PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Blackstone Minerals has started studies into the potential application of green hydrogen at its proposed Ta Koha nickel/copper/platinum project, in Vietnam.
The current feasibility for the Ta Khoa project requires the use of oxygen in the downstream processing plant, which is typically produced by a conventional cryogenic oxygen plant with nitrogen as a by-product.
However, Blackstone this week told shareholders that the company would investigate producing oxygen through the electrolysis of water, which will also produce green hydrogen as a by-product.
The hydrogen study would now investigate hydrogen technologies and their potential application at the Ta Khoa project, a trade-off assessment of the economic and environmental benefits of each downstream option, and an assessment of the potential for downstream businesses to tap into renewable hydro-electric power and water sources.
“The Ta Khoa project benefits from significant competitive operating advantages, including access to renewable hydropower. The decision to commence a green hydrogen study reflect Blackstone’s commitment to minimising its carbon footprint and producing downstream nickel products with the highest environmental and social governance standards,” said Blackstone MD Scott Williamson.
Should the feasibility study yield positive results, the company would look to include green hydrogen into the Ta Khoa base case, and would consider options to commercialise production for sale to third parties.
A scoping study into the Ta Koha project to determine the potential to restart the nickel/copper/platinum project and develop downstream processing infrastructure proved positive.
The base-case four-million-tonne-a-year operation is expected to produce some 12 700 t/y of nickel over a mine life of eight-and-a-half years, with the downstream refinery having the ability to process up to 200 t/y of concentrate, sourced entirely from the mining operations at Ta Khoa.