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Gold miner Bellevue has signed a power purchase agreement with Zenith Energy for the building and operating of a power station at the Bellevue gold project in Western Australia.

Under the agreement, Zenith will finance, build, own, operate and maintain the 88 megawatt (MW) power station at the project for 15 years.

Construction of the power station has commenced, with earthworks and concrete foundations completed.

“This power purchase agreement is another key milestone on the path to the start of gold production later this year,” Bellevue managing director Darren Stralow said.

“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.

“As well as being environmentally responsible, this approach could see Bellevue receive a premium price for its gold.”

The power station will consist of hybrid wind and solar power, as well as thermal generation and battery energy storage. Bellevue is aiming to meet up to 80 per cent of the mine’s power needs with the new station.

Mining commenced at the Bellevue project in April this year, and it is forecasted that the project will become one of the highest-grade, lowest-cost mines in the country.

The project is predicted to produce an average of over 200,000 ounces of gold per year for the first five years, with an all-in sustaining cost of $1000–1100 per ounce.