What drives a business to go green? Well, a Las Vegas-based mining company thinks using wind to power its operations in Bolivia will give it a cost advantage over competitors, while also “opening doors to potential partners and clients who are particularly interested in conducting business with others who operate with consideration to their environmental footprint.”
Franklin Mining put out word that it plans to use wind power at its Escala property in Bolivia, which, according to the company’s website, “consists of a series of vertically oriented lead-zinc-silver base metal veins” that after mining and processing yield lead-silver and zinc-silver concentrates. How big would the wind power system be? No word on that. What’s the mine’s current energy source? Not said.
Franklin did say it was turning to Coastal Point Energy to install the wind power. It was hard to track down a great deal of information about this company. On its sparsely populated, under-construction website, Coastal Point talks about a planned giant wind farm in the Gulf of Mexico and says it “is slated to begin full-scale construction and deployment of the project in 2009.” Offshore Wind Wire reported earlier this year that the project, while obviously behind schedule, remains active.
No timetable was given on the Bolivia mine project, but Franklin CEO William Petty said in a statement that his company is “passionate about being as environmentally responsible in our operations as we possibly can,” and that his expectation is that the savings accruing from wind, whenever they come, “will be notable.”
The question is – can a mining operation, even one powered by wind, ever really be green enough?