Gold Fields granted approval for 40 MW solar plant at South Deep.

The solar plant will satisfy about 20% of the South Deep mine’s electricity needs. Gold Fields said regulators approved its plan to build a 40 megawatt solar power plant at its remaining mine in South Africa. The solar plant will satisfy about 20% of the South Deep mine’s electricity needs and help curb operational losses from frequent power outages, the Johannesburg-based producer said in a statement. “The solar power plant will increase the reliability and afford-ability of power supply to South Deep, ultimately enhancing the long-term sustainability of the mine,” Nick Holland, the Chief Executive officer for Gold Fields said in the statement. State-owned Eskom’s intermittent power cuts are adding to woes for particularly deep level South African gold and platinum-group mines, which are heavy consumers of electricity. Using more renewable energy will partly replace coal-fired electricity from Eskom and help improve Gold Fields’ green credentials after it installed solar and wind power plants at its Agnew and Granny Smith mines in Australia. Once the South Deep project starts, renewables will account for about 11% of Gold Fields’ group total electricity use, up from 3% in 2020, it said.

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