POWER

Pan African Resources commissions solar plant

Pan African is completing a feasibility study to expand the plant to 12MW

The solar plant will power the Elikhulu surface treatment operations

The solar plant will power the Elikhulu surface treatment operations

Pan African Resources has commissioned a 10MW at its Evander gold mine, the first of its kind to be commissioned by a mine in South Africa, the company said.

Construction of the plant cost US$9.4 million, with a payback period of less than five years.

The PV plant will provide 30% of power required for its Elikhulu surface retreatment operations, and will reduce electricity costs.

Sourcing electricity is a top priority for miners in South Africa, given the country's uneven power provisions and rolling blackouts.

"In addition to CO2 emission reductions, the PV plant has the added benefits of providing a secure and stable power supply, while at the same time ensuring we manage future cost pressures resulting from above-inflation electricity tariffs," chief executive Cobus Loots said.

Pan African is completing a feasibility study to expand the plant to 12MW, which will power underground growth projects at Evander. Construction on the underground expansion will begin in 2023.

The company is also planning to build an 8MW solar PV plant at its Barberton mines in 2023, and is also researching battery storage options.

"We will continue with energy independence and decarbonisation initiatives at all our operations, with another 20MW of solar capacity scheduled to be constructed in the next two years," Loots said.

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