Longevity of current mines: Cost reduction opportunities using energy optimisation studies

The Department of Science and Innovation, through the SAMERDI programme, has mandated the CSIR to embark on a project to identify techniques of saving energy costs in the mining sector.

Energy costs are one of the most significant contributors to the operational costs in mining operations. Due to increasing electricity prices, there is a need to explore alternative energy sources for underground mining activities.

The project entails collecting and analysing data from mines and other stakeholders to identify cost-saving methods.

The objectives covered in the research include understanding the energy consumption of various mining production activities in conventional and mechanised gold and Platinum Group Metal mines; highlighting alternative energy sources and technologies; and demonstrating the benefits and potential financial reductions associated with alternative energy sources.

Ultimately, the project wants to create a cost benefit analysis to compare current and alternative energy sources, and show the energy cost reduction associated with the adoption of alternative energy studies in mining production activities.