CCUS could benefit mining’s decarbonisation

Beech Veltman CEO Warren Beech

WARREN BEECH Carbon capture, utilisation and storage is unlikely to become a reality in the near future

4th February 2022

By: Theresa Bhowan-Rajah



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With the mining industry’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is a potential mechanism that can significantly decrease the industry’s emissions, states mining law firm Beech Veltman.

“Carbon reduction is carried out through various programmes and mechanisms, such as transitioning to renewable-energy sources, with a particular emphasis on solar power, and transitioning large fleets