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Tue, Sept. 29

MEC and Golden Vertex break ground on new Moss Mine powerline

Workers from Mohave Electric Cooperative begin installing a new power line to serve the expansion of the Moss Mine near Bullhead City. (Mohave Electric Cooperative courtesy photo)

Workers from Mohave Electric Cooperative begin installing a new power line to serve the expansion of the Moss Mine near Bullhead City. (Mohave Electric Cooperative courtesy photo)

BULLHEAD CITY – Golden Vertex has begun construction of a new 6.9- mile, three-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 Road and Bullhead Parkway. The 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 wrote in a news release.

Currently, electricity is supplied to the mine by eight 455 kW Tier IV Final diesel generators that power the crushing and Merrill Crowe plants, offices, shops and laboratories. Seven smaller diesel generators ranging in size from 6kW 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,” MEC continued.

MEC wrote that utilization 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.

The 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, according to the release.

The mine expansion onto approximately 497 acres of public land managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management is expected to help sustain those jobs. A majority of the employees and contractors working at the mine are Mohave County residents, according to a Miner story when federal officials approved the expansion in March.

Information provided by Mohave Electric Cooperative

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