This case study was originally published by Beca at https://www.beca.com/what-we-do/projects/industrial/oceana-gold-energy-transition-acceleration-study
New Zealand’s largest gold producer OceanaGold are determined to reduce emissions at their Macraes mine in Central Otago. And Beca are right beside them, developing an Energy Transition Acceleration study that provides a pathway to a greener future.
Producing over 172,000 oz of gold per annum and employing more than 600 people, the Macraes Operation north of Dunedin is New Zealand’s largest and a key operational asset in OceanaGold’s broader portfolio.
As participants in the New Zealand government’s ETA (Energy Transition Accelerator) program, OceanaGold are focussed on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at their Macraes site to not only improve the sustainability of their product, but also reduce their energy costs.
That’s where Beca entered the picture. As programme partners with the ETA, our Industrial Sustainability and Engineering teams worked closely with OceanaGold management to develop an Energy Transition Accelerator Study that identified a practical emissions reduction pathway for their business.
Key opportunities for reducing their GHG emissions include harnessing:
- Waste heat recovery
- Fuel switching
- Solar lighting towers
- Electric elution hot water heating
- Battery-powered electric trucks (to transport ore around the mine), and
- Electrification of excavators
Taken together, these practical abatement measures can reduce emissions from the Macraes goldmine by a substantial 37%, whilst additional measures – such as the use of renewable energy sources on site could increase this figure to 59%.
With this study now complete, Beca are ready to support OceanaGold in implementing the identified recommendations over coming years – with some of these options also applicable to their Waihi mine on the North Island.
Suddenly, the future is looking golden!