Gold Fields greenlights 40MW solar plant at South Deep
(Kitco News) - Gold Fields (JSE, NYSE: GFI) announced today that its board has given the green light for the construction of a 40MW solar plant at the South Deep mine in South Africa. This follows the granting of a licence by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa on 25 February 2021.
According to the company's statement, the 40MW solar plant will generate over 20% of the average electricity consumption of the mine. It will comprise 116,000 solar panels and cover a 118ha area roughly the size of 200 soccer fields and will be on mine property.
The estimated capital investment for the plant is R660m, including contingencies and escalation. This will be funded from the mine's positive cash-flows over the next two years, the company explained.
Gold Fields expects that the use of self-generated, renewable energy will translate into savings of around R120m on the cost of electricity a year. The plant is expected to be commissioned during Q2 2022.
CEO Chris Griffith commented, "We are the first South African mine to build and operate our own solar plant of this scale. This will ensure greater reliability of power supply and reduce the cost of electricity, which currently makes up about 13% of the mine's operating costs."
"Importantly, it will reduce our carbon footprint by around 100,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, not only enhancing the sustainability of South Deep but also contributing to Gold Fields' long-term commitment to carbon neutrality," Griffith added.