Solar energy is becoming attractive for mining investors to reduce operational costs and environmental impact. Orezone Gold Corporation is the latest mining company in Africa to opt for solar energy as an energy supply source for its mining operations. The gold producer signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Genser Energy Burkina S.A. for the supply of clean energy electrical power at its Bomboré Gold Project, located in Burkina Faso.
The system will consist of 14MWp solar plant, hybridised with LNG power generators, with an 11kV powerline to connect gas and backup diesel generators. The Bomboré project will be the first mine in Burkina Faso to use solar and LNG to power its operations.
We are extremely excited to be the first mine in Burkina Faso to use a LNG and solar hybrid power supplyPatrick Downey, President & CEO of Orezone
The hybrid energy system will consist of six 2.5MW LNG generators with four 2.6MW diesel back-up units. This configuration is sized for the initial oxide operation and the planned sulphide expansion.
A fixed rate energy tariff will apply over the life-of-mine (LOM) oxide operation with a fixed rate tariff to be negotiated for the additional energy demand upon commissioning of the sulphide processing circuit expected in Year 3 of commercial production.
A first for Burkina Faso
“Besides being an excellent cost-effective choice for Bomboré, we also see this new power solution as being a very positive step for the Burkina Faso mining and electricity generating sectors. LNG power systems, coupled with solar, will enable energy intensive industries such as mining to reduce fuel consumption, decrease energy costs, and significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions,” said Patrick Downey, President & CEO of Orezone Gold Corporation.
Genser will design, permit, finance, and install all power generating equipment and associated infrastructure including LNG storage and diesel storage terminals. The company will also own and operate the plant.
“We are very pleased to partner with Genser, an internationally recognized power provider, in this landmark arrangement. We would also like to thank the Government of Burkina Faso and the Minister of Mines and Energy for their guidance and assistance in this process,” added Patrick Downey.
“This LOM fixed cost agreement for clean energy from Genser provides power cost certainty over LOM oxide production at Bomboré and provides an excellent platform for project expansion and growth”
The Minister of Mines and Energy for Burkina Faso, Dr. Bachir Ismael Ouedraogo, stated, “Having the first LNG plant at a mining operation is a great step forward for the industry and we congratulate Orezone in this regard. As a government, we continue to support clean energy alternatives that provide a platform for sustainable growth and benefits our communities.”