Boliden Tara Mines Limited, part of the Boliden AB group, operates Europe’s largest zinc mine at Navan, County Meath, with approximately 690 employees. Mining offers unique challenges as the energy requirement for ore handling, water pumping and ventilation increases as deeper and more remote areas are mined. The company expends considerable energy operating the underground mine and surface processing plant and maintains a 25.5 megawatt / 110 Kv power supply network through its on-site sub-station. In 2006, the company decided to tackle its energy efficiency and selected Antaris to assist it in implementing an energy management system standard.
Antaris carried out a comprehensive review of energy sources on-site, including electricity, oil and LPG, and undertook an assessment of the main energy uses, factors, equipment and costs both above and below ground for the previous three years. This formed the basis of a Review of Energy Aspects document (which considered past, present and predicted energy usage, opportunities for improvement and the key roles of Boliden Tara Mines personnel in energy management), to enable the company to effectively assess and manage its energy usage. Antaris then evaluated Boliden Tara Mines’ legal obligations and other requirements relating to energy, and prepared an online Register of Energy Legislation using Antaris’ flagship software product Pegasus Legal Register (to complement the existing Pegasus Registers of Environment and Health & Safety legislation). Based on the Review of Energy Aspects and these legal and other requirements, Antaris then prepared a Register of Opportunities for Improvement and assisted Boliden Tara Mines in setting energy objectives and measures (Energy Performance Indicators) to ensure improved energy efficiency at the relevant operating levels through a documented energy management programme. Antaris then matched the roles and responsibilities of key personnel to energy management, reviewed operational procedures as they related to energy usage, procurement and design, and identified specific communication and training requirements for the programme in the light of Boliden Tara Mines’ existing Environmental Management System, ISO 14001 and Health & Safety Management System, OHSAS 18001. Throughout the programme, Antaris sought to integrate existing environmental and health & safety management system requirements into the energy management system, including internal audits, non-conformance, corrective and preventive action and review.
As a result of our work in helping the company to implement its energy management system, Boliden Tara Mines achieved certification to IS 393, the Irish Energy Management Standard in 2008 and upgraded to EN 16001, the new European Energy Management Standard in 2010. The company is now making significant energy savings, resulting in lower costs and a greater return on investment, thanks to an increased awareness throughout Boliden Tara Mines of its energy requirements and a better understanding and management of its systems and equipment efficiencies. ‘We have found Antaris to be a technically excellent and very cost-effective partner since 2006 and the relationship continues.’
Dónal Ó Murchú, Manager of Concentrates and Tailings, Boliden Tara Mines