Rosh Pinah mine in hefty solar deal

By Hilary Mare

CANADIAN base metals miner Trevali Mining has signed a 15-year renewable power purchase agreement with Emerging Markets Energy Services Company (EMESCO) that will provide 30 percent of the mine’s power from solar and reduce the company’s overall emissions by six percent.
This deal is set to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions at its Rosh Pinah underground zinc-lead mine in south-western Namibia.
The agreement is also expected to reduce energy costs at Rosh Pinah by 18 percent for Trevali over the life of the agreement. The miner will pay a fixed rate for power, with EMESCO taking responsibility for the design, permitting, financing and implementation of the solar energy system on a neighbouring property at no cost to Trevali.
Trevali has committed to reducing its GHG emissions by 25 percent by 2025, compared with a 2018 baseline.
The company is considering an expansion of Rosh Pinah – RP2.0 – from 700 000 t/y to 1.3 million t/y, with a feasibility study expected in the second half of the year. If it moves ahead with the expansion, EMESCO will increase its power delivery so that solar continues to represent 30 percent of the mine’s annual power consumption.
In view of the deal Ricus Grimbeek, Trevali president and CEO said that their sustainability programme commits to significant reductions in GHG emissions, and with the signing of the agreement with EMESCO they have taken a major step towards delivering on their commitment by securing renewable energy while also reducing expected energy costs.
“The agreement with EMESCO has been designed to scale with the output of the mine so that when we are ready to make the decision to build the RP2.0 Expansion project, the delivery of power will increase to match our requirements.
“We are extremely excited by this partnership at Rosh Pinah and continue to study ways to reduce Trevali’s GHG emissions and deliver on this and our other sustainability targets,” Grimbeek said.
Trevali owns a 90 percent stake in Rosh Pinah, with 10 percent held by broad-based and employee empowerment plans.
The Rosh Pinah underground zinc-lead mine and 2 000 tonne per day milling operation is located approximately 800 km south of Windhoek and 20 km north of the Orange River, at the edge of the Namib Desert.
The mine has been in continuous operation since 1969 and currently produces zinc and lead sulphide concentrates containing minor amounts of copper, silver, and gold. The zinc and lead concentrates are transported by road to Luderitz, a port on the Namibian coast, and then shipped to the international spot markets.