Sandfire Resources’ 100 per cent owned DeGrussa Copper-Gold Mine near Meekatharra is one of the Asia-Pacific region’s leading high-grade copper mines.
Construction and development of the $380 million project was completed on time and on budget during 2012.
The DeGrussa operation is based on a long-term underground mine delivering sulphide ore to an onsite 1.5 million tonne per annum concentrator.
The mine produces up to 300,000 tonnes of high-grade copper concentrate annually, making DeGrussa the largest copper producer in Western Australia. It also produces over one tonne of gold each year.
The DeGrussa Project provides long-term employment to 420 people.
In addition, the onsite solar power station is expected to reduce the mine’s carbon emissions by an estimated 12,000 tonnes a year.
DeGrussa went from discovery to production in three years, with the Department of Mines and Petroleum taking only eight months to complete the mine approval process.
In February 2015, Sandfire Resources committed to introducing one of the global mining industry’s largest integrated off-grid solar power systems at DeGrussa.
The company signed a deal with juwi Renewable Energy to build a $40 million solar power station, to help power the mine and its processing operations.
The station will utilise a 10.6 megawatt solar array comprising 34,080 solar photovoltaic panels that track the sun and a 6 megawatt battery.
Built across 20 hectares of onsite land, the station will be integrated with the mine’s existing 20-megawatt diesel-fired power station, reducing DeGrussa’s reliance on diesel fuel and delivering a significant environmental benefit.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015 and be ready for commissioning in early 2016.