Bellevue Gold, which is on track to produce first gold at its namesake Leinster mine in the December quarter, has signed a power purchase agreement with a subsidiary of Zenith Energy Operations.
Zenith will finance, own and operate the 88MW power station at the Bellevue project for an initial term of 15 years.
It will be designed to meet 80 per cent of the project’s power needs, consisting of wind and solar as well as thermal generation and battery energy storage, and can run “engine-off” for extended periods.
However, Bellevue said it would enable the project to operate with 100 per cent clean power during periods of high renewable energy generation.
Bellevue has commenced construction of the power station infrastructure, with earthworks and concrete foundations for the thermal station complete.
The company has also inked a refining deal with Sydney-based ABC Refinery under which the company’s gold can be refined separately, allowing the product to be marketed as “green” as a reflection of its net-zero status. Bellevue said this would enable it to receive a premium price for its “green gold”.
Bellevue managing director Darren Stralow said the power purchase agreement was another key milestone on the company’s path to the start of gold production later this year.
“The high utilisation of renewable energy in the power station and the flexibility to time-shifting activities with renewable energy availability is central to our goal to be Australia’s first net-zero gold producer,” he said.
“As well as being environmentally responsible, this approach could see Bellevue receive a premium price for its gold.”
ABC is the refining division of Pallion Group, Australasia’s largest independent precious metal services group of companies.