Renewable microgrid tech underpinning Gold Fields’ decarbonisation in Australia

16th November 2022

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


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JOHANNESBURG ( – Renewable microgrid technology is underpinning the delivery of the decarbonisation targets of Gold Fields in Australia, Mining Weekly can report.

From a 2016 baseline, the Johannesburg- and New York-listed gold mining company is targeting halving of Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

Regarding tailings management, active upstream raised tailings storage facilities are to be reduced from five to three by 2030.

At that point, 80% of water must be reused and, from a 2018 baseline, 45% less fresh water must be used.

Further along the environmental, social and governance (ESG) route, the company led by CEO Chris Griffith wants six projects that will benefit host communities to be under way.

At Gold Fields’ Agnew mine, 18 MW of wind energy and 4 MW of solar power has taken the electricity provided by renewable energy to 54% and there has been a 42% net reduction in diesel and electricity emissions.

The Granny Smith and Gruyere mines still have a way to go. The renewable energy fraction at Granny Smith is down at 9%, with a net emission reduction of 7%, very similar to Gruyere’s 10% renewable electricity fraction and 7% emissions reduction.

To hit the 50% emissions reduction by 2030 will potentially require capital expenditure of A$900-million over eight years for a lot more soar, wind and electricity storage.

Zero emissions vehicle trials to replace diesel have begun at the St Ives and Granny Smith mines, with the capital cost of these being up to twice the price of conventional vehicles and some needing recharging after two loads.

Aboriginal representation is at a low 3.6%.

Australia is now producing 44% of Gold Fields’ 1.2-million ounces, West Africa 32%, South Africa 12%, and Peru 11%.

It is the implementation of renewable microgrid technology that is helping the company to achieve its 2030 decarbonisation targets.

Exploration is delivering year-on-year growth of reserves. For the last six years, Gold Fields has invested A$80-million to A$100-million a year to replace and grow reserves at a conversion cost of A$62/oz.

Free cash flow in 2021 was A$619-million from the mines in Australia, which has life-of-mine visibility at all mines of more than ten years with resource conversion and extension targets.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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