Holistic Energy Management Across the Mine Site

Published: January 11,2024

About the Project

This project aims to help the industry address challenges around energy management.

Meeting the net-zero goal successfully relies on operationalizing best practices. While many companies are setting net-zero goals, it’s clear that the main concern across the industry has to do with implementation, and a common challenge around this involves energy management.

Key Topics and Considerations

Looking at energy management holistically includes considering:

  • Managing the whole lifecycle across the mine from generation to regeneration for all energy types
  • Linking industry needs to opportunities and technology requirements
  • Energy Strategy and Energy Mix: Methods to optimize the entire operation, not just for electricity, but for heat fuel processing that would typically be used in a vehicle and looking at different energy sources and transferring those sources effectively to electricity
  • Common language around treating energy as an asset
  • Emerging technologies from other industries and how they could apply to mining
  • How to transfer energy to larger haul trucks
  • Identifying the different requirements and solutions for different types of mines
  • Identifying which decarbonization pathways are common or specific
  • Technology readiness options and enabling technologies
  • New mine adaptations as new technology is introduced and how to retrofit and adjust or redesign

A holistic approach to energy management involves viewing energy as an asset rather than a commodity. This means, to understand energy management, it needs to be managed across the whole lifecycle of the mine from generation to regeneration.

As the industry moves towards decarbonization and reducing the amount of fossil fuels being used, there is going to be a significant increase in the amount of electricity or any alternative types of energy needed. It is important to understand the work required on the process of planning and optimizing the energy that will be used.

The approach the industry can take to be more sustainable can start with mapping out energy management strategies and looking at all the aspects around energy that are impacting mining. Proper energy management can help with not only meeting net-zero goals, but also help to optimize the mine and make the implementation of new technologies more operationally efficient and cost-effective.

The objective is to develop a guideline taking a holistic approach and looking at all the different aspects of the mine and identifying energy management strategies. The development of the guideline will be a collaborative effort to guide the industry on energy management considerations and how it can support sustainability efforts.

  • High energy consumption: Mining is a very energy-intensive industry, and energy costs can be a significant portion of a mining company’s operating expenses. This means that there is a strong economic incentive to reduce energy consumption, but it can be challenging to do so while maintaining productivity and adopting new electric technologies which might require even more energy.
  • Limited access to reliable and affordable clean energy: Many mining operations are located in remote areas with limited access to reliable and affordable clean energy sources. This can make it difficult to transition away from fossil fuels and toward more sustainable energy sources.
  • Regulatory requirements: Mining operations are subject to a variety of environmental regulations, which can make it difficult to implement new energy management strategies and technologies.
  • Limited technical knowledge: The mining industry may not have the technical expertise necessary to implement new strategies and technologies. This can make it difficult to identify the most effective solutions and that they are implemented correctly.

A holistic energy management guideline can provide a framework for mining companies to address the key challenges related to energy management and decarbonization.

By providing a guideline that looks at how the whole system connects, the industry can identify areas where they can improve their energy management practices and adopt new technologies and methods to achieve sustainability goals.

A holistic approach can consider not just the technical and economic aspects of energy management, but the social and environmental implications, making a more equitable transition to a sustainable future for all stakeholders.

We’re looking for:

  • Participants to contribute expertise and knowledge as subject matter experts
  • Members to join the steering committee to lead the project.

Contact us here.

Watch Chih-Ting Lo, Co-chair of the Sustainability Working Group and Founder and Principal at EELO Solutions present the Holistic Energy Management Across the Mine Site Project here.

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