South African miner Tharisa has signed a deal with renewable energy developer Total Eren and African energy company Chariot to build a 40 MW solar PV project to power its mining operations as more of the country’s heavy industry turns to solar .
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) envisages Total Eren and Chariot to develop, finance, build, own, operate and maintain the plant, which will power Tharisa’s namesake metal mine in northern South Africa.
This is a precursor to the signing of a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to supply electricity on a take-or-pay basis, Tharisa said in a statement, adding that demand over the next 50 years is expected to increase the mine’s useful life.
“Projects such as solar development are achievable with the commitment of our company and our partners in this joint venture,” said Tebogo Matsimela, head of Tharisa ESG, challenging other players in the mining industry to do more.
The news follows recent announcements by the mining industry in South Africa and abroad that the industry seeks to decarbonize its operations. In November, South African mining said it would deploy 3.9GW of renewable energy and storage after utility Eskom called for more action from the industry.
In October 2021, Eskom signed a memorandum of understanding with mining companies Exxaro and Seriti Resources to deploy solar photovoltaic power at their mines.
Meanwhile, Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto is looking to deploy an additional 6GW of solar and wind power in Australia as part of a new plan to cut its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.
In the U.S., gold mining group Newmont said it will invest $500 million over the next few years in solar and wind technologies in an effort to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Complete News Source : PVTECH