Newmont Mining Corp. is joining Barrick Gold Corp. in getting into the electricity business.
The world's largest gold producer plans to build a 200-megawatt power plant near Battle Mountain to supply its mines to the east.
"All the power would be used by the company, so it's really self-generation and it frees up 200 megawatts to be used elsewhere in the state," Newmont spokeswoman Mary Korpi said.
It also frees up a lot of the $80 million Newmont spends each year on utility bills.
"Power is our second largest cost after labor," Newmont spokesman Doug Hock said from the company's Denver headquarters.
The plant would supply electricity for all of Newmont's Nevada operations except Gold Quarry north of Carlin, which is served by Wells Rural Electric Co., Korpi said.
The other operations are served by Sierra Pacific Power Co., which likely would provide transmission service from the plant to the mines. The proposed plant site is a few miles from Sierra Pacific's Falcon substation.
Newmont's announcement follows approval by the state Public Utilities Commission of Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc.'s request to build a 118-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant 20 miles east of Reno to supply its property north of Carlin.
That plant, near Sierra Pacific's Tracy plant, is expected to cost just under $100 million and also would use Sierra Pacific's transmission lines, according to Barrick spokesman Vince Borg.
Korpi said the cost of Newmont's proposed plant hasn't been fully calculated.
Barrick, the world's No. 3 gold producer, is second in Nevada with production of 2 million ounces of its total 5 million annual ounces.
Newmont produces 2.5 million ounces of gold yearly in Nevada and just over 7 million ounces overall.
On the Net:
Newmont Mining Corp.: http://www.newmont.com
Barrick Gold Corp.: http://www.barrick.com