Archive | Mining Power Issues

Failure of Eskom to be “the death knell” of SA mining sector, says Exxaro’s Mgojo – by David McKay (MiningMX.com – January 15, 2020)

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EXXARO Resources CEO, Mxolisi Mgojo, said that without a properly functioning power utility company – Eskom – South Africa’s mining industry would cease to function.

“The current state of Eskom is going to be the one thing that is going to be the death knell of this industry,” Mgojo was cited by Bloomberg News to have said in an article republished by Yahoo Finance. Mgojo is also the president of the Minerals Council South Africa.

Mgojo was commenting at a conference organised by Business Unity South Africa, the country’s largest business lobby group. “Without fixing Eskom we don’t have a mining industry. It is as dire as that.” Continue Reading →

South Africa’s mining industry calls for action to end power crisis (Reuters U.S. – January 13, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s mining industry body on Monday urged the government to bring on stream new private sector power sources to ease the power crisis that has pushed the country to the brink of recession.

Struggling state-owned utility Eskom was forced to implement power cuts across the country last year and also last week even though many businesses and factories were closed for the holidays.

The power cuts have piled pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa, who came to power with a pledge to revive investor confidence and boost economic growth. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Bringing an end to South Africa’s power struggle – by Sizwe Dlamini (Independent Online – December 17, 2019)

https://www.iol.co.za/

CAPE TOWN – South Africa remains one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world with more than $2.5 trillion (R36.2 trillion) mineral wealth still in situ.

This is according to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, who told delegates at the Africa Down Under event earlier this year that as things stood no country could match South Africa in terms of mineral diversity offerings.

Data from Statistics SA show that South Africa’s mining industry is one of the key economic sectors in the country, contributing about 7.5 percent to gross domestic product (GDP), 30 percent of export earnings, and more than 450 000 direct jobs. Continue Reading →

South African mining revival threatened as power cuts take toll – by Felix Njini (MiningWeekly/Bloomberg – December 12, 2019)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESBURG – When South Africa’s State-owned utility announced record power cuts on Monday afternoon, Impala Platinum Holdings had two hours to hoist thousands of workers from 1 km deep shafts.

The deepening crisis at debt-ridden Eskom Holdings shut down South Africa’s key mining industry for 24 hours, hitting gold and platinum producers that had been enjoying a renaissance on the back of higher metal prices. The rolling blackouts threaten to tip South Africa’s economy into recession and hobble miners already impacted by community protests and xenophobic violence.

Johannesburg-based Implats was ordered to cut electricity usage to 55 MW from about 300 MW, forcing it to reduce power to furnaces by 90% and shutting down refrigeration and compressor plants. Continue Reading →

Palladium Tops $1,900 as South Africa Power Cuts Fuel Supply Woe – by Elena Mazneva and Justina Vasquez (Bloomberg/Yahoo – December 10, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) Palladium surged to a record, topping $1,900 an ounce, after South African mining companies halted operations in response to the country’s power cuts. Platinum also rose.

South Africa, the world’s biggest producer of platinum and No. 2 palladium supplier, faced a sixth day of rolling blackouts Tuesday. State utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. is struggling with breakdowns at plants and heavy rains that have soaked coal used as fuel.

“Tight supply that potentially could get even tighter due to production problems in South Africa helps provide the underlying support,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S. Continue Reading →

Ramaphosa Cuts Short Trip as Power Crisis Grips South Africa – by Paul Vecchiatto and Liezel Hill (Bloomberg/Yahoo – December 11, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short a trip abroad to deal with an escalating crisis at the state power company, as week-long blackouts threaten to tip the economy into recession.

The rand declined the most in a month Tuesday as Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said there’s a high likelihood of power cuts all week and mining companies including Sibanye Gold Ltd., the world’s biggest platinum producer, temporarily halted operations. Vodacom Group Ltd., the nation’s biggest mobile operator, said the outages are disrupting its service.

Ramaphosa returned from Egypt, having terminated his trip a day early to “attend to urgent domestic priorities,” the presidency said in a statement. Eskom management will brief the president on Wednesday morning on “plans to mitigate and resolve the current electricity crisis,” it said. Continue Reading →

South African mines grind to halt as floods worsen power crisis – by Helen Reid (Reuters U.S. – December 10, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Mines across South Africa are shutting down after flash flooding caused the largest power blackouts in more than a decade, threatening a key export sector in a further blow to the country’s already slowing economy.

Heavy rains across parts of South Africa have submerged whole neighborhoods, leading to mass evacuations and aggravating problems at state-owned utility Eskom, which has been struggling to keep the lights on since 2008.

Harmony Gold, Impala Platinum, and Sibanye-Stillwater all said they had been forced to cut production since Monday owing to power shortages. “There are very few underground mines that operated overnight and will be operating normally today,” said a spokesman for the Minerals Council, an industry body. Continue Reading →

Nfld. & Labrador: Nalcor building $22M transmission line to Labrador mining project (CBC News – August 19, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/

The provincial and federal governments announced new funding Friday for a project to provide hydroelectricity to a mining operation in western Labrador.

The province’s Department of Natural Resources said Nalcor will build a new terminal station and a 27-kilometre transmission line from the Menihek Hydroelectric Generating Station’s existing line to the Tata Steel processing site.

