Proving that mining operations can also be fuelled by green energy is the Mt. Cattlin lithium mine site. The Western Australia mine owned by Galaxy Resources has received the Energy and Distribution Award in Perth this week for its considerable achievement. The award was presented by the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia.
Mt. Cattlin will be the first mine site in Australia that is completely powered by renewable energy sources within the next three years. At present about 10% of the power requirement of the mine is met by green energy and this will soar to 100% by 2014 if all goes to plan.
The Managing Director of Galaxy Resources Iggy Tan said that the company was proud to be a part of efforts to get the mining industry to use more renewable energy for its electricity needs. He added that the Federal Government's proposed carbon tax will see an increased interest in renewable energy sources within the industry.
MD Iggy Tan thinks that companies are still being proactive about being sustainable and where they can be reducing their carbon footprint, but obviously the prospect of a carbon tax is also one of the important parameters to consider.
The site at Mt Cattlin uses solar panels on a solar tracker which follows the sun all through the day and gives 15% more solar electricity than fixed systems. The Company has 14 giant solar trackers and 2 wind turbines in operation at its Mt Cattlin lithium mine and processing plant, which together generate 226 MWh per year of renewable energy.