African transitional energy group Chariot and renewable independent power producer Total Eren have inked a memorandum of understanding for the placement and operation of a photovoltaic project to power the Tharisa PGM mine at the Bushveld Complex in South Africa.
The system will initially be 40 MWp but will rise as demands increase over the mine’s life; it is expected to satisfy all of the operation’s energy needs throughout.
The companies’ scope of work includes development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of the plant at the North West Province site.
“This is the first step towards implementation of the project and signing of a long-term power purchase agreement [PPA] for the supply of electricity on a take-or-pay basis,” the miner said.
Benoit Garrivier, Chariot Transitional Power CEO, commented: “The Tharisa team are very forward looking and understand that the addition of a solar PV project at their mine in South Africa will bring significant benefits to the business. Together with Total Eren, we are excited to start working on the financing and development of the project.”
Added Tebogo Matsimela, head of ESG at Tharisa: “The solar power solution provided by Total Eren is but one of several steps we are taking to ensure our flagship Tharisa mine, which has a life of mine of over 50 years, has a reduced carbon footprint. Our goal is to reduce our carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and ultimately become net carbon neutral by 2050.”
Tharisa, which focuses on platinum group metals as well as chrome concentrates, was incorporated in Cypress. According to the company’s data, the mine’s open-pit resources have a life of mine of two decades, and underground operations will add at least 40 more years.