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Gold Fields’ South Deep solar plant set for Q3 commissioning

The R715-million, 50 MW South Deep Khanyisa solar plant will be commissioned in the third quarter of this year, says Gold Fields CEO Chris Griffith.

Speaking at the Mining Indaba 2022 on Monday, he noted that the gold miner had received approval to raise the capacity of the plant to 60 MW, adding that the company was also examining wind power.

The plant should generate R123-million in electricity savings and 109 kt net emission reductions a year, aiding greatly in the company’s chase to meet its environmental, social and governance targets.

The solar plant is set to generate 12 permanent jobs.

The plant will comprise 101 000 by 550 W solar panels, and will generate 24% of South Deep’s yearly electricity consumption.

Griffith also noted that a Sandvik LH518B zero-emission battery-powered loader was set to start trials at South Deep later this year.

He said that zero-emission vehicles were currently at trial stage, and not yet readily available. The capital cost per vehicle was also between 1.5 and 2 times that of conventional vehicles.

Griffith added that Gold Fields’ 12 MW solar plant at the Gruyere mine, in Western Australia, was scheduled for commissioning later this month.

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