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Gold producer Pan African Resources taps juwi for R140m solar plant

The 9.975 MW solar facility will supply power to Pan African Resources’ Evander Mines

Gold producer Pan African Resources has appointed juwi Renewable Energies South Africa as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for its R140 million, 9.975 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant. The solar facility will supply power to Pan African Resources’ Evander Mines.

Construction of the solar PV facility will commence early next year, with first power expected to be produced as early as the third quarter of 2021.

This plant will be one of the first of its kind in the South African mining space

Cobus Loots, Pan African Resources CEO

The solar energy plant will provide an estimated 30% of the Elikhulu Tailings Retreatment Plant’s power requirement during daylight hours and is expected to materially reduce electricity costs at this operation. The system will use bi-facial module technology to maximise its yield and it will be built on previously disturbed land owned by Evander Mines.

The solar plant to improve reliability of energy supply

The commissioning of the plant will be crucial in improving the reliability of energy supply for Pan African Resources’ Elikhulu tailings operations. The clean power from the solar facility will eliminate 26,000 tons of carbon emissions in the first year of operations. The Elikhulu tailings treatment plant is fully automated and processes about 1,2 million tonnes of tailings from slime dams at Kinross, Leslie/Bracken and Winkelhaak.

“The Evander Mines solar PV plant is integral to the group’s purpose of mining for a future and pursuing environmental, social and governance initiatives that go beyond compliance” added Cobus Loots, CEO of Pan African Resources.

Read more: juwi Switches on Waterloo solar plant

Potential expansion of the plant in future 

Pan African Resources says it is also looking at potentially expanding the Evander Mines solar PV plant so it can provide clean energy to its other operations at the Egoli Project. The mining company will also look at building a solar PV system for its Barberton Mines.

The company is expecting to produce about 97 000 oz of gold for the six months to December 31. It remains on track to meet its production guidance of about 190 000 oz for the full 2021 financial year.

The COO of Pan African Resources, Andre van den Bergh will go on retirement with effect from January 1, after having been with the group for 46 years.

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