VANCOUVER – Renewable-energy sources have reached the stage where they can reduce energy costs as well as emissions, Barrick Gold’s senior manager of energy and greenhouse gases (GHGs), Russell Blades, tells Energy and Mines.
“We are seeing a ‘perfect storm’ brewing around renewables. Solar and energy storage are improving in efficiencies and reducing in costs. Renewables are already cost-effective in many areas compared to traditional fossil fuel power options,” Blades says, adding that, in terms of further reducing Barrick Gold’s energy costs and emissions, the company sees renewables as having an important role to play alongside its energy management and fuel switching initiatives.
Moreover, with governments, investors and stakeholders more focused on carbon emissions, pricing and climate change, mines are moving more towards electrification and automation. “Barrick recognises this global trend and is trying to get ahead of the curve to be a market leader to benefit our shareholders and other stakeholders,” Blades notes.
The gold mining leader sees the benefits of power price stability that renewables offer, along with a host of other key attributes. “Although price stability is a major driver, we equally see the benefits of lower energy prices, reduced emissions and improved sustainability,” he says.
As a senior manager at one of the world’s largest gold mining companies, Blades’ responsibilities include effectively managing the company’s energy portfolio “to reduce operating costs and impact on climate change.”
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