Canadian mining giant Iamgold has pledged CFA5 billion toward the construction of a solar power plant for its Essakane gold mine in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso, its officials disclosed to APA.With an intended capacity of 15 megawatts, the infrastructure will be built before April 2018, the company management said.
The plant, which covers an area of 22 hectares, will include 130,000 solar panels that will convert solar energy into electricity, allowing the mine and Burkina Faso to save up to 6 million liters of fuel per year.
The proposed infrastructure is being credited as a transition to hard ore processing which has resulted in increased energy consumption at the Essakane mine from approximately 14 GWh a month in 2013 to 26 GWh per month in 2015.
Recognizing Burkina Faso’s potential for renewable energy, Iamgold Essakane CEO, Bruno Lemelin said the company is committed to increasing the proportion of renewable energies to 15 percent over the next three years.
To realize the project, Iamgold Essakane is partnering with the African Energy Management Platform (AEMP) and the independent global renewable energy producer EREN.
In 2015, the Essakane mine, which produces more than 400,000 ounces of gold per year, reviewed its lifespan to 8.2 years.