Producer Nordgold has brought new power to its Lefa mine, one of the largest gold operations in Guinea, with the launch of a new 33-megawatt power plant.
The US$30 million project was designed and constructed by Chinese manufacturer and service company SUMEC, part of the China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH). The heavy fuel oil (HFO) facility replaces a prior facility at the site; the new build will reduce both fuel consumption for electricity production by 15% and engine oil by 30%.
Nordgold said the plant will allow it to record a 17,000-ton reduction of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which is part of the company’s climate change objectives and its commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Hyundai Heavy Industries provided the power plant’s main generating equipment.
“The power plant will enable a significant reduction in operating costs, in addition to enhancing the stability of the electricity supply for over 15 years Lefa’s life of mine,” the company said. “Moreover, the installation of the latest fire detection systems will increase employee safety.”
New power plant manager Brian Nel confirmed the project was brought online in an ambitious 18 months.
“We have achieved this success despite the challenging times of a global pandemic,” he said. “The power plant enables us to both decrease greenhouse gas emissions and provide sustainable power generation for our Lefa mine, supporting potential expansion of the mine’s resources in the region. We remain committed to investing in Guinea and to deliver knowledge transfer on advanced technology into Africa.”
Nordgold, founded in 2007, acquired the Lefa mine in 2010. It has an operating portfolio of eight mines in Russia, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Kazakhstan along with a number of development and exploration projects in Russia, West Africa and the Americas.