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1939B_OEE_OpenPit-c4 4/1/05 3:14 PM Page 3

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF

CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES

PREPARED FOR MINING ASSOCIATION OF CANADA


AND NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA
1939B_OEE_OpenPit-c4 4/1/05 3:14 PM Page 4

For more information or to receive additional copies of this publication, write to:

Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation


c/o Natural Resources Canada
580 Booth Street, 18th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0E4

Tel.: (613) 995-6839


Fax: (613) 992-3161
E-mail: cipec-peeic@nrcan.gc.ca
Web Site: oee.nrcan.gc.ca/cipec

Or

Mining Association of Canada


350 Sparks St. Suite 1105
Ottawa ON K1R 7S8

Tel: (613) 233-9391


Fax: (613) 233-8897
Web Site: www.mining.ca

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Main entry under title :

Benchmarking the energy consumption of Canadian open-pit mines

Issued also in French under title: Analyse comparative de la consommation


d’énergie des mines à ciel ouvert du Canada.

ISBN 0-662-39538-7
Cat. No. M144-70/2005E

1. Strip mining – Energy consumption – Canada.


2. Strip mining – Energy conservation – Canada.
3. Energy consumption – Canada.
4. Energy conservation – Canada.
5. Energy auditing – Canada.
I. Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation.
II. Mining Association of Canada.

TN291.B46 2005 622’.292’0682 C2005-980101-8

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2005

Recycled paper
FOREWORD

FOREWORD
I
On behalf of the Mining Sector Task Force of the Canadian Industry Program for Energy
Conservation (CIPEC), the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) retained Corporate
Renaissance Group to work with mining companies to establish energy benchmarks for
open-pit mines. Companies that participated in this project paid for the on-site services
of the consultancy and have received individualized reports on the findings.

CIPEC consists of 26 task forces, representing the various industrial sectors in Canada,
and is a partnership of industrial associations and the Government of Canada, represented
by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency. The Mining Sector Task Force
comprises members of MAC’s Energy Committee. CIPEC task forces act as focal points
for identifying energy efficiency potential and improvement opportunities, establishing sector
energy efficiency targets, reviewing and addressing barriers, and developing and implementing
strategies to meet the targets.

This publication is one of a series of MAC publications demonstrating the mining industry’s
commitment to energy conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions – a
commitment essential to our common well-being. Among our members, good energy
practices are simply accepted as being good business practices.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Leading Canadian to Energy Efficiency at Home, at Work and on the Road


III
The Office of Energy Efficiency of Natural Resources Canada
strenghens and expands Canada’s commitment to energy efficiency
in order to help address the challenges of climate change.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.2 Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.3 Layout of Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2. METHODOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.1 Boundaries of the Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.1.1 Gold and Iron Ore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.1.2 Oil Sands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.2 The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) Sample . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.2.1 Analysis: Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.2.2 Comparative Energy Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.2.3 Analysis: Open-Pit Mining Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.2.4 Analysis: Milling Operations – Gold Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.2.5 Analysis: Concentrator Operations – Iron Ore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.2.6 General and Administrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3. RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.1 Comparative Unit Costs for Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.2 Inter-Mine Comparative Energy Costs – Total Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.3 Inter-Mine Comparative Energy Costs – Mining Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.3.1 Total Mining Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.3.2 Waste Rock Operations – Stages of Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.3.3 Ore Mining Operations – Stages of Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
3.3.4 Comparisons Based on Total Material Removed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
3.4 Inter-Mine Comparative Energy Costs – Mill/Concentrator Operations . . . . . 43
3.4.1 Total Mill/Concentrator Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
3.4.2 Mill/Concentrator Operations – Stages of Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
3.5 General and Administrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
4. POTENTIAL SAVINGS: ACHIEVING BENCHMARK STANDARDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
4.1 Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
4.2 Potential Energy Savings: Mining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
4.3 Potential Energy Savings: Milling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


1 INTRODUCTION
1 INTRODUCTION

1. INTRODUCTION
2

1.1 Background
Energy costs represent a significant component of the total costs of operations for Canada’s
mining sector. Directly and indirectly, the energy use in the mining sector is also a significant
contributor to Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Improving energy efficiency reduces
greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate changes. There are, therefore, compelling
economic and environmental reasons for mining and milling operations to examine their
energy consumption comprehensively.

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has sponsored this energy benchmarking project.
The focus is a detailed comparison of the energy consumption for open-pit mining and
concentration activities. The Office of Energy Efficiency of Natural Resources Canada
(NRCan) has provided assistance for this study, which is a part of NRCan’s ongoing efforts
to promote more efficient energy use in Canada.

1.2 Focus
The focus of this analysis is the mining and concentration operations of open-pit mines of
MAC members. Nine mining/milling operations participated in the project, and the sample
specifically included the operations of gold, oil sands and iron ore establishments.

The project involved a detailed inter-facility comparison of the energy consumed in mining
(drilling – transport) and concentration (crushing – tailings disposal). Approximately
25 categories of energy cost and usage information were examined.

Given the significantly different nature of the milling/concentrator operations for gold
and iron ore operations, energy comparisons for these aspects of the operations have been
aggregated into larger groupings where feasible. The oil sands operations are compared
only with regard to their mining activities.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


INTRODUCTION 1

1.3 Layout of Report


3
We begin by outlining our methodology in Section 2. We describe our approach for
developing energy cost comparisons ($/kilotonne mined; $/kilotonne milled) to analyse
the operations of the study participants.

Section 3 presents the results of the detailed benchmarking of energy costs and usage for
the nine participating establishments. Inter-establishment comparisons are presented at the
mine and mill levels, as well as at the various stages of production.

Section 4 presents results on the potential savings generated by achieving benchmark


standards. Comparing the costs for each participant with those for the lowest-cost operations
produces the estimated potential savings.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


2 METHODOLOGY
2 METHODOLOGY

2. METHODOLOGY
6

2.1 Boundaries of the Analysis


The focus of the analysis of comparative energy costs and usage was as follows:

2.1.1 Gold and Iron Ore

The gold and iron ore energy analysis focused on mining and milling/concentration operations.

