Orion Minerals Ltd (ASX:ORN) is collaborating with juwi Renewable Energies South Africa to explore renewable energy generation at its flagship Prieska Zinc-Copper Project in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.
Through subsidiary Repi Trading No 27, the company will investigate the possibility of generating and supplying 35MW of electricity from a hybrid power system.
The proposed site is within 20 kilometres of Prieska, making the establishment of a dedicated feed via an overhead power transmission line possible.
Orion managing director and CEO Errol Smart said: “This agreement is in line with our strategy to make best use of our geographic advantage in the semi-arid Northern Cape province of South Africa.
“This region has the highest irradiance levels in the country with its hot, dry climate and is also very well-suited for wind farms.
“It is already a well-established renewable energy generating region with 190MW of solar power plants in operation and 240MW of wind power under construction immediately adjacent to our Prieska project.”
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The investigations into renewable energy solutions will complement the ongoing bankable feasibility study with the additional benefit of potentially improving the base case plan of obtaining national grid power directly from the Cuprum sub-station already established on site.
Developing the renewable energy potential of the region is also a strategic goal of local government as communicated in its integrated development plans.
Orion and juwi intend to continue to work closely with local government under the auspice of the collaboration agreement entered with the Siyathemba municipality in October 2017 to maximise the employment and enterprise development in the local communities.
Smart added: “This opportunity can only improve our long-term power supply security, while at the same time lessening the burden on the national electricity grid and reducing our carbon and water footprint.
“Our decision to pursue renewable power supply options is another illustration of our commitment to build a modern 21st-century mine at Prieska that employs innovative technologies and embraces sustainability.
“Investing in a long-term renewable energy solution also makes perfect sense for a long-life production asset such as Prieska.”