Cennergi, a wholly-owned arm of South African coal miner Exxaro Resources, has been contracted to provide renewable energy for Exxaro’s Grootegeluk, Belfast, and Matla coal mines on an arm’s length basis.
In 2016 Cennergi built two renewable wind farms with a combined capacity of 229 MW in the Eastern Cape. It is now South Africa’s second-largest renewable energy company and is in discussions with mining companies other than Exxaro for decarbonization and the supply of clean energy.
“This renewable energy solution, on its own, is going to reduce Grootegeluk’s carbon emissions by 35% – just one project,” said Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo in a Zoom interview with Mining Weekly. “That is the extent to which we are using our energy business to decarbonize our own business.”
Mgojo added that Exxaro would use its understanding of mining to support the reduction of emissions in the mining industry as well as the country.
He stressed that in the energy transition out of fossil fuels, it was essential for Exxaro to not only extract as much value as possible today from its coal assets and return some of the proceeds to the shareholders but also to look at growth opportunities such as renewables and more future-relevant minerals.
Exxaro is therefore planning to invest in new minerals such as manganese, bauxite, and copper that power a cleaner world, and at the same time, generate better returns for the company’s shareholders in an environment-friendly manner.
Source: Mining Weekly