Canadian Mining Journal

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GOLD: Iamgold, partners to develop solar power at Essakane mine



BURKINA FASO – Toronto-based Iamgold has partnered up with EREN Renewable Energy and Essakane Solar to develop 15 MW of solar power capacity this year for Iamgold’s Essakane gold mine in this African country. The agreement is for an initial period of 15 years.

The Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso produces about 400,000 oz. a year.

The new 15 MW solar farm will complement the existing 58 MW heavy fuel oil power plant. The savings are estimated to be 6 million litres of fuel per year plus a reduction of 18,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The project will also generate 40 new jobs. Further phases may be built in the future.

The Essakane mine produces about 400,000 oz. of gold per year. Since 2013, the operation has transitioned to harder ore. Energy consumption was 26 GWh/month in 2015, up significantly from 14 GWh/month in 2013.

“Hybrid power systems enable energy intensive industries, such as mines, to reduce fuel consumption, decrease energy costs, protect against fuel price volatility, as well as improve their social and environmental footprint by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and boosting local employment,” commented Iamgold president and CEO Steve Letwin. “Iamgold is already well on its way to increase the proportion of renewables to 15% of its total energy needs within three to five years.”

Learn more about all of Iamgold’s global operations at www.Iamgold.com.