- Oz Minerals has secured board approval for its renewable energy powered West Musgrave Project that will produce copper and nickel in Western Australia
- The hybrid renewable energy components include 90 MW wind, 60 MW solar and battery along with diesel as a backup
- Renewable energy will supply over 80% of the site’s power requirements which may be increased in the future
Australian metals miner Oz Minerals has taken final investment decision (FID) on what it believes will be one of the world’s largest fully off-grid, hybrid renewable powered mines to be powered by 90 MW wind, 60 MW solar and battery with diesel backup.
The West Musgrave Project (WMP) is a greenfield copper and nickel mining facility of Oz Minerals in the remote West Musgrave Mineral Province of central Western Australia. It aims to produce mine these minerals here as ‘critical’ for global electrification and decarbonization with renewable energy providing over 80% of the site’s power requirements. Copper is also used in solar PV panels.
The company aims to source approximately 50 MW electricity under a power purchase agreement (PPA) with an independent power producer (IPP) and may go for an expansion. In the future, it may opt for increased renewables penetration to achieve net zero Scope 1 emissions ahead of 2038.
“The pathway is aligned with the potential transition to an electric haulage fleet at the first engine change out, together with exploring other initiatives to reduce diesel and the application of offsets,” said Oz Minerals CEO Andrew Cole. The company had previously proposed the renewable energy powered mine plan in February 2020 (see Australian Miner Mulling Hybrid RE To Power New Mine).
Final vendor selection and confirmation of indicative pricing for the renewable energy component is currently being advanced into definitive agreements, it added.
Oz Minerals Chairman Rebecca McGrath stated, “The Board’s approval of West Musgrave is a fundamental step towards realizing OZ Minerals’ strategy to evolve into a modern minerals producer set to supply global copper and nickel markets as the world moves into the de-carbonization and electrification era.”
Earlier this month, Australia’s Zenith Energy said it had won a letter of award (LOA) from Liontown Resources Limited to build a 95 MW hybrid power plant to power the latter’s lithium mine in Western Australia as the ‘largest’ off-grid wind-solar-battery storage renewable energy plant in the country (see Australia’s ‘Largest’ Off-Grid Renewable Energy Hybrid Plant).