Energy and Mines


60 Second Interview – The Challenges of Powering a Remote Mine

60 Second Interview – The Challenges of Powering a Remote Mine
January 28
13:04 2015
dominic duffy

Dominic Duffy

The Cerro Bayo gold and silver mine in Southern Chile is operated by Mandalay Resources. The mine is remote from the grid and has traditionally powered its operations with diesel gensets.

In this 60-second interview with Mandalay COO, Dominic Duffy, we gain some insight on the challenges of powering this remote mine site and hear about an innovative solution to reduce diesel consumption by deploying wind turbines

Mandalay worked with UK company Rame Energy on this project. To view  a video presentation from Pieter Dhaen of Rame Energy on this project fill in the form and click the link below.  This project is innovative and unique as the parties agreed on a five year PPA for the wind energy.

Energy and Mines: What are the main challenges related to powering your mining operations?

Dominic Duffy: Being so remote there is no mains power available for the Cerro Bayo operation thus all power has been self-generated by diesel generators. This is obviously an expensive and not so environmentally friendly generation process. As the power houses have aged the efficiencies have also decreased which has continued to increase the generation costs. The plan has always been to improve the generation efficiencies although the financial decision to outlay large capital for major power generation improvements had been hampered by the relatively short reserve mine life not being long enough to cover the major capital outlay. Although with the significant reserve increases over recent years the mine life of the operation has increased enough so that the financial decision to outlay upfront capital or have a third party invest in a more efficient and environmentally friendly generation method is now very feasible.

Energy and Mines: How are you addressing these challenges?

Dominic Duffy: It is being addressed in three stages,

1. Installing an efficient environmentally friendly Renewable Energy source (in this case wind generation) to take a % of the power generation

2. Upgrade the existing powerhouses with more efficient generators and

3. Continue to investigating the alternative of a small hydroelectric plant to take even more of the diesel generation load

Energy and Mines: Which technologies or solutions are you interested in hearing about?

Dominic Duffy: Wind generation and hydroelectricity

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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.