ENERGY USE

Environment_Diesel-ConsputionEnvironment_fuelConsumptionThe Bisha Mine relies on diesel fuel to meet all energy requirements. In 2014, the mine consumed 44.7 million litres of diesel fuel, equivalent to 4.53 terajoules of energy. Fuel consumption increased 38% over 2013 due to transporting copper concentrate to the Massawa Port and increased fuel consumption on site. Our reliance on self-generated electricity in a remote location represents an operational risk because the mine is vulnerable to power outages that can temporarily suspend operations. In December 2014, an unexpected power interruption occurred during scheduled maintenance. Our generator contractor quickly mobilized additional resources and technical personnel to assess and correct the problem. Financial results were not negatively impacted as BMSC was able to draw down and sell from its concentrate stockpiles.

EMISSIONS

Emissions at the Bisha Mine are generated by mobile sources like dozers, dump trucks, light vehicles, contractor buses for transporting workers, as well as stationary sources, including generators and regeneration kilns. The annual calculation also included the fuel utilized for the transport of copper concentrate from Bisha to the Port of Massawa and back. Direct GHG emissions for 2014 are estimated at 125.5 kt CO2 equivalent. This compares to 89.6 kt CO2 eq in 2013, the difference is due to the increased fuel consumption cited above. There were no GHG emission reductions achieved in 2014 due to the start of the Phase 2 copper production. Monitoring devices have been in use since 2012 to measure emissions from stationary and mobile equipment. Emission monitoring covers ozone producing gasses (CO, NO) and other significant air emissions (NOx, SOx).

IMPROVING PERFORMANCE

To improve performance, we have been investigating alternative energy (solar and wind) to minimize our operating costs (fuel is one of our most significant costs), reduce supply risk and diminish our greenhouse gas (GHG) contributions. In 2014 we began interviewing various providers of renewable energy (i.e. solar panels) with the anticipation that technical and financial feasibility studies will be completed in 2015 for consideration. The goal is to create a diesel hybrid system, likely combining existing power infrastructure with a solar farm, which would reduce our overall reliance on, and use of, diesel.