Energy and Mines


Public Commitments to Renewable Energy by Mining Companies

Public Commitments to Renewable Energy by Mining Companies
September 25
11:04 2014

What is the potential market size for renewables in the mining sector?

In their 2013 report, Navigant Research estimated that less than 0.1% of  the 400 TWh annual power consumption of  the mining industry was generated by non-conventional renewable energy (i.e. renewables excluding large hydro) but forecast this to increase to between 5 and 8% by 2022.

In a broader, global energy  context, the worldwide mining industry currently consumes 8% to 12% of global primary energy. This is expected to reach 15% to 20% by 2035. The International Energy Agency forecasts that by 2035, global energy demand will increase by one-third, while the share of fossil fuels in the world’s energy mix will fall from 82% to 76%. Renewable energy will account for nearly half of this increase in global power generation. The worldwide mining industry will therefore need to develop between 800GW and 1500GW of new renewable energy capacity.

These projections suggest a potential large opportunity for the renewable energy sector if they can deliver energy solutions that meet mines’ needs. But which mining companies are looking at renewables and why? Below are a list of the public statements of commitment to renewable energy  – either through interviews or company reports – by some of the speakers at the upcoming Renewables and Mining Summit and Exhibition. If you know of any more  examples drop me a note and we will update this post (


Barrick Gold

 “In 2012, 19.4% of our electrical power, both self-generated and purchased, was sourced from renewables. We continue to look for additional clean energy opportunities wherever we operate. Going forward, we are partnering with the Argentinean government to develop a geothermal plant near the Veladero operation. This project, if successful, could potentially displace two thirds of the diesel presently used at Veladero. We are also investigating the potential of increasing our solar energy footprint in all regions.”  2012 Corporate Responsibility Sustainability Report

Details of current renewables projects and projects under consideration detailed in this presentation by Scott Fraser, Director of Power Projects, Barrick Gold


In the summer of 2014, we will build wind energy storage facilities and an Enercon wind turbine. If successful, the second stage will see the construction of 3 to 5 wind turbines during 2016.” View details of the Glencore project and approach by downloading this interview with Glencore’s Raglan Mine Director of Strategy, Projects and Public Affairs, Jean-Francois Verret.


“In the next three-to-five years, I’d like to see 15 percent of our power generated by renewables.” Steve Letwin, CEO, IAMGOLD

Read a strategy interview with IAMGOLD CEO Steve Letwin here and details of their Suriname Rosbel mine site solar project here

Teck Resources

“We have set a 2015 goal of 30 megawatts of alternative energy generation and set a 2030 goal to expand that portfolio to 100 MW.” – Teck Sustainability site.

“We are taking a very systematic  approach to the use of alternative energy. This starts with prioritizing those sources of alternative energy that have the biggest impact. Terry Brace, Energy Leader, Teck Resources (Renewables and Mining Industry Report 2013)


“We see renewables starting to play a larger role in our energy equation because in many of the regions where we operate renewables can now compete with grid prices. We’re looking at options for wind and solar, primarily in Central and South America.” Flyn McCarthy, Corporate Energy Manager, Goldcorp in recent article

Goldcorp has a company-wide energy strategy that includes a five-year plan which targets a 15% increase in energy efficiency; 20% emissions reduction and 5% of energy from renewable by 2016. (2011 Sustainability report)


“Our number one opportunity is solar energy in our Tanami, Australia operations. We’d like to put in an 8-10 megawatt plant there.”

“What we need are partnerships with international power companies that can construct and operate local power plants in developing countries.”

“We don’t want to build our own power plants. We have in the past, but going forward we want partners that will build the power plants, supply our needs for a new mine, and leverage those monies available to enhance the economies of these developing countries or provide renewable energy for developing countries.”

Mike Aire, Environment Director, Newmont Mining in this recent article.

Anglo American

We are investigating, among other things, several proposals from potential IPPs. These include a 20-MW photo-voltaic plant, a 15-MW biomass plant, and several wind-generation options.” Details of renewable energy commitments can be found at the Anglo American energy site


We continue efforts to quantify viable renewable energy resources at our sites. Since we first began our Renewable and Alternative Energy working group in 2004, Kinross has evaluated several potential opportunities, and will continue to review opportunities as we develop our projects.

Currently evaluating opportunities for mine projects in Chile and Mauritania (solar), Ecuador and Brazil (Hydro), Ghana (biomass). (Further details in the 2011 Sustainability Report)





About Author

Andrew Slavin

Andrew Slavin

I am one of the directors of Energy and Mines and am also the curator of this site. I have been involved with B2B communications for the last 18 years including publications, conferences, think tanks and reports.