political level, the 2050 Energy Agenda – an ambitious Chilean government energy program – sets important political points to drive energy prices down. One of the main long term goals of the program is to increase the share of renewable energy in the national energy mix to 70 % by 2050.

Authors: Laura Bischoff, Johanna Summereder, Kompetenzzentrum Bergbau und Rohstoffe der Deutsch-Chilenischen Industrie- und Handelskammer (CAMCHAL), Santiago/Chile

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Coal 2016 – Still Dependable in a Changing World

This year’s Annual Report of the German Coal Association (GVSt), Herne/Germany, is entitled “Still dependable in a changing world”. This reflects not only the fact that all the industry’s agreements and commitments are being kept but also that reliability is the defining theme for the end of the coal mining industry in general and for the future tasks that will result from it. The publication focuses the actual situation in the German coal mining industry, the national and global operating environments, developments in the environmental and climate policy relating to the coal mining industry and discusses the national and international background conditions. In addition, the GVSt report picks up RAG´s actual and prospective responsibility for the coal regions. The report can be downloaded from the GVSt website: www.gvst.de

Author: R. A. Michael Weberink, Hauptgeschäftsführer, Gesamtverband Steinkohle e. V., Herne

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