Rio Tinto is investing $98mn in a new solar plant and a lithium-ion battery energy storage system at its Koodaideri mine in Pilbara, Australia. The plant will have up to 100,000 solar panels spread over 105 hectares.
The power plant and battery combination is estimated to cut the miner’s CO2 emissions by 90,000mt per annum. Rio Tinto plans to start construction later this year with the project scheduled for completion in 2021.
The Koodaideri mine received approval in November and began construction this year. The mine has a capacity to produce 43mn mt of iron ore per year, with the first output expected by the end of next year.
The miner also reported that it’s making progress in obtaining domestically sourced power for its Mongolian Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.
An agreement signed by Rio Tinto with the Mongolian government, stipulates that the miner use domestically sourced power by June 30, 2023. As part of this arrangement, Oyu Tolgoi LLC therefore submitted a feasibility study to the Mongolian government, which includes building a 300 MW coal power plant for about $924mn.