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Posted On: June 22, 2021

Abra Mining goes solar

The Abra base metals project is a high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate project being developed in Western Australia. On reaching full production, it would be one of the world’s biggest primary lead mine.
The pre-feasibility study for the Base Metals Project was completed in September 2018. Galena Mining, the project developer, proposes to commence feasibility study in late-2018 and complete the same in mid-2019.
The project is expected to produce high-grade lead-silver concentrate containing 91,000 tonnes per annum of lead and 760,000oz per annum of silver over its anticipated mine life of 16 years.
Abra Mining Pty Limited has executed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Contract Power Group for a hybrid electricity generation system including solar panels and battery storage for a project in WA. Based on the agreement, Contract Power will build, own and operate the electricity-generation facility which is designed to combine a 6 MW solar array and 2 MW of battery energy storage with a 10 MW natural gas-fired power station and a 900 KI LNG storage and regasification facility.
77.28% owned by Galena, the Abra Base Metals Project (Abra or the Project) is a globally significant lead-silver project located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, between the towns of Newman and Meekatharra.
Galena’s Managing Director Alex Molyneux said, “Integrating solar with relatively clean natural gas instead of diesel achieves a marked reduction in Abra’s carbon footprint compared to alternatives considered in the tender process.”
The Abra Base Metals Project site is located near Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa copper mine. It is Australia’s largest PV system operating at a mining site and consist of a 10.6 MW solar power plant with storage offsetting up to 20% of total diesel consumption annually. It exemplifies the benefits of hybridisation, such as savings on diesel fuel, reduction in emissions and reduced noise pollution from diesel generators.
DeGrussa paved the way for other miners too. The company’s combined LNG and renewables integration capability has allowed the design team to maximise solar penetration, thus making the Abra project with the highest reliability and lowest cost of power on an unsubsidised basis.
The Contract Power Group has significant experience in integrating renewable energy systems. Some of their renewable related projects are:
• As part of Onslow Microgrid Project, they have done a 1MW / 1MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and 1.25MVA Transformer at the Onslow Zone Substation.
• They partnered with Hybrid Systems Australia in installing 454.68 kW at the Meekatharra Solar Power Station.
• For the Esperance Power Project, Contract Power will supply electricity to Horizon Power customers from January 2022. Contract Power is responsible for the design, procurement, construction and operation of a gas-fired power station, a 5.5MW Battery Energy Storage System, two 4.3MW wind turbines, a 4MW solar energy facility consisting of more than 10,000 solar panels.
• Strandline Resources chose Contract Power to build, own and operate a 32MW hybrid gas and solar power station for Strandline’s Coburn mineral sands project in WA.
The Abra Lead-Silver Project in Western Australia represents one of the world’s largest undeveloped lead resources. By going solar this project will vanguard the next wave of renewables to sweep the country.

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