Enabling progressive energy management practice in minerals operations

CIM Journal, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2012
D. L. Millar and M. Levesque Bharti School of Engineering, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON G. Lyle and K. Bullock Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation, Sudbury, ON
Abstract
The options for reducing the carbon footprint of energy use in mining
fall into three categories of activity: i) reducing demand, ii) improving energy
utilization, and iii) adopting low carbon energy technologies. In addition to
the environmental imperative, the economic case for these activities gains
higher priority as the prices of electricity, gas, and liquid fuels increase.
Low-carbon, energy-saving technology options that are available to mining
industry companies lead to projects with return rates that must compete
alongside other capital-intensive projects considered by mining company boards.
Energy projects frequently involve longer payback periods and lower rates of
return than those of competing bids for capital, such as new mineral property
developments. For energy services companies that specialize in the financing,
construction, efficient operation, and maintenance of energy projects, the same
returns and payback periods can be considered acceptable or even
attractive.
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