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Kibali Gold Announces Pioneering Plan for 100% Renewable Energy in the DRC

Kibali Gold, one of Africa’s foremost gold mines, has unveiled a bold initiative to transition entirely to renewable energy, marking a significant stride towards supporting the energy transition in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The announcement was made on Wednesday, 12 June 2024, by Jean Paul Ilunga, an electrical engineer with Barrick Gold Corporation, during the inaugural day of the DRC Mining Week.

During a forum dedicated to investment in the energy sector, Kibali Gold outlined a series of innovative projects designed to transform its energy profile towards a more sustainable future. The discussions primarily focused on strategies to address the energy deficit within the mining sector.

“The Kibali gold mine began operations with a thermal power plant consisting of diesel generators with a total capacity of 43 megawatts,” revealed Jean Paul Ilunga.

Since 2015, the mine has been transitioning to green energy, aiming to reduce its reliance on diesel generators, lower energy production costs, and decrease carbon emissions. Ilunga highlighted that Kibali Gold intends to invest in hydrogen production to enhance the efficiency of its generators and cut fuel consumption by 10 to 12%.

Led by Country Director Cyrille Mutombo, the company also plans to rehabilitate the Nzoro 1 hydroelectric plant, boosting its capacity from 600 kilowatts to 4 megawatts. Moreover, Kibali Gold will identify and prepare sites for new hydroelectric plants to cater to the growing energy demands.

These initiatives form part of a broader strategy to position Kibali as a leader in sustainability across Africa. The company views renewable energy not only as an environmentally responsible choice but also as a sound economic opportunity.

Kibali Gold also underscored the economic benefits of investing in the energy sector to spur growth in the DRC. For instance, its solar power plant project, equipped with a battery storage system, is anticipated to save the country approximately $11 million annually.

Scheduled for completion in 2025, this solar plant project is forecasted to provide a return on investment within six years and achieve an internal rate of return (IRR) of 21%.

By spearheading these projects, Kibali Gold aims to set a benchmark for sustainable mining practices in Africa, demonstrating that renewable energy is both an ecological necessity and an economic asset.

Source: CopperbeltKatangaMining

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