African Mining Network

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AMN - MALI: Hybrid power solution for Kobada

African Gold Group (AGG) has formed a partnership with DRA Nexus to build and install a hybrid power solution on its fully permitted Kobada Gold Project in southern Mali. DRA Nexus is a diversified global engineering, project delivery and operations management group.

This landmark installation will enable AGG to increase the environmental sustainability of the Kobada Gold Project, in turn differentiating AGG from its peers and potentially attracting partnership opportunities from green energy funds, socially responsible investment managers, family offices and endowment funds.

The power system will enable significant annual power savings over a conventional thermal power system of more than 22% or $5 million on cost of power.

It will enable AGG to target environmental sustainability through significant pollution reduction:

  • Over 5 million litres of heavy fuel oil (HFO);
  • Over 14 million kg of carbon dioxide emissions;
  • Over 8,000 kg of carbon monoxide emissions;
  • Over 720 kg of unburned hydrocarbons;
  • Over 34,000 kg of sulphur dioxide; and
  • Nearly 62,000 kg of nitrogen oxides.

This solution will provide a standalone project with an 'over-the-fence' power solution for Kobada at a low unit rate of power and will be fully financed through DRA Nexus and SENERGY to deliver a flexible and de-risked solution.

The power requirement will be 11.2 kw/t versus 18-26 kw/t on similar mines in the region.

AGG chief executive officer Danny Callow said: "The inclusion of a highly efficient hybrid power plant, financed by our partners will provide an 'over-the-fence' power solution through a power purchasing agreement.

"This will enable the Kobada Gold Project to significantly reduce its environmental impact while ensuring reliable power supply.

"We take environmental, social and governance ESG initiatives seriously, and by installing this hybrid plant, we move closer to operating a sustainable and responsible mining operation at our flagship Kobada Gold Project. "Utilising green energy and battery storage to provide a large proportion of the primary power required for the operation, will lower our costs substantially, thus reducing our overall All-In Sustaining Costs per ounce of gold produced."

The company recently released a robust definitive feasibility study for the 100,000 ounces per annum Kobada project, which incorporated a renewable energy source.

AGG recognises the increasing importance of ESG facing the minerals exploration and mining industry. The management of the company is proactively working on establishing ESG guidelines for AGG's future exploration and project development activities.

The company is continuously advancing its applications of ESG standards on its projects, teams, and local stakeholders and incorporates ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making process.

The hybrid power plant will combine photovoltaic solar panels and thermal generators and a battery storage system for the Kobada Gold Project.

Thermal generators are widely used in the region and were selected for their reliability and fuel efficiency. The HFO generators are combined with high-speed diesel generators to ensure the overall system is running at its optimal load capacity.

The photovoltaic modules will be mono PERC crystalline technology supplied by established manufacturers with a 25-year guarantee. The PV array will consist of single-axis trackers to maximise the potential solar resource and providing a flatter generation profile.

The facility includes a Power Conversion System (PCS) and Power Management System (PMS). The PCS is the system that charges and discharges the battery. The PMS ensures a robust and stable energy source which prioritises security of supply as well as continuous monitoring and optimisation of the system.  The PMS will take responsibility for both supply-side and demand-side management to reduce and optimise overall system risk.