Newmont’s Tanami operation is located in Australia’s Tanami Desert, one of the most isolated and arid regions in the world.
Each year, the Tanami operation consumes around 14 million gallons of diesel to power its equipment, plants, mills and camp for the fly-in, fly-out workers. All of the diesel for the site is trucked more than 1,300 miles from the port city of Darwin.
As part of the power contract negotiation process underway at Tanami, we are assessing cleaner and renewable energy sources, such as natural gas and solar.
This assessment includes partnering with the Northern Territory’s power authority on a feasibility study to construct a natural gas pipeline to the Tanami operation from near Alice Springs, which is around 400 miles away. Switching to natural gas has the potential to reduce the mine’s carbon emissions by approximately 50,000 tonnes per year while also reducing our costs.
Because the sunny, desert climate of the Northern Territory is ideal for solar energy, we also are studying the feasibility of installing a 10 to 14 megawatt solar plant at Tanami. If approved and implemented, the 20 to 21 hectare solar farm will not replace all the diesel fuel consumption due to Tanami’s around-the-clock operation. However, it is expected to replace about 1.8 million gallons of diesel a year – approximately 13 percent of the mine’s annual diesel fuel consumption – with a renewable, clean energy source.