Mining is the fourth-largest energy consumer in Australia, using roughly 10% of Australia's total. Some of this comes from the electricity grid – but much is supplied offgrid in the form of diesel and other fossil fuels.
Could some of this be replaced by renewable sources? Recently I participated in the Australia Chile: Asia Pacific Economic Forum in Santiago, Chile. I was surprised to learn that Chile is now emerging as the southern hemisphere's renewable energy giant, particularly in the mining sector. Falling costs, driven by increasing renewable investment in China, are driving the trend.