Glencore Ferroalloys, a leading producer of vanadium, is taking a significant step towards a more sustainable future with the construction of a 25MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at its Rhovan mine near Brits in the North West, as announced in a statement on Thursday.
The solar plant, expected to be operational by late 2024, is projected to supply roughly 30% of the mine's energy needs, resulting in a substantial reduction of over 48,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions annually. This aligns with Glencore's goal of cutting Scope 1 and 2 emissions from its industrial operations by 15% by 2026 and 50% by 2035. Construction has already begun on the site.
Rhovan is an open-cast mine and smelter complex which produces vanadium pentoxide and ferrovanadium. Glencore, who manages the mine, said in a press statement that, “We recognise our responsibility to contribute to the global effort to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement by decarbonising our own operational footprint. We believe that we should take a holistic approach and have considered our commitment through the lens of our global industrial emissions.”
As part of this holistic approach, the project also involves connecting with and empowering the local community, “Rhovan has already consulted with the Bakwena-Ba-Magopa Community in South Africa’s North West province where the operations are situated,” said Japie Fullard, Glencore Ferroalloys CEO, “The community will be further engaged, and local small and medium-sized enterprises will be contracted to assist in the construction and installation of the solar plant.”