Smelting,
Refining,
Etc.
Ongoing Mining Concentration
Exploration

FOCUS OF ANALYSIS

2.1.2 Oil Sands

The oil sands energy analysis focused on the mining operations.

Overburden Mining HydroTransport


Removal

FOCUS OF ANALYSIS

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


METHODOLOGY 2

2.2 The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) Sample


7
A total of nine establishments participated in this project. Each case study included an
open-pit mining facility. For seven of the nine mines, energy information was provided for
milling/concentrator operations. These included four gold recovery operations producing
gold bars and three iron ore operations producing concentrates.

Open-Pit Operations (9 facilities)

Mill/Contractor Operations

Gold Recovery (4 facilities) Iron Ore (3 facilities)

2.2.1 Analysis: Overview

The objective of the analysis is to provide a detailed inter-facility comparison of the cost
per kilotonne mined and processed, split into costs per unit of energy and energy consumed
per kilotonne for the following:

Open-Pit Mining

Nine mining operations will be compared – all operations, including the transport of ore
to the crusher.

Milling/Concentrator Operations (Gold Recovery and Iron Ore Concentration)

The analysis will reflect comparisons of energy consumption and costs for the four gold
recovery facilities and three iron ore facilities and will include crushing, grinding and the
aggregate of all production stages beyond grinding to loadout, plus process water, tailings
disposal and support services.

A more detailed process comparison would not be meaningful due to the radically different
processes followed by the companies. However, a more detailed analysis of each company’s
milling/concentrator processes was presented to the individual companies involved in the
study.

In all cases, energy consumption will be based on kilowatt hour equivalents (kWhe). The
conversion factors for other categories of energy are illustrated below. These conversions
are derived from energy content factors reported in Canada’s Energy Outlook 1996–2000,
Natural Resources Canada, April 1997, page D-3.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


2 METHODOLOGY

Table 2.1 – Conversion Factors (kWhe)


8
Energy Units kWhe/Unit
Diesel L 10.74
Gasoline L 9.63
Natural Gas m3 10.31
Explosives kg 1.06
Light Fuel Oil L 10.40
Bunker C Oil L 11.59

The inter-facility comparisons are based on the following unit costs and disaggregation
into components for open-pit mining and milling/concentrator facilities.

Open-Pit Mining (Gold, Iron Ore and Oil Sands)

[ [ [
[ $
kilotonne
ore mined
= [ $
kWhe X [ kWhe
kilotonne
ore mined

Milling/Concentrator (Gold and Iron Ore)

[ [ [
[ $

Note:
kilotonne
ore milled

One KILOTONNE
=
kilotonne = 2.204623
[
million
$
kWhe

pounds POUNDS
X [ kWhe
kilotonne
ore milled

NOTE : ONE = 2.204623 MILLION

Total Complex

For the total complexes, the unit energy costs and consumption will be based on a roll-up
of the above. Given that some milling/concentrator operations process ore from more
than one open pit and that certain operations use different processes for different
qualities/types of ore, the data for the total complex is based on:

a. the average mining energy costs and usage for the facility in the study; and
b. actual costs and usage for the energy used in milling/concentrator operations.

Given the above assumptions, the total energy costs can be subdivided to calculate the cost
per kilotonne milled for both gold and iron ore.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


METHODOLOGY 2

2.2.2 Comparative Energy Costs


9
Not surprisingly, average energy unit costs by source vary among the nine open-pit mines.

Energy source (e.g. electricity)

$/kWh

1 9

2.2.3 Analysis: Open-Pit Mining Operations

The open-pit mining operations were subdivided into 10 stages of production and three
support activities. These categories are illustrated below.

Stages of
Production
Drilling

Support Activities
Blasting

Mine Support Equipment


Waste Rock Excavating
Removal
Road Maintenance
Transportation
Service Equipment

Waste Rock Disposal

Drilling

Blasting

Ore Excavating
Extraction

Ore Transport

Pit Dewatering

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


2 METHODOLOGY

The total energy costs for open-pit mining operations for the nine operations were compared.
10

$/kilotonne
ore mined

1 9

These energy costs were, in turn, subdivided into two components: $/kWhe and
kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined.

$/kWhe

1 9

kWhe /kilotonne
ore mined

1 9

Similarly, energy costs and consumption were compared for each of the nine operations by
stage of production.

2.2.4 Analysis: Milling Operations – Gold Recovery

The gold recovery milling operations were subdivided into the following stages of production
and support activities.

Support Activities
Crushing

Plant Services
Stages of Grinding
Production

Process Water

Additional Processing of Milled Ore

Tailings Disposal

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


METHODOLOGY 2

The total energy costs for the milling process in the four gold recovery operations were
compared. 11

$/kilotonne
milled

1 4

These energy costs were, in turn, subdivided into two components: $/kWhe
and kWhe/kilotonne ore milled.

$/kWhe

1 4

kWhe/kilotonne
milled

1 4

The total energy costs were compared for each of the milling gold recovery production
stages (crushing, grinding and additional processing through to tailings treatment and
disposal). In each case, the total energy costs/kilotonne milled, $/kWhe and kWhe/kilotonne
milled were compared as illustrated above for the mining operations.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


2 METHODOLOGY

2.2.5 Analysis: Concentrator Operations – Iron Ore


12
The iron ore concentration facilities were subdivided into the following stages of production
and support facilities.

Crushing

Grinding
Support Activities

Separation Plant Services


Additional Processing *

Stages of
Production
Filtration Tailings Treatment

Process Water
Drying

Loadout

* NOTE: STUDY PARTICIPANTS FOLLOWED MATERIALLY DIFFERENT PROCESSES FOR PRODUCTION STAGES RELATED TO SEPARATION,
FILTRATION AND DRYING. TO ACHIEVE MEANINGFUL COMPARISONS OF ENERGY CONSUMPTION FOR THESE STAGES, IT WAS
NECESSARY TO AGGREGATE THE DATA UNDER THE HEADING “ADDITIONAL PROCESSING” EVEN THOUGH ENERGY CONSUMPTION
FOR THESE STAGES WAS REPORTED TO THE INDIVIDUAL COMPANIES.

As in the case of the gold operations, the total energy costs per kilotonne for the three
concentrator operations were compared. These energy costs were, in turn, divided into
their two subcomponents: $/kWhe and kWhe/tonne processed.

The above comparisons were made for each stage of production in the concentration
process: crushing, grinding and separation through to tailings treatment and disposal.

2.2.6 General and Administrative

The costs for general and administrative activities were compared separately for both gold
and iron ore mining. As in the case of the mining and milling/concentrator analysis, the
total energy cost for general and administrative activities per kilotonne mined was deter-
mined. This number, in turn, was broken down into its cost per kilowatt hour equivalent
and the kilowatt hour equivalent per kilotonne mined.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS:
BENCHMARKING
PARTICIPATING
MINES
3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

3. RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES


14
As mentioned above, the nine participants in the study included three iron ore mines, four
gold mines and two oil sands operations (for which only mining energy data were collected).
In all cases, the mine operations reported their energy consumption and costs for the full
calendar year 2000.

For the nine mines, total energy expenditures of $228 million were incurred for the calendar
year 2000. The most heavily used fuels were diesel (235 million litres) and electricity
(2265 gigawatt hours). Together, these two energy sources accounted for more than
75 percent of the total energy (kWhe) consumed at the mines.

The mines in the sample collectively produced over 260 million tonnes of ore during
2000 and removed a comparable amount of waste rock. The volume of ore mined during
the year varied from less than 4 million tonnes to over 60 million tonnes at the largest
mine. Total material removed (ore plus waste rock) ranged from just under 20 million
tonnes to over 120 million tonnes. Stripping ratios (waste rock : ore tonnage) varied
considerably, from 0.04 to 6.05. This variation has a significant influence on the costs and
energy consumption per tonne of ore mined that is reported in Sections 3.2 and 3.3 of this
study. In Section 3.4, however, we compare the mining operations on the basis of total
tonnage removed (ore plus waste), a comparison that removes the influence of the stripping
ratios on the comparisons.

The energy benchmarking results will be presented as we compare:

1. the costs across the participants for the individual energy sources;
2. the mining operations for the nine establishments; and
3. the results for the concentration operations of seven facilities.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

3.1 Comparative Unit Costs for Energy


15
There are very significant differences between the lowest and highest unit costs reported
for the sources of energy used at the mining operations in the study sample. As illus-
trated below, the range of unit costs for each energy category is very wide (from 118 to
3 849 percent). The unit energy costs are compared in the figures below.

Figure 3.1 – Range of Unit Energy Costs

3 849
Highest as 4 000
% of Lowest 3 500
3 000
2 500
2 000
1 500
1 000
341
500 118 177 208 225
0
Bunker C Gasoline Diesel Blasting Propane Electricity
Oil Fuels

Figure 3.2 – Comparative Unit Energy Costs (CAN$)

Electricity ($/kWh)
0.10 0.092
$/kWh 0.083
0.08
0.057
0.06
0.039 0.039 0.042
0.04 0.035

0.02
0.002 0.004
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Diesel ($/litre)
0.50 0.48
$/litre 0.43 0.43
0.38 0.39 0.40
0.40 0.37
0.33
0.30
0.23
0.20
0.10
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Figure 3.2 (cont.) – Comparative Unit Energy Costs (CAN$)


16
Gasoline ($/litre)

$/litre 0.80
0.70 0.65 0.67
0.57 0.59 0.59 0.59
0.60
0.50 0.45
0.38
0.40
0.30
0.20
0.10
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Propane ($/litre)
1.00 0.94
$/litre
0.80
0.60 0.54
0.44
0.40 0.29 0.33
0.28
0.20
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6

Blasting Fuels ($/kg of explosive)

$/kg 0.80 0.72


0.70 0.67
0.60 0.50
0.49
0.50 0.44
0.40 0.32 0..33
0.30
0.20
0.10
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Bunker C Oil ($/litre)


0.25 0.24
$/litre
0.20 0.20
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05
0.00
1 2 3

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

3.2 Inter-Mine Comparative Energy Costs – Total Operations


17
Sufficient information was received from seven open-pit mining operations to make compar-
isons at the “total operations” level (mining and milling/concentrating costs and energy
consumption per kilotonne of ore mined or processed) and for each of the stages of pro-
duction (drilling, blasting, loading/excavating, hauling, crushing, grinding, etc.). For the
two oil sands projects in the sample, only mining data was collected. For heap leach gold
mines in the sample, costs were separated for ore destined for the milling process versus ore
treated on leach pads, and the “mill ore” costs are reported here.

In all cases, the energy costs were compared based on Canadian dollars per kilotonne
(million kilograms 1) of ore mined. These unit costs, in turn, were subdivided into an energy
cost component (dollars per kWh equivalent) and a usage component (kWh equivalent per
kilotonne of ore mined). The energy costs for total operations represent the average cost
per kilotonne of ore mined plus the average cost per kilotonne of ore milled/concentrated.
This concept is captured using the phrase “$ per kilotonne of ore processed” (i.e. processed
in the mining and the concentrating operations). The figure below summarizes the total
energy costs per kilotonne of ore mined and ore milled/concentrated for the seven mines
that reported all data for this study.

