In the 2015 World Bank report titled The Power of the Mine, the message is that African mining companies could improve their revenue and power supply if they invest in local power suppliers rather than relying on their own.
By joining together and becoming anchor customers of power utilities in Africa, miners can inject cash into financially starved utilities increasing power security and broadening electricity access, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Many mining facilities are generating their own power to avoid high tariff costs and irregular supply from the main energy suppliers, although the World Bank report indicates that miners could save a small fortune by investing that money into utilities instead.
“Power-mining integration can bring substantial cost savings to mines, electrification to communities and investment opportunities to the private sector”, Makhtar Diop, World Bank regional vice president for Africa said.
The report reveals that the mining industry has spent a total $15.3 billion on power investments and operational costs since 2000, resulting in an installed generation capacity of 1 590MW.
Forecasts predict that the sector will grow 50% by 2020 in Mozambique, Zambia, the Central Africa, West Africa and Guinea among others.
According to the World Bank, Tanzanian miners could save $3.4 billion-$3.7 billion in power costs should they enter into an integrated power generation project.