Part 3: Technology and operating practices-deliver results

Leading practice energy management ultimately requires that existing equipment, operating practices (or ‘business as usual’, in the case of mine design and procurement), or both be modified to use less energy to deliver product.

The first two parts of this leading practice guide emphasise that optimising energy use requires a clear understanding of the business case that supports energy management to motivate staff and management and that energy management needs to be integrated into management systems.

This chapter outlines the range of technical and operating practice changes that can deliver improvements in each major area of mining operations. It draws on information developed by the Department of Industry for the Energy Efficiency Exchange website and publicly available case studies. The case studies include some that have been publicly reported by mining businesses under the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act between 2006 and 2014. Footnote 6

Traditionally, energy management has focused on ancillary equipment such as pumps, motors and fans. The opportunities described in this section show that leading practice energy management requires a wider focus in order to identify and implement opportunities in core operational processes, including onsite materials movement and minerals processing. Those opportunities should be considered from a ‘systems’ perspective; that is, the interactions between equipment, processes and operating practices should be explored in order to deliver deeper shifts in the way energy is consumed.

For clarity, improvement options have been structured into seven categories:

  • Energy supply and procurement
  • Buildings
  • Blasting
  • Onsite materials movement
  • Minerals processing
  • Air, water and ancillary equipment
  • Product transportation

Within each category, opportunities should be considered not just in operational mode. New developments, mine planning and procurement all present significant opportunities to identify and implement improvements.


Footnote 6
Energy Efficiency Exchange,

Return to footnote 6 referrer

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