Harmony Gold 'to build solar power plant in South Africa'

Harmony's Kalgold operation will use energy generated by the solar power plant. (Image source: Harmony Gold Mining)Harmony Gold Mining is planning to collaborate with various partners to build a solar power plant in the north of South Africa

Bloomberg quoted Melanie Naidoo-Vermaak, Harmony’s environment executive, as saying that the project at Mafikeng in North West Province will initially be an 18 MW plant, with the potential to more than double that to 40 MW. Output may start in 2014, she said.

Harmony, which is Africa’s third-largest gold producer, is currently assessing how to utilise some of the land it owns in South Africa for generating energy.

According to Naidoo-Vermaak, 16 per cent of Harmony’s costs in producing each ounce of gold is accounted for by electricity.

Fluor Corp, the group that Harmony is part of, is set to apply for approval for the plant under the government’s renewable energy power programme later this year.

Harmony’s Kalgold operation would draw about eight megawatts from the project, said Naidoo-Vermaak.

Harmony is also at the early stage of studying growing crops for a biofuels plant it may build in South Africa’s central Free State province.

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