The provision and management of energy in both fuel and electricity forms is an increasingly important consideration for mines. Pressures from communities, governments and markets are increasing towards more transparent and improved energy management. Combined with the energy-water nexus, where water and energy are closely related in the operation of a mine, this emerging business climate means a more thorough and responsible approach is required for the acquisition and use of energy, as well as the release of emissions.
Many of the complexities in potential new ore bodies are borne in remote locations, high altitudes, low grades, arid climates and deep deposits. Each of these challenges affects the successful provision of energy. In combination, such challenges can leave an operation seemingly unviable from an energy perspective, especially when approached from a traditional mining energy feasibility lens.
This paper discusses some of the energy alternatives currently available and emerging in the mining industry. Both energy supply and demand options are considered, which can provide a very different energy footprint with the flexibility to address, and potentially overcome, major energy challenges for a mine.
Ziemski, M, 2018. Energy complexities in complex orebodies, in Proceedings Complex Orebodies Conference 2018, pp 106–111 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).