Groote Eylandt Mining Company

Project Description

The mining operation at BHP’s Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO) on an island in the Gulf of Carpentaria off the coast of the Northern Territory in Australia, was commissioned in 1965 and extracts high grade manganese ore using open-cut, strip mining methods. A range of design options were identified with potential savings totalling 6.45GWh per annum.

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Client: BHP Billiton, Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO)
Location: Groote Eylandt, NT, Australia
Business Line: Mining, Manganese Ore
Timeframe: 2011
Project Savings: A$14.5m over 5 years
Breakeven: 4 years

Groote Eylandt is Aboriginal land that covers an area of approximately 2260 square kilometers, located in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory of Australia. The mining operation at Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO), which was commissioned in 1965, extracts high grade manganese ore using open-cut, strip mining methods. After the ore has been mined, the areas are backfilled with overburden, topsoil is added and environmental rehabilitation takes place using native grasses and trees.

Computer modelling was undertaken to determine an ‘As is’ case and a Cost Effective Best Practice case were prepared to identify opportunities to reduce energy costs within the Alyangula township over 5 years. By implementing the capital and change management opportunities identified, annual energy use was reduced from 13.4GWh to 7GWh, a saving of 48%.

Energy efficiency measures and system transformation delivered: