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Power changes mooted at Nevada Gold Mines

Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX) has outlined plans to reduce coal-fired power usage and investigate solar options at Nevada Gold Mines, its joint venture with Newmont (NYSE: NEM) in the US.
Power changes mooted at Nevada Gold Mines Power changes mooted at Nevada Gold Mines Power changes mooted at Nevada Gold Mines Power changes mooted at Nevada Gold Mines Power changes mooted at Nevada Gold Mines

Barrick Gold and Newmont’s Nevada Gold Mines joint venture operations in Nevada

Staff reporter

Barrick said the joint venture had approved converting its TS coal power plant to a dual-fuel process, allowing it to generate power from natural gas and cut carbon emissions by up to 50%.

Nevada Gold Mines (NGM) was working with state officials on permitting to allow construction to start near year-end, aiming for final commissioning in the second quarter of 2022, Barrick said.

The miner, which owns 61.5% and operates NGM, said the joint venture was also reviewing the potential for a 200MW solar facility with battery storage, with phased construction possibly producing power "as early as 2022".

"Nevada Gold Mines is committed to providing its operations low-cost, secure power generation through north-eastern Nevada's power grid now and into the future," NGM executive managing director Greg Walker said.

NGM has the TS plant in Dunphy with a 215MW capacity; and the Western 102 power plant outside Reno, which has a capacity of 115 MW and supplies power from natural gas-fired generators and a 1MW solar facility.

The announcement comes as environmental, social and governance become dominant considerations for the mining sector, with asset manager BlackRock last month saying it would make anthropogenic climate change central to its investment approach

The NGM joint venture was agreed 11 months ago, ending a hostile takeover bid by the enlarged Barrick which had threatened to scupper Newmont's merger with Goldcorp.

Both companies' shares touched one-year highs intraday yesterday as investors sought safe havens amid growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Barrick's Toronto-listed shares closed up 3.3% to $29.30, to capitalise it at $52 billion (US$39 billion).

Newmont gained 1.7% to close at US$50.26, capitalising it at $40.6 billion.