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The Bellevue Gold operation in Western Australia. Image: Bellevue Gold

Bellevue Gold has set a carbon-neutral target for 2026, outlining multiple mining practices and renewable energy use to achieve its ambitious goals.

As the miner builds towards restarting its namesake gold project in Western Australia by the end of 2022, it recognised that constructing sustainable operations initially would be easier than retrofitting such solutions.

“Efficiency based initiatives that will be considered include smart blasting, energy efficient grinding, variable speed drive motors/high efficiency motors, improving driver practices, automation and maintenance procedures,” the company stated.

“Such initiatives, as well as reducing energy use and carbon emissions, will result in a reduction in mining costs.”

The project may be capable of mining one million tonnes per annum, with targets to produce at least 160,000 ounces of gold per year for the first five years.

Under the project’s initial feasibility study from February 2021, about 73 per cent of its power was expected to come from a gas-fired power station.

However, with these new emissions targets Bellevue will now look to source more than half of the project’s energy from renewables – becoming one of the highest renewable energy penetration rates of any Australian mine.

“The company is also looking and planning how to increase this renewable energy fraction to grow above 50 per cent and towards more than 70 per cent leading up to 2026 and beyond,” Bellevue stated.

“This would be a major achievement for the company and would place it as a clear leader within the gold industry based on greenhouse gas emissions.”

Further carbon reduction activities to be considered will involve ventilation on demand technology using a full fibre-optic underground network, as well as carbon capture and battery storage.

Bellevue made clear it would not be relying on carbon offsets to achieve net zero emissions.

In the company’s notice of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on November 24, Bellevue declared it would ask its shareholders to vote on an executive incentive to achieve its ambitious emission reduction goals.

If the goal is achieved, executive directors Stephen Parsons and Michael Naylor would receive an extra 66 per cent and 86 per cent, respectively, on top of their current annual long-term incentives.