Upon completion, the project will mitigate 22,000 tons per year of carbon emissions while saving Pan African Resources approximately R26 million in costs during the first year of operation, and thereafter, R40 million per year over the facility’s 25-year lifespan.
Financed through ring-fenced debt, proposals have already been submitted by interested parties, with finalization expected by June 2023. The early works phase of the project is nearing completion, spearheaded by JUWI Renewable Energies. This stage comprised facility design and studies associated with EPC design and cost estimates. Additionally, all the relevant permits and approvals have been obtained including environmental authorization and registration from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.
Pan African Resources has also signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with pan-African independent power producer Sturdee Energy. The PPA will see the gold producer purchase electricity from a proposed 40MW solar facility located at Bela Bela in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. Covering a period of ten years, with the option to extend the contract for an additional five years, the PPA will come into effect once the project has been completed in 2025. The project will be connected to state utility Eskom’s national grid, supplying power to any of Pan African Resources mining operations.
Financed by third party financial institutions, the solar facility will provide Pan African Resources with approximately 112,399 MWh of electricity per year, saving the company an estimated R646 million in costs over the ten-year period and up to R884 million over the 15-year period. To date, the facility has secured all relevant permits required for construction including environmental authorization, the water use license and rezoning approvals. Meanwhile, Pan African Resources announced that it is progressing with the feasibility study for the expansion of a solar facility located at the company’s Evander Mine. The expansion will see capacity increase at the 10MW facility by an additional 12MW, supplying the mine’s long-life 24, 25 and 26 level projects.
The company has also progressed with a feasibility study for the development of a solar facility at its Mogale Tailings Retreatment Plant. With these developments, the company will generate up to 28% of its power from renewable energy resources, resulting in the reduction of approximately 137,000 tons of emissions annually.
“Our solar PV renewable energy initiatives are key components in progressing Pan African’s renewable energy strategy and in achieving our sustainability targets. In addition to measurably reducing the group’s carbon emissions, these projects will assist in stabilizing the electricity supply to our operations while also realizing commensurate cost savings that will assist in reducing our overall AISC per ounce of production in the longer term,” stated Cobus Loots, CEO of Pan African Resources.