Mining is an energy-intensive business. From blasting and hauling to crushing and processing, energy is used at every stage of the mining process and represents a significant portion of our overall costs.

We also understand the important link between energy use and climate change. Barrick considers climate change to be a company, community, and global concern. By effectively managing our energy use, we are able to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, achieve more efficient production, reduce our draw from local energy grids and save a significant proportion of our direct mining costs. Managing our energy use is therefore a business imperative.

Our Approach

Conservation, energy efficiency and alternative energy sources form our core energy strategies. Barrick’s Energy Management Policy establishes requirements for the effective administration and control of all energy sources (fuel, power, explosives) used by the company. Throughout the mining process, our approach to managing energy use and climate change is informed by our Environmental Management System and associated Standards.

Barrick understands the fundamental link between energy use and climate change and sees climate change as a company, community, and global concern. We have endorsed the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Position Statement on Climate Change and support placing a market price on GHG emissions.
As part of the company’s energy strategy, Barrick has put in place a five-year energy plan with a goal of reducing energy costs by at least 10 percent. The plan includes a GHG emissions reduction strategy with both mid- and long-term targets. 2014 will be used as the new global baseline for GHG and energy reduction target setting.
Energy Intensity & GHG Emissions

Our Progress

  • In 2015, we made progress towards our goal of reducing energy costs by 10% by 2019 by reducing our spend on energy by 33% from our 2014 baseline.
  • We increased our total energy use from 55,549,720 GJ in 2014 to 55,856,469 GJ in 2015. However, we experienced an improvement in our energy intensity in 2015: when processing, Barrick used 4% less energy per tonne of ore processed; although when mining, the company used 7% more energy per tonne of ore moved. In terms of emissions intensity, we emitted the same amount of kilograms of CO2e per tonne of ore moved, and 1.1% less kilograms of CO2e per tonne of ore processed in 2015.
  • In 2015, 18.5% percent of our electrical power, both self-generated and purchased, was sourced from renewables, an increase from 17.15% in 2014.
  • We appointed energy champions at each site in 2015. The role of these champions is to understand the energy profile and performance at the mine, drive energy efficiency initiatives and projects, co-construct and implement solutions with their mine teams, invest time and resources into identifying and assessing opportunities, communicate and educate and be the change ambassador.

Priorities in 2016

  • We will continue our efforts to reduce energy costs by at least 10 percent, in line with our five-year energy plan.
  • In 2016, as part of Barrick’s Best In Class Initiative (BIC), energy intensity was recognized as one of the key indicators (mining intensity, labor intensity, installed capacity intensity and energy intensity) that Barrick must properly measure and manage in order to become a Best In Class company. Therefore, mine GMs and their staff are keenly focused in this area and are compensated accordingly.  
  • Barrick is developing a real-time Energy Management Information System (EMIS) that leverages our OsiSoft Pi systems to provide dynamic dashboards on energy use, costs, GHG emissions, Mass-Energy Balances, drill-down capability to asset level information, measurement and verification (M&V) capabilities to validate the actual savings from energy projects and data analytics. 
  • Barrick will be piloting an Energy Ideation, Collaboration and Project Management tool. This social network-based system will allow real-time collaboration across all of Barrick’s mines, corporate offices and subject matter experts in sharing ideas, best practices and challenges; identifying and quantifying opportunities; and then the project development and management of these ideas (i.e. a turnkey, integrated and collaborative approach to managing our energy portfolio throughout the company).
  • In 2015-2016 Barrick identified several opportunities and technologies to improve the way in which we move materials within a mine and from mine to mine that could result in substantial energy and operating savings while drastically reducing our carbon footprint. These opportunities will be further analyzed, developed and implemented where it makes sense.
  • We will continue to focus on technologies and innovation that will reduce our energy use and costs at existing mines while providing new opportunities and improved economics at new mines under development.

Barrick’s Five-Year Energy Plan

In 2014, Barrick developed a five-year energy plan with the goal of reducing energy costs by at least 10 percent.
To accomplish this, the company is exploring a range of energy initiatives for the short, medium, and long term, including fuel substitution, renewable energy opportunities, lighting upgrades (such as moving to LEDs), the use of variable-frequency drives (VFDs), energy contracts, ore movement options, compressed air, smart grids and waste heat recovery.

In addition to these initiatives, Barrick has implemented a Monthly Energy Reporting System (available to all staff via Barrick’s intranet) that provides detailed insights into our energy usage, costs, areas of opportunity, key KPIs and the ability to track and validate energy savings.

Considering GHG Emissions in Business Decisions
To ensure that potential financial risks associated with increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are appropriately considered, Barrick considers carbon emissions when making material decisions about projects or operations. For example, when making acquisitions environmental due diligence may include the calculation of a carbon footprint. For new projects, an energy study is performed and includes optimization of project energy efficiencies and an assessment of carbon emissions associated with potential power supply options. We also work with our industry associations in the jurisdictions where we operate and explore to understand emerging and changing climate-related policy and regulations.

Energy Initiatives

Over the past several years, all of our operations have conducted energy self-assessments to identify areas for improvement in energy efficiency and conservation. We have identified a wide variety of opportunities that range from increased energy awareness education, to improved ventilation fan monitoring, to enhanced fuel-management programs.

Many of the opportunities that have been identified will be able to be implemented without additional capital. For example, Barrick has begun negotiating non-capital-based strategies and entering partnerships that will allow us to use the energy savings stream from a project to finance the project. This will reduce the need for capital, expedite the implementation of projects, provide new resources and increase the number of projects that can be implemented to reduce energy costs and GHG emissions.

Fuel switching is another strategy we are exploring that will enable a site to reduce costs with little to no capital investment. For example, the Quisqueya I power plant, at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, is a dual-fuel system that can operate on heavy fuel oil, diesel, biofuels or natural gas. We are currently evaluating a switch from heavy fuel oil to liquid natural gas which would reduce operating cost while lowering our GHG emissions.

Similar efforts are being made in regard to switching haul trucks from diesel to natural gas (liquid natural gas (LNG) or high density compressed natural gas (HDCNG) at our Nevada operations to reduce operating costs, and GHG and particulate matter emissions.

Detailed Energy Workshops held at our mine sites have identified and quantified many new opportunities ranging from LED lighting, variable frequency drives and compressor plant improvements to heat recovery for power production, renewable opportunities and improved material movement systems.  

In the long term, we are looking for opportunities to develop energy efficient, “low-carbon” mines, which can similarly drive down costs and emissions. For example, current diesel haul truck technology for moving materials has a high-energy intensity compared to electric-based options like conveyors and rail (up to 75 percent in potential energy savings). Electric-based material movement opportunities also open up new renewable energy and regeneration-based complementary strategies as well.

Our Veladero mine in Argentina currently uses diesel powered generators to provide power to the site since there is no grid power available. In 2014, the diesel power plant produced 112,238 MWh/yr and generated 87,620 tCO2e/yr in GHG emissions (a baseline emissions intensity of 0.78 tCO2e/MWh). Veladero has recently completed a study to offset approximately 30% of their diesel power with solar and is in discussions with several world class solar developers. Veladero has one of the best solar resources in the world (7.03 kWh/m2/day). Displacing diesel power with solar could reduce annual GHG emissions by up to 30%, which would translate into a revised emission intensity index of only 0.55 tCO2e/MWh for power generation at Veladero. The solar plant could be installed and fully operational before the end of 2018.
Fuel Use
GHG Emissions


Gold Mining's Energy Challenge

Energy costs are mounting while gold grades are declining

Date Download Description
May 6, 2015 files/design/bodybg/our-approach.jpg
2014 Responsibility Report
Gold  $ 1,268.90 +3.55 +0.28% Volume: April 28, 2017
ABX NYSE  $ 16.72 +0.01 +0.06% Volume: 16,585,909 April 28, 2017
ABX TSX  $ 22.82 +0.10 +0.44% Volume: 3,683,889 April 28, 2017
Gold  $ 1,268.90 +3.55 +0.28% Volume: April 28, 2017

Our vision is the generation of wealth through responsible mining — wealth for our owners, our people, and the countries and communities with which we partner.

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