The extraction and processing of gold requires significant amounts of electricity. We are continuously looking to introduce measures to both improve energy efficiency and promote cost-effective and renewable power generation
Essential onsite power generation, which provides both the energy to run our operations and ensures that employees benefit from safe and comfortable accommodation and amenities, is a significant source of GHG emissions. Nordgold therefore has a programme of short and medium-term initiatives which aim to reduce the impact of this energy generation.
Alongside measures to conserve power and promote the rational use of energy, all Nordgold mines have adopted energy-efficient technologies, such as implementation of the OMNICOMM fuel and lubricant materials consumption monitoring and the WENCO mining equipment dispatching systems which reduces both fuel consumption and downtime.
Our employees also undertake training programmes to educate them on how to reduce their energy consumption and make our operations as sustainable as possible.
Nordgold recognises the important role renewable energy plays in reducing carbon emissions and leading us towards more sustainable production. We are working to increasingly introduce renewable energy into the power grids which supply our facilities. Energy provision and usage are also one of the key criteria considered when the Group assesses new projects.
Our mines located in Kazakhstan and Russia, other than Gross and Taborny in Russia which have on-site power generation, are connected to the national grid and purchase power from the wholesale electricity market. Renewable energy accounts for 35% of the energy purchased to power the operations of the Group.
Bissa-Bouly, Gross, Taborny and Lefa mines currently use onsite diesel, heavy fuel oil or coal power stations due to absence of feasible renewable alternatives. We are currently looking at ways in which we can increase the use of more environmentally friendly power sources at these sites.
Nordgold is currently evaluating the potential to transition its Suzdal and Gross mines, as well as Tokko project, to renewable power sources. Another promising area for improvement is the use of solar power for our operations in West Africa. Nordgold undertakes technical feasibility and design assessments for a proposed solar power plant at Bissa.Learn more on our respond to climate change
The Group has systems in place to measure and control emissions in accordance with national regulatory requirements.
To suppress dust emission levels, we water mine roads and use sprinklers in crushers. Particularly high levels of dusting occur in African mines during the dry season as they are close to the Sahara Desert. Dust suppression increases the water intake. This is a challenge that the Group faces each year, and we invest significant efforts to address it.
Other sources of atmospheric air pollution include emissions from thermal power plants and boilers, equipment operation at gold-extracting factories, mining, and motor vehicles. Ore processing installations are supplied with air purification equipment, including aspiration systems and battery cyclones.
We minimise our impact on atmospheric air by using dust suppression systems in our ore-grinding equipment and gas cleaning systems.
In 2020, the volume of significant emissions from Nordgold’s operations was 5% lower than in 2019, and stood at 9,190 tonnes.