The transmission line will enable Tata Steel to reduce the mine’s diesel consumption by up to 40 per cent. Lisa Dempster, minister of municipal affairs and environment, says her department prioritized the project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging resource development in Labrador. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Zimbabwe faces worst power cuts in 3 years, mines hit (Reuters Africa – May 13, 2019)

https://af.reuters.com/

HARARA, May 13 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s state power utility imposed the worst rolling blackouts in three years on Monday, with households and industries including mines set to be without electricity for up to eight hours daily.

The power cuts are bound to stoke mounting public anger against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government as Zimbabweans grapple with an economic crisis that has seen shortages of U.S. dollars, fuel, food and medicines as well as soaring inflation that is eroding earnings and savings.

Many Zimbabweans say life is getting harder and that Mnangagwa is failing to deliver on pre-election promises last year to rebuild an economy shattered during Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule. Continue Reading →

Sudbury: Ontario hears from mining executives about electricity prices (CBC News Sudbury – May 6, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

Consultation sessions recently held in Sudbury

Some mining officials say the key to mining success in Ontario is keeping electricity prices competitive.

On Friday, consultation sessions were held in Sudbury between industry stakeholders and the provincial government. Markham MPP Paul Calandra and Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano, parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, met with mining officials.

“We want to hear first hand from the mining sector on how we can improve our electricity system to make businesses more competitive,” Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford said. Continue Reading →

Ontario changes regulations on who pays to upgrade power lines (CBC News Thunder Bay – April 15, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/

Changes approved by the Ontario Energy Board could make upgrades to power lines across the province cheaper for industries setting up shop in far-flung parts of the province.

The OEB recently overhauled the rules on who pays for the upgrades to power lines. Previously, if industry required a line to be upgraded, it would bear the full cost of the upgrade. Now, a company only has to pay a portion of the upgrade.

Iain Angus, the co-chair of the energy task force with Common Voice Northwest, said one example is an upgrade needed on the power line to Greenstone. Continue Reading →

Mines could go nuclear in less than 10 years – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – March 15, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Historic panel talks “reliable, clean and cost-effective” energy being researched partly in Sudbury

Nuclear power is grabbing the attention of the mining industry, to the point where there is a real possibility there could be portable reactors powering mines in less than 10 years.

That was the news delivered at a first-of-its-kind panel discussion at the Prospectors and Developers Association’s (PDAC) annual convention, in Toronto on March 3.

The panel included Vic Pakalnis, president and CEO of Sudbury-based Mirarco, which is part of development of the technology to create small modular reactors (SMR); Diane Cameron of Natural Resources Canada; Ryan Blinn of Westinghouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh, Penn.; Corey McDaniel of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in Chalk River, Ont.; Frank Saunders of Bruce Power in Tiverton; and Nathan Tedford from Hatch Ltd. in Mississauga. Continue Reading →

Federal government gives $4.2 million to renewables projects at northern mines – by Kylie Williams (CIM Magazine – January 29, 2019)

https://magazine.cim.org/en/

Wind turbines and compressed air energy storage to displace diesel at Raglan and Hope Bay

The federal government is investing $4.2 million in two renewable energy projects in Quebec and Nunavut to reduce reliance on fossil fuels at mines in Canada’s north.

Both projects will be managed by Tugliq Energy Corporation, a renewable energy company focused on remote regions.

The projects will be funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Energy Innovation Program, said Paul Lefebvre, the parliamentary secretary to Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, at the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia’s (AME) Roundup conference in Vancouver on Monday. Continue Reading →

Mining company optimistic about N.W.T. proposed power expansion – by Richard Gleeson (CBC News Canada North – January 25, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Environmental group says money could be better spent helping communities off the power grid

A company that’s trying to revive mining in the Yellowknife area is optimistic about funding for the Taltson hydroelectric system — the biggest infrastructure project in the Northwest Territories.

“We’re obviously happy to see somebody starting to pay attention to power in the North,” said Joe Campbell, the executive chairman of TerraX Minerals.

The company is exploring 776 square kilometres of land in and around the city. It’s part of the historic Yellowknife greenstone belt that gave rise to the two gold mines — Con and Giant — and supported the city for more than 50 years. Continue Reading →

News Release: First Nations call on Ontario to fix unjust process threatening electrical transmission reliability (January 17, 2019)

Toronto, Ontario – Today, leaders of six First Nations call on the Ontario Government to intervene and fix a broken process created by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and the previous Ontario government that ignores First Nations’ rights and northern development pertaining to a necessary and important electricity transmission project planned for Northern Ontario.

The six First Nations are part of Bamkushwada Limited Partnership (BLP). BLP has developed a relationship with NextBridge, the East-West of the East-West Tie Transmission Project that was awarded Leave to Develop by the OEB in 2012. BLP becomes partnered with NextBridge in ownership of this Project when it goes into operation, providing many millions in business contracting and hundreds of employment opportunities for First Nations, and for northern municipalities.

This transmission line is a priority initiative of the Province of Ontario, needed to ensure the reliability of electrical service to communities in the Northwest. Without the Project in-service by 2020, as has been urgently deemed necessary by the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and the Independent Electricity System Operator, residential and business customers face a higher likelihood of outages and less reliable electricity overall. NextBridge (partnered with BLP) is the only proponent that can build this line in the timelines that are required by Ontario. Continue Reading →