Concept Development of Optimal Mine Site Energy Supply
This paper reports on early work and concept development for Optimal Mine Site Energy Supply, where the specific energy supply requirements and constraints for mineral production operations are considered against methodologies that have been applied for other sectors and in other energy policy regimes. The primary motivation for this research is to help ensure that Canadian mineral producers will achieve reduced production costs through improvements in the efficiency with which they consume energy resources. Heat has not yet been considered for the mining sector in an integrated manner, which makes polygeneration of great interest. The methodology that optimizes configuration of polygeneration systems for mine sites has not been reported before. The variety of mining circumstances, temporal variations in energy prices, institutional inertia, and conservatism in design for mines are some of the reasons for this. This paper reviews some aspects of precedent energy management practice in mineral operations, which highlights energy challenges characteristic of the sector and sets out the initial formulation of optimal mine site energy supply. The review indicates the additional benefits of energy supply systems for mine sites that concurrently meet all utilities.
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