1 ONE TONNE (1 000 KILOGRAMS) EQUALS 2 204.6 LBS.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Figure 3.3 – Energy Costs: Total Operations


18
Energy Cost
5 000 4 482
$ per kilotonne 4 165
of ore processed 4 000
2 855
3 000
2 106
2 000
1 266
639 888
1 000
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 80 000 71 104


of ore processed 70 000 62 387
60 000 53 301
50 000 46 274
40 000 31 414 33 065
30 000 26 917
20 000
10 000
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.08


0.07 0.063 0.064 0.067
0.06 0.054
0.05 0.047
0.04
0.03 0.020
0.019
0.02
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


Weighted Average $/kilotonne

Drilling 13.15
Blasting 170.52
Excavation 26.52

Waste Rock Removal


Transport 116.43
Handling 21.38
348.00
Drilling 5.71
Blasting 182.78
Excavation
Ore

Excavating 24.38

Transport 88.75
301.62
Figure 3.4 – Average Costs by Stage of Production

Total Mining

Dewatering 24.46
Mine Support 46.07
720.15
Crushing 34.91
Grinding 174.41
Other Processing 163.17
Tailings 33.75
Total Mill/Concentrator Operations

Process Water 24.85


Total Operations

Other Plant 18.52


449.61
G&A 19.57
1 189.33
19
RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3
Weighted Average kWhe /kilotonne
20

Drilling 366
Blasting 504
Excavation 693

Waste Rock Removal


Transport 3 492
Handling 636
5 691
3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Drilling 271
Blasting 453
Excavation
Ore
Excavating 784
Transport 2 793
4 301
Total
Mining

Dewatering 355

Mine Support 1 419


11 766
Crushing 1 320
Figure 3.5 – Average Energy Consumption by Stage of Production

Grinding 5 269

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


Other Processing 9 473
Tailings 1 754
Total Mill/Concentrator Operations

Process Water 1 527


Total Operations

Other Plant 1 647


20 989
G&A 752

33 507
RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

3.3 Inter-Mine Comparative Energy Costs – Mining Operations


21
3.3.1 Total Mining Operations

The total energy costs for open-pit mining for the nine operations are shown below. As
illustrated, the energy costs vary from $170 per kilotonne of ore mined to $3,120 per
kilotonne. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 3 120 : 170 1 830
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 42 474 : 7 006 606
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.073 : 0.022 331

The total costs shown here cover drilling, blasting, excavating, hauling, pit dewatering, and
mine support equipment, road maintenance and service equipment. Any in-pit crushing or
rehandling of ore from stockpiles is excluded.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Figure 3.6 – Total Energy Costs: Mining Operations


22
Energy Cost
3 500 3 120
$ per kilotonne
of ore mined 3 000
2 500
2 000 1 793 1 821
1 500
1 000 817
527 534 552
500 170 231
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 50 000


42 474
of ore mined
40 000 33 855
30 000 26 884

20 000 13 322
10 321 11 264
10 000 7 006 7 694 8 949

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.08 0.073


0.07 0.068
0.059 0.061
0.06 0.053
0.049 0.052
0.05
0.04 0.033
0.03 0.022
0.02
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

3.3.2 Waste Rock Operations – Stages of Production


23
Drilling (Waste Rock)

The cost for waste rock drilling energy varied from $0.08 to $144.00 per kilotonne of ore
mined for seven drilling operations. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 144.00 : 0.08 179 800
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 3 618 : 35 10 439
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.045 : 0.002 1 858

Figure 3.7 – Drilling (Waste Rock) Energy Costs

Energy Cost
144.00
150
$ per kilotonne
of ore mined 120
90 81.00

60 44.00
30 8.00
0.08 0.43 6.00
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 4 000 3 618


of ore mined 3 500
3 000
2 500
2 000 1 806
1 500 1 208
1 000
500 103 177 200
35
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.05 0.045


0.039 0.040
0.04 0.037
0.034
0.03
0.02
0.01 0.004
0.002
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Blasting (Waste Rock)


24
The blasting energy costs for waste rock varied from $79 to $1,255 per kilotonne of ore
mined. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 1 255 : 79 1 588
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 1 845 : 203 909
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.680 : 0.186 366

Figure 3.8 – Blasting (Waste Rock) Energy Costs

Energy Cost
1 500
$ per kilotonne 1 255
of ore mined 1 200
900
600 516

300 205 239


79 84 101
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 2 000 1 845


of ore mined
1 500 1 383
1 221
1 000
535
500 425
203 217
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.8


0.7 0.680
0.6
0.5 0.466
0.373 0.384 0.415
0.4
0.3 0.186 0.196
0.2
0.1
0.0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Loading/Excavating (Waste Rock)


25
The energy costs for loading/excavating waste rock varied from $5 to $277 per kilotonne
of ore mined. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 277 : 5 5 213
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 6 209 : 332 1 868
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.054 : 0.016 341

Figure 3.9 – Excavating (Waste Rock) Energy Costs

Energy Cost
300 277
$ per kilotonne
of ore mined 250
200 175
150
100 61
50 40
5 11 14 18 21
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 8 000


of ore mined 7 000 6 209
6 000
5 000
4 000 3 750
3 000
2 000 1 089 1 140
1 000 332 336 380 424 658
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.06 0.053 0.054


0.05 0.045 0.047
0.04 0.037 0.037
0.032
0.03 0.025
0.02 0.016
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Waste Rock Transport


26
The energy costs for hauling waste rock varied from $18 to $887 per kilotonne of ore
mined. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 887 : 18 4 986
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 22 307 : 442 5 052
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.045 : 0.021 208

Figure 3.10 – Waste Rock Transport Energy Costs

Energy Cost
1 000 887
$ per kilotonne
of ore mined 800
579
600
400 338

200 69 75 114 126


54
18
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 25 000 22 307


of ore mined
20 000
15 817
15 000
10 000 7 577
5 000 3 211 3 229 3 670
442 1 461 2 421
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.05 0.045


0.040 0.040
0.04 0.034 0.035 0.037 0.037
0.031
0.03
0.021
0.02
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Waste Rock Handling


27
The energy costs for handling waste rock after transport varied from $7 to $78 per kilotonne
of ore mined. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 78 : 7 1 076
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 1 743 : 298 586
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.045 : 0.021 208

Figure 3.11 – Waste Rock Handling Energy Costs

Energy Cost
78
80
$ per kilotonne 70
of ore mined 60
50 39
40 29 32
30 23
19
20 10 13
10 7
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 2 000 1 743


of ore mined
1 500
1 036 1 079
1 000 736
538 567
500 298 337 345

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.05 0.045


0.040 0.040
0.037
0.04 0.034 0.035 0.037
0.031
0.03
0.021
0.02
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

3.3.3 Ore Mining Operations – Stages of Production


28
Drilling (Ore)

The drilling energy costs varied from $0.13 to $29.00 per kilotonne of ore mined for
seven drilling operations. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 29.00 : 0.13 21 969
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 641 : 54 1 191
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.045 : 0.002 1 858

Figure 3.12 – Drilling (Ore) Energy Costs

Energy Cost
29.00
30
$ per kilotonne 24.00
of ore mined 25
20
15
10.00
10 7.00 7.00
5 2.00
0.13
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 800


of ore mined 700 641
599
600
500
385
400
300 281
185 217
200
100 54
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.05 0.045


0.039 0.040
0.04 0.037
0.034
0.03
0.02
0.01 0.004
0.002
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Blasting (Ore)
29
The energy costs for blasting ore varied from $56 to $208 per kilotonne of ore mined.
The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 208 : 56 374
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 520 : 284 183
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.680 : 0.186 366

Figure 3.13 – Blasting (Ore) Energy Costs

Energy Cost
250
$ per kilotonne 202 208
of ore mined 200 183 186
164
150
97
100
56
50
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 600 520


of ore mined 482 488 492
500
400 353
284 305
300
200
100
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.80


0.680
0.70
0.60
0.50 0.466
0.386 0.415
0.40 0.372
0.30 0.196
0.186
0.20
0.10
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Loading/Excavating Ore
30
The energy costs for loading/excavating ore varied from $10 to $98 per kilotonne of ore
mined. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 98 : 10 954
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 2 201 : 407 541
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.053 : 0.014 378

Figure 3.14 – Excavating (Ore) Energy Costs

Energy Cost
98
100
$ per kilotonne
of ore mined 80
62
60
40 34 35
29
17 22 22
20 10
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 2 500 2 201


of ore mined
2 000 1 658
1 500
857 938 1 061
1 000 726
621
407 461
500
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.06 0.053


0.05 0.045 0.047
0.04 0.037 0.037 0.037
0.033
0.03 0.026
0.02 0.014
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Ore Transport
31
The energy costs for hauling ore to the crusher or stockpile varied from $50 to $162 per
kilotonne of ore mined. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 162 : 50 327
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 4 432 : 2 020 219
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.045 : 0.021 208

Figure 3.15 – Ore Transport Energy Costs

Energy Cost
200
$ per kilotonne 162
of ore mined 135 135
150
120 121
100 88 89
63
50
50

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 5 000 4 432


of ore mined 3 933 4 106
4 000 3 417
3 000 2 687
2 359
2 020 2 231 2 316
2 000
1 000
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.05 0.045


0.040
0.04 0.037 0.037
0.034 0.035
0.031 0.033
0.03
0.021
0.02
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Mine Dewatering
32
The energy costs for mine dewatering varied from $0.00 to $454.00 per kilotonne of ore
mined. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 454.00 : 0.00 n/a
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 4 920 : 0 n/a
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.092 : 0.000 n/a

Figure 3.16 – Mine Dewatering Energy Costs

Energy Cost
500 454.00
$ per kilotonne
of ore mined 400
300
200
100
0.00 0.99 1.02 5.00 6.00 12.00
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption
4 920
kWhe per kilotonne 5 000
of ore mined 4 000
3 000
2 000
1 000 301 414
0 73 131 247
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.10 0.092


0.083
0.08
0.06
0.039 0.039
0.04
0.02
0.000 0.002 0.004
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Mine Support Equipment and Services


33
This category includes energy consumption reported by participants for mine support
equipment, road maintenance and service equipment and facilities. The energy costs for various
mine support equipment and services ranged from $12 to $280 per kilotonne of ore mined.
The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 280 : 12 2 376
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 6 463 : 549 1 177
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.048 : 0.017 288

Figure 3.17 – Mine Support Equipment and Services Energy Costs

Energy Cost
300 280
$ per kilotonne
of ore mined 250
200
150
86 97
100 70
46 46 56
50 12 29
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 8 000


of ore mined 7 000 6 463
6 000
5 000
4 000 3 365
3 000 2 408
1 815 2 014
2 000 1 211 1 347
1 000 549 689
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost


0.05 0.047 0.048
$ per kWhe 0.043 0.043
0.04 0.038
0.034
0.029
0.03
0.021
0.02 0.017

0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

3.3.4 Comparisons Based on Total Material Removed


34
Drilling

The drilling energy costs varied from $0.13 to $29.00 per kilotonne of material removed
(ore plus waste rock) for seven drilling operations, as illustrated below. The range of costs
and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of material removed) 29.00 : 0.13 21 969
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of material removed) 641 : 55 1 173
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.045 : 0.002 1 858

Figure 3.18 – Drilling Energy Costs

Energy Cost
29.00
30
$ per kilotonne of 24.00
material removed 25
20
15
10.00
10 7.00 7.00
5 2.00
0.13
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 800


of material removed 700 641
598
600
500 468
400
281
300 217
184
200
100 55
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.05 0.045


0.039 0.040
0.04 0.034 0.037
0.03
0.02
0.01 0.004
0.002
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

The influence of the size of the mining operation on energy consumption in drilling activities
is explored in the figure below. There appears to be a very strong relationship between the 35
drilling energy per kilotonne of material removed (i.e. rock broken) and the total volume
of material removed at the mine. The largest operations consume less than one half of
the energy per kilotonne in drilling operations that is reported by the smaller mines in the
study sample.

Figure 3.19 – Scale Economies: Drilling

750
kWhe per kilotonne

500

250

0
0 100
Millions of Tonnes of Material Removed

Blasting

The energy costs for blasting varied from $56 to $275 per kilotonne of material removed
(ore plus waste rock). The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of material removed) 275 : 56 494
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of material removed) 662 : 284 233
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.680 : 0.186 366

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Figure 3.20 – Blasting Energy Costs


36
Energy Cost
300 275
$ per kilotonne
of material removed 250
208
200 183 187
164
150
97
100
56
50
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 800


700 662
of material removed
600 491 520
486
500
400 305 352
284
300
200
100
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.8


0.7 0.680
0.6
0.5 0.466
0.373 0.385 0.415
0.4
0.3 0.186 0.196
0.2
0.1
0.0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

We examined the relationship between the size of the open-pit mining operations and the
price paid for blasting fuels. As indicated in the figure below, the larger operations tend to
be able to leverage their substantial requirements for blasting fuels into lower prices
from suppliers.

Figure 3.21 – Economies of Scale: Purchase Price of Blasting Fuels

$0.80

$0.60
$ per kWhe

$0.40

$0.20

$0.00
0 100
Millions of Tonnes of Material Removed

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Material Loading/Excavating
37
The energy costs for loading/excavating ore and waste rock varied from $15 to $98 per
kilotonne of material removed. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of material removed) 98 : 15 657
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of material removed) 2 202 : 389 566
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.053 : 0.015 364

Figure 3.22 – Excavating Energy Costs

Energy Cost
98
100
$ per kilotonne
of material removed 80
60
40 35 36
29
17 18 18 22
20 15

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 2 500 2 202


of material removed
2 000
1 500
969 1 018 1 061
1 000 702
620
389 407 455
500
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.06 0.053


0.05 0.045 0.047 0.047
0.04 0.037 0.037
0.033
0.03 0.026
0.02 0.015
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

The excavating/loading operations at open-pit mines would appear to generate significant


38 economies of scale. Larger mines are able to deploy extremely large and expensive (electric)
shovels that would not be cost-efficient in smaller mining operations. The figure below
examines the economies of scale reported in loading operations at the nine mines in the study.
Perhaps surprisingly, the energy consumption (kWhe per kilotonne of material removed)
reported for excavating operations is not much higher at the smaller mines participating in
this study.

Figure 3.23 – Economies of Scale: Excavating

3 000
kWhe per kilotonne

2 000

1 000

0
0 150
Millions of Tonnes of Material Removed

Hauling

The energy costs for hauling material from the pit to the crusher, stockpile or dump varied
from $65 to $158 per kilotonne of material removed (ore plus waste rock). The range of
costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of material removed) 158 : 65 243
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of material removed) 4 591 : 2 359 195
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.045 : 0.021 208

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Figure 3.24 – Transport/Hauling Energy Costs


39
Energy Cost
200
$ per kilotonne
147 158
of material removed 150 138 138
112 120
100 88
65 75
50

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 5 000 4 360 4 591


of material removed 4 000 3 759
3 483
3 028 3 175
3 000 2 687
2 359 2 403
2 000
1 000
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.05 0.045


0.040
0.04 0.037 0.037
0.034 0.034 0.035
0.031
0.03
0.021
0.02
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Hauling is another mining operation that can generate economies of scale since the largest
mines are more able to use very large trucks (over 200 tons). On the basis of the data illus-
trated in the figure below, however, the larger mines do not appear to be realizing any savings
in energy consumption per kilotonne of material removed compared with the smaller
open-pit mines in the study.

Figure 3.25 – Economies of Scale: Hauling

5 000

4 000
kWhe per kilotonne

3 000

2 000

1 000

0
0 150
Millions of Tonnes of Material Removed

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Mine Dewatering
40
The energy costs for mine dewatering varied from $0.00 to $86.00 per kilotonne of material
removed. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of material removed) 86.00 : 0.00 n/a
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of material removed) 928 : 0 n/a
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.002 : 0.000 n/a

Figure 3.26 – Mine Dewatering Energy Costs

Energy Cost
100
$ per kilotonne 86.00
of material removed 80
60
40
20
0.98 1.00 3.00 6.00
0.00 0.61
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 1 000 928


of material removed 800
600
400
236 256
200 144
0 34 40
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.10 0.092


0.083
0.08
0.06
0.039 0.039
0.04
0.02
0.000 0.002 0.004
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Mine Support Equipment and Services2


41
The energy costs for various mine support equipment and services ranged from $6 to
$44 per kilotonne of material removed. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of material removed) 44 : 6 684
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of material removed) 2 078 : 301 691
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.048 : 0.017 288

Figure 3.27 – Mine Support Equipment and Services Energy Costs

Energy Cost
50 44
$ per kilotonne 40
of material removed 40 34 35
30 25 26
20 16 16
10 6
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 2 500


of material removed 2 078
2 000
1 500
1 150 1 291
1 000 917
527 666
500 301 342 373

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.05 0.047 0.048


0.043 0.043
0.04 0.038
0.034
0.029
0.03
0.021
0.02 0.017
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2 THIS CATEGORY INCLUDES ENERGY CONSUMPTION REPORTED BY PARTICIPANTS FOR MINE SUPPORT EQUIPMENT, ROAD
MAINTENANCE AND SERVICE EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Total Mining Costs per Kilotonne Removed


42
The total energy costs for mining operations ranged from $89 to $483 per kilotonne of
material removed. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of material removed) 483 : 89 510
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of material removed) 8 035 : 3 231 249
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.074 : 0.022 334

Figure 3.28 – Total Mining Costs

Energy Cost
456 483
500 439
$ per kilotonne
of material removed 400 381
312 322 324
300
200
89 107
100
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 10 000


of material removed 8 035
8 000
6 581
5 924 5 982 6 108 6 161 6 441
6 000
4 030
4 000 3 231
2 000
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.08 0.074


0.069
0.07 0.060 0.062
0.06 0.054
0.048 0.052
0.05
0.04 0.033
0.03 0.022
0.02
0.01
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

The effect of economies of scale on the energy consumption in total mining operations
within the nine mines in the study is shown in the figure below. The two largest opera- 43
tions, the oil sands operations, which have no drilling or blasting operations, recorded the
lowest energy consumption per kilotonne of material removed. There was, however, little
evidence of any economies of scale for energy consumption among the seven “hard rock”
open-pit mines in the study.

Figure 3.29 – Economies of Scale: Total Mining Energy

9 000
kWhe per kilotonne

6 000

3 000

0
0 150
Millions of Tonnes of Material Removed

3.4 Inter-Mine Comparative Energy Costs –


Mill/Concentrator Operations

3.4.1 Total Mill/Concentrator Operations

The total energy costs for open-pit mining for seven operations are shown below. As illus-
trated, the energy costs vary from $105 per kilotonne of ore processed to $2,367 per kilotonne.
The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore processed) 2 367 : 105 2 254
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore processed) 35 701 : 13 144 272
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.083 : 0.005 1 681

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

The total costs shown here cover crushing, grinding, all other concentration, extraction
44 and recovery operations, tailings treatment, process water supply, and other plant energy.
Any in-pit crushing has been included with the primary crushing operations at the mill.

Figure 3.30 – Total Energy Costs: Mill/Concentrator Operations

Energy Cost
2 500 2 367
$ per kilotonne
of ore processed 2 000
1 523
1 500 1 209
960
1 000
353 431
500 105
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 40 000 35 701


of ore processed 35 000
30 000 28 449
23 811 24 540
25 000 21 229 21 298
20 000
15 000 13 144
10 000
5 000
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.10


0.083
0.08 0.072
0.06 0.051
0.039
0.04 0.033
0.02 0.010
0.005
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

3.4.2 Mill/Concentrator Operations – Stages of Production


45
Crushing

Energy costs for crushing ore varied from $2 to $160 per kilotonne of ore processed for
seven operations. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore processed) 160 : 2 8 126
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore processed) 2 804 : 253 1 110
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.092 : 0.003 2 957

Figure 3.31 – Crushing Energy Costs

Energy Cost
200
$ per kilotonne 160
of ore processed
150

100 79
60
39 46
50
2 3
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 3 000 2 804


of ore processed 2 500 2 358
1 945
2 000
1 500
1 065
1 000
427 561
500 253
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.10 0.092


0.083
0.08
0.06 0.057
0.041
0.04
0.025
0.02 0.008
0.003
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Grinding
46
Energy costs for grinding ore varied from $6 to $1,507 per kilotonne of ore processed.
The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore processed) 1 507 : 6 23 815
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore processed) 16 320 : 2 639 619
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.092 : 0.002 3 849

Figure 3.32 – Grinding Energy Costs

Energy Cost
2 000
$ per kilotonne
of ore processed 1 507
1 500

1 000
603 698
582
500
139
6 21
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 20 000


of ore processed 16 320
14 930
15 000 12 232
10 000 7 280
4 957
5 000 2 639 3 620

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.10 0.092


0.083
0.08
0.06 0.057
0.039 0.039
0.04
0.02
0.002 0.004
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Crushing and Grinding Combined


47
Energy costs for crushing and grinding combined varied from $10 to $1,547 per kilotonne
of ore processed. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore processed) 1 547 : 10 16 014
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore processed) 16 874 : 3 704 456
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.092 : 0.003 3 539

Figure 3.33 – Crushing and Grinding Energy Costs

Energy Cost
2 000
$ per kilotonne
of ore processed 1 547
1 500

1 000 859
649 661
500
199
10 23
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 20 000


16 747 16 874
of ore processed 15 035
15 000

10 000 7 842
5 210 5 978
5 000 3 704

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.10 0.092


0.083
0.08
0.06 0.057
0.039
0.04 0.033
0.02
0.003 0.005
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

All Other Mill/Concentrator


48
This category of mill/concentrator costs aggregates energy consumed in the separation,
filtering and drying processes for iron ore mines, and included in the separation are
carbon-in-leach (CIL) and carbon-in-column (CIC) circuits, stripping, electrowinning and
refining operations at gold mines. These costs varied from $45 to $753 per kilotonne of
ore processed. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore processed) 753 : 45 1 668
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore processed) 26 105 : 2 744 951
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.070 : 0.005 1 334

Figure 3.34 – Energy Costs: All Other Processing

Energy Cost
800 753
$ per kilotonne 623
700
of ore processed
600
500
400 327
300
129 170
200 107
100 45
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 30 000 26 105


of ore processed 25 000
20 000
15 000
9 331 10 827
10 000 8 666
4 480 4 650
5 000 2 744
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.08 0.070


0.07 0.067
0.06
0.05
0.037 0.039
0.04 0.029
0.03
0.02 0.013
0.01 0.005
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Tailings Treatment
49
Energy costs for tailings treatment varied from $5 to $100 per kilotonne of ore processed.
The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore processed) 100 : 5 1 844
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore processed) 2 261 : 245 924
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.092 : 0.002 3 849

Figure 3.35 – Energy Costs: Tailings Treatment

Energy Cost
100
100
$ per kilotonne 85
of ore processed 80
58
60 49
40
23
20 9
5
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 2 500 2 261


of ore processed 2 049
2 000 1 751
1 503
1 500 1 261
1 023
1 000
500 245
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.10 0.092


0.083
0.08
0.06 0.057
0.039 0.039
0.04
0.02
0.002 0.004
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

Process Water Supply


50
Energy costs for process water supply varied from $5 to $90 per kilotonne of ore processed.
The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore processed) 90 : 5 1 671
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore processed) 2 249 : 79 2 864
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.092 : 0.002 3 849

Figure 3.36 – Process Water Supply Energy Costs

Energy Cost
100 90
$ per kilotonne
of ore processed 80
60
46
40 30
20
20 7 8
5
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 2 500 2 249


of ore processed 1 978
2 000
1 500 1 182
1 089
1 000
518 523
500
79
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.10 0.092


0.083
0.08
0.06 0.057
0.039 0.039
0.04
0.02
0.002 0.004
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES 3

Other Plant Energy


51
Other plant energy costs varied from $5 to $123 per kilotonne of ore processed. The range
of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore processed) 123 : 5 2 254
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore processed) 3 326 : 552 603
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.069 : 0.004 1 745

Figure 3.37 – Other Plant Energy Costs

Energy Cost
150
$ per kilotonne 123
of ore processed 120
90 76
60 51
38
30 20
5
0
1 2 3 4 5 6

Energy Consumption

kWhe per kilotonne 3 500 3 143 3 326


of ore processed 3 000
2 500
1 852 2 013
2 000
1 500 1 382
1 000 552
500
0
1 2 3 4 5 6

Unit Energy Cost

$ per kWhe 0.08


0.069
0.07
0.06
0.05
0.038 0.039
0.04
0.03 0.027
0.02
0.01 0.004 0.006
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


3 RESULTS: BENCHMARKING PARTICIPATING MINES

3.5 General and Administrative


52
The total energy costs for general and administrative operations for seven operations are
shown below. As illustrated, the reported energy costs vary from $1 per kilotonne of ore
mined to $153 per kilotonne. The range of costs and efficiencies is as follows:

Range High : Low


High : Low Percent
Energy Cost ($/kilotonne of ore mined) 153 : 1 15 504
Energy Consumption (kWhe/kilotonne of ore mined) 4 818 : 83 5 819
Unit Energy Cost ($/kWhe) 0.059 : 0.004 1 503

The total costs shown here cover energy consumed in operating guardhouses, parking lots,
assay laboratories, camps, etc.

Figure 3.38 – General and Administrative Energy Costs

Energy Cost
200
$ per kilotonne
of ore mined 153
150

100 74
50 30
7 17
1 5
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Energy Consumption
5 000 4 818
kWhe per kilotonne
of ore mined 4 000
3 000
2 000 1 877
1 236
1 000 451 503
83 252
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Unit Energy Cost


0.059
$ per kWhe 0.06 0.055
0.05
0.039 0.039
0.04
0.032
0.03
0.02
0.01 0.004 0.006
0.00
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


4
POTENTIAL
SAVINGS:
ACHIEVING
BENCHMARK
STANDARDS
4 POTENTIAL SAVINGS: ACHIEVING BENCHMARK STANDARDS

4. POTENTIAL SAVINGS: ACHIEVING BENCHMARK STANDARDS


54

4.1 Context
In this section, we present some general estimates of potential energy savings from attaining
the performance of the most energy-efficient operations. To determine the related potential
cost savings, we used weighted average costs for each source of energy.

It should be noted, however, that the potential savings identified may not be realizable for
a number of practical reasons. For example, savings may be related to economies of scale
or the nature of the ore body, or customer requirements may dictate the use of a particular
technology precluding the use of a more energy-efficient technology.

At the same time, there may be some offsetting arguments regarding the size of the potential
savings when considering the following:

• There are opportunities for improvement in the lowest-cost, most efficient facilities. The
fact that different firms lead in different stages of production provides even more evidence
of the potential.
• There could be operations outside the study sample that have lower-cost, more efficient
operations.

In light of the above observations, we present below a simplistic estimate of the potential
savings achievable if each participant were to attain the most efficient level of energy con-
sumption for each stage of production, using average energy source prices.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


POTENTIAL SAVINGS: ACHIEVING BENCHMARK STANDARDS 4

4.2 Potential Energy Savings: Mining


55
Mining Operations (Material Removed)

Weighted Lowest Savings Average Total Total


Average kWhe/kt kWhe/kt $/kWhe kt Savings
kWhe ($M)
Drilling 291 55 236 0.031 326 2.4
Blasting 448 284 104 0.034 326 18.2
Loading 707 389 318 0.036 533 6.1
Transport 3 258 2 359 899 0.033 533 15.8
Support 704 301 403 0.032 533 6.9
Total 49.4
(36%)

With respect to mining operations, potential identified energy savings represent a cost saving
of about $49 million, or approximately 36 percent.

4.3 Potential Energy Savings: Milling


Iron Ore Concentration

Weighted Lowest Savings Average Total Total


Average kWhe/kt kWhe/kt $/kWhe kt Savings
kWhe ($M)
Crushing 1 282 253 1 029 0.021 95 018 2.0
Grinding 3 983 2 639 1 344 0.017 95 018 2.2
Further 10 008 4 480 5 528 0.013 95 018 6.8
Processing
Tailings 1 857 1 503 354 0.015 95 018 0.5
Process Water 1 692 1 182 510 0.014 95 018 0.7
Other 2 730 1 382 1 348 0.006 55 101 0.4
Total 12.7
(47%)

With respect to iron ore concentration operations, potential energy savings identified are
about $13 million, or approximately 47 percent.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES


4 POTENTIAL SAVINGS: ACHIEVING BENCHMARK STANDARDS

Gold Milling
56
Weighted Lowest Savings Average Total Total
Average kWhe/kt kWhe/kt $/kWhe kt Savings
kWhe ($M)
Crushing 1 549 427 1 122 0.054 15 783 1.0
Grinding 13 009 7 280 5 729 0.063 15 783 5.7
Further 6 248 2 744 3 504 0.058 15 783 3.2
Processing
Tailings 1 131 245 886 0.057 15 783 0.8
Process Water 538 79 459 0.063 15 783 0.5
Other 2 029 552 1 477 0.038 15 783 0.9
Total 11.9
(53%)

With respect to gold milling operations, potential energy savings identified are in the order
of $12 million, or approximately 53 percent.

To sum up, potential annual energy savings identified with the most efficient operation for
each production stage as the benchmark are about $74 million (about one third of total
energy costs), as applied to the nine study participants.

On a cautionary note, we should point out that these savings are hypothetical and may not
be achievable owing to circumstances faced by each mine, i.e. the nature of the ore body,
technology employed, long-term contractual obligations, etc.

BENCHMARKING THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF CANADIAN OPEN-PIT MINES