Pueblo Viejo Power Plant to Convert to Natural Gas
Pueblo Viejo, Goldcorp’s joint venture gold mine in the Dominican Republic, has just taken a huge step towards becoming a more sustainable mine.
One of the world’s largest gold mines, Pueblo Vieja, operated by Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation (PVDC), a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation (60%) and Goldcorp (40%), announced that it has signed a 10-year natural gas supply contract, generating key cost-savings at the operation.
PVDC owns and operates the Quisqueya I power generation facility and also supplies power to the Pueblo Viejo mine, and will convert the power plant from heavy fuel oil to natural gas.
Converting the power plant that feeds Pueblo Viejo from oil to natural gas is expected to reduce the operation’s average cost of sales and all-in sustaining costs by about $54 per ounce over the life of the mine, supported in part by the sale of excess power to the national energy grid. In switching to natural gas, PVDC is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at Pueblo Viejo by approximately 260,000 CO2 equivalent tonnes per year.
A new gas pipeline will be constructed and PVDC will invest around $7.5 million to convert Quisqueya I to natural gas, with commercial gas production expected to begin in the second half of 2019.
Located 100 kilometres northwest of Santa Domingo, Pueblo Viejo produces gold, silver and copper and began commercial production in 2013. Goldcorp’s share of gold produced at Pueblo Viejo in 2017 was 433,000 ounces. A project to expand mineral processing capacity is in the pre-feasibility stage.