October 24, 2005

Quebec Mining Assn, Hydro-QuÈbec sign energy efficiency MOU

The Quebec Mining Association (QMA) and Hydro-QuÈbec have signed a memorandum of co-operation on energy efficiency. The objective of the agreement, part of Hydro-QuÈbec's comprehensive energy efficiency program, is to pool the company's expertise with that of the Quebec mining industry in order to come up with ways to better manage energy efficiency.

"The Quebec mining industry is a major energy user," said QMA president Dan Tolgyesi, "and with a view to sustainable development, collaborating with Hydro-QuÈbec will help it use energy more effectively while improving its economic performance." The QMA plans to set up a permanent joint committee mandated to identify energy issues faced by member companies and to promote solutions based on energy efficiency.

This is not the first time that the mining industry and Hydro-QuÈbec have teamed up to improve energy efficiency for industrial processes. Over the past few years, the QMA, Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET), and Hydro-QuÈbec have been jointly developing a scooptram with a hybrid diesel-electric engine for hauling ore underground.

Replacing the scooptram's conventional diesel engine with a hybrid unit cuts gas and particulate emissions sharply, and reduces energy costs in underground mining operations since less ventilation is required. Underground testing of the prototype should begin by late 2005 at the CANMET Experimental Mine in Val-d'Or.

A second collaborative project between Hydro-QuÈbec, CANMET and SOREDEM, the AMQ's research organization, is to establish the potential energy savings of replacing portable compressed-air drills, which consume a great deal of energy, with electric or hydraulic drills.

Though still at the concept development stage, the project holds great promise for the mining industry since it would help reduce production costs. Implementing electric and hydraulic technology would reduce electricity consumption for all Quebec mines by an estimated 2 to 6.8 GWh annually.

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