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CBE to Supply 2.5 MWp of Solar Power to Molo Mine in Madagascar

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CrossBoundary Energy’s (CBE) Madagascar subsidiary will provide hybrid solar energy to power operations at the Molo graphite mine in Madagascar. The mine is operated by Canadian company NextSource Materials. The hybrid system will include a 2.5 MW solar photovoltaic power plant, a 1 MWh battery power storage system and 3.3 MW diesel generators.

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The 20-year term contract has been designed to scale with the production output of the Molo mine, where the power delivery will increase in lockstep with all future expansion capacity requirements. This contract will empower NextSource to source up to one-third of the mine’s total electricity needs from renewable solar energy. 

Located near the town of Fotadrevo in the Atsimo-Andrefana region, the Molo graphite project is a high-quality flake graphite deposit, 100%-owned by NextSource.

A subsidiary of CBE in Madagascar will build and operate the Molo hybrid power plant at no capital cost to NextSource. The hybridized solar-thermal project is planned to be located adjacent to the Molo mine site and is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2022, the same time when the Molo mine will be commissioned.

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NextSource President & CEO, Craig Scherba said “We are pleased to select CrossBoundary Energy to supply hybrid power for our Molo graphite mine, which delivers on our commitment to reduce emissions and move towards more sustainable operations.”

Head of Mining at CrossBoundary Energy Matthew Fredericks, stated that the solar hybrid solution for the Molo graphite facility will help lower its all-in sustaining costs, as well as minimize its carbon emissions. This is the second project opportunity in Madagascar for CBE, which aims at a flexible, collaborative approach to sustainable energy solutions for African mines.

Earlier this year, CBE announced the commissioning of two hybrid renewable energy projects, the first for Rio Tinto’s ilmenite mine near the town of Fort Dauphin, Madagascar, and the second for Eramet’s mineral sands mine in Senegal. With this project at Molo mine, CBE will have a total of 40MW of solar and wind generation, with 20MWh of battery energy storage system for several African mines.

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Many mining companies operating in Africa are opting for renewable energy to reduce their carbon footprint. Optimizing the solar component in these types of solar-thermal hybrid power plants will increase the percentage of renewable energy to a majority, reduce emissions, and work toward the goal of a carbon-neutral energy system.

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