Golden Vertex has begun construction of a new 6.9 mile, 3 phase, 24.9kV power line as part of the Moss Mine Federal Lands Expansion project. The line will tie into an existing power line at the intersection of Silver Creek Rd and Bullhead Parkway. This new power line will allow Golden Vertex to convert the Moss Mine from onsite diesel-generated power to utility grid power supplied by Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC).
Currently, electricity is supplied to the mine by eight 455 kW Tier IV Final diesel generators that power the crushing and Merrill Crowe plants, the offices, shops, and laboratories. Seven smaller diesel generators ranging in size from 6 to 240 kW are located adjacent to pumps in the leach ponds and water wells. As these engines age, it is anticipated that maintenance and instances and duration of equipment failures will increase. MEC has a proven record for reliable electric system operation and fast restore times when outage events occur.
Provision of utility grid power to enable replacement of the generators will save the company an estimated $130,000 per month at present diesel prices, eliminate the burning of 5,600 gallons of diesel per day, and reduce emissions by 840 tons of noxious gases per year as well as drastically lessen emissions of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen into the atmosphere. This project will also increase the efficiency of the mining operations by substituting high-cost diesel-generated power with lower cost, more reliable, utility power.
A communications fiber optic cable will be installed on the new power line poles. The fiber optic line will provide data and communications capabilities for mine operations, for the precious metals security and camera systems, and for environmental control and monitoring.
Funding for the project was provided by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The EECLP provides funds to reduce emissions from diesel generation of electricity and help strengthen rural economies through job creation for energy efficiency and conservation projects. The Moss Mine project is responsible for over 140 jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity for the state of Arizona.