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Economic and Environmental Benefits Of Energy Efficiency and Conservation At the Bamangwato Concession Limited Copper/Nickel Mines.


By Prof. Richard O. Fagbenle

Executive Summary

This report presents the results of an investigation that was carried out in an effort to support the obligations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCCC) by analysing the energy consumption patterns in the Bamangwato Concession Limited (BCL), one of the main mining industries in Botswana. The country's commitment to the obligations to climate change, energy efficiency and conservation issues are thoroughly embedded in the National Development Plans, the country's Vision 2016, the Energy Policy objectives and the country being a signatory to the UNFCCC.

The BCL is a copper‑nickel mine that concentrates and smelts the ore to produce matte, which is then exported for further treatment and refining.  Although the overall mine costs are entirely dependent on various management systems and practices instituted at the mine, the unit‑selling price of the ore is controlled elsewhere by the vagaries of international market. Consequently, the need to reduce production costs by introducing energy conservation measures cannot be over emphasised. Of the mining industries in Botswana, BCL is the most energy intensive, as it accounts for approximately 64% of the total energy consumption in the industrial sector of the economy.  Therefore it seems attractive to propose an energy management system at the mine and the model, if successful, could be replicated in other industries.

It was found that the major energy consumers in the mine were engineering, smelter, mining and concentrator processes respectively. Thus the report proposes several energy improvement schemes that could be introduced at the mine.  Barriers to successful efficiency practices were also identified.

The report recommends that a detailed technical energy audit of the mine should be undertaken to confirm the initial findings of this study. However, full support of the Global Environment Facility, financial institutions, the BCL and the government of Botswana is essential to abate emission of green house gases in Botswana and thus contribute to the objectives of the UNFCCC.

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