South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has revised schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act which allows mining companies to generate their own energy for self-use. The mining industry has welcomed the easing up of the previously tightly regulated energy generation sector.

While the ability to self-generate energy would create a more open and enabling environment for large energy users to reduce the burden on the national grid by generating power to meet their own needs, it begs the question: Is South Africa’s mining industry fully prepared to generate their own energy?

Mining Review Africa hosted a discussion that unpacked both the mining and renewable energy generation sectors’ readiness and outline the measures to be put in place for effective self-generation of energy to take place in South Africa’s mining sector.

Key discussion points included:

  • The energy options best suited to South Africa’s mining industry
  • Advice and guidance on South Africa’s current energy generation regulation and policies and how to begin self-generating energy
  • Case studies from mining companies that have already begun self-generating energy at their operations or are in the process of developing self-generation energy projects
  • The benefits and implications of self-generation

Panel:

Alexandra Felekis, Partner | Webber Wentzel

Felekis focuses on project finance and infrastructure finance, particularly as it relates to concessions, procurement programmes, public-private partnerships and financings in the mining and energy sectors. She is part of the team advising the South African Government on its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (REIPP) Procurement Programme. Over the past few years, she has honed her skill set in the ever-growing private sector captive/off-grid power market both in South Africa and the rest of Africa, acting for both offtakers and independent power producers in this space.

Robert Futter, Director | Cresco Group

Futter, a qualified Chartered Accountant, has worked for Cresco Group for the past 13 years across industries with a strong focus on mining and infrastructure. He has focused on project finance in Sub Saharan Africa for the past 16 years, with an additionally 4 years’ experience in the UK / European market in similar areas. He specialises in financial modelling and finance structuring for cross border opportunities.

Dr Tsakani Mthombeni, Vice President: Group Head of Carbon and Energy | Gold Fields

Dr Mthombeni is responsible for setting the energy management and climate change strategy and supporting its execution across Gold Fields’ eight gold mining operations in four countries – South Africa, Ghana, Australia and Peru. Gold Fields’ energy spend accounts for some 22% of our operation costs (2019, US$300 million), thus energy security and management is a strategic imperative for us.

Prior to this role, Mthombeni spent five years sourcing and funding pre-commercial new energy technologies in South Africa as the General Manager: Energy, at the Technology Innovation Agency.

He also worked for Anglo American as group Senior Energy Engineer, developing standards and guidelines for energy management initiatives across the diamonds, platinum, coal, iron ore and platinum assets, as well as at South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, as a technical specialist.

Prior to this role, Mthombeni spent five years sourcing and funding pre-commercial new energy technologies in South Africa as the General Manager: Energy, at the Technology Innovation Agency.

He also worked for Anglo American as group Senior Energy Engineer, developing standards and guidelines for energy management initiatives across the diamonds, platinum, coal, iron ore and platinum assets, as well as at South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, as a technical specialist.