Mining and processing are energy-intensive, and energy alone makes up around 10% of our operating costs. Climate change and energy management are closely related – more than 90% of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are indirect. This is because we buy this energy from our national utility, Eskom, which produces energy largely from coal-fired power stations. Optimising the use of our second most important source of energy, diesel, is also a priority.
We aim to reduce energy usage where we can, as well as optimising the energy we use per ounce of product produced. Most of the energy we purchase is used in our metallurgical and refining operations, and there is very little opportunity to reduce usage without a significant change in production levels. Especially in our underground mining operations, more energy is needed to produce each ounce of product as mines get deeper and older. So, we are likely to face naturally increasing energy intensity, particularly if production decreases.
For more information go to our Sustainable Development Report.