ONTARIO – Barrick Gold’s Hemlo mine 350 km east of Thunder Bay has been recognized for its innovative energy conservation program by Natural Resources Canada. The mine received a Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation (CIPEX) leadership award for a project that reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 24% and lowered energy consumption by 10% between 2013 and 2015.
Hemlo drove down energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by optimizing its underground ventilation system. Ventilation on demand was installed in select areas of the mine. A new full-time position was created to manage fans that are not connected to the on demand system. And the geothermal properties of the mine were tapped to help manage air temperatures underground.
By optimizing the ventilation system, energy consumption has fallen to 86.1 kWh/tonne of ore in 2015 from 96.7 kWh/tonne two years earlier. By the end of 2016, consumption is expected to drop further, to 73.2 kWh/tonne – a 24% decrease compared to 2013.
Hemlo also has a comprehensive energy management program that takes a continuous improvement approach. Overall energy costs – electricity, diesel fuel, propane and explosives – fell to $26 million in 2015 from $31 million in 2014 – an 18% drop.
This story appeared in Barrick’s Beyond Borders magazine and can be read at www.BarrickBeyondBorders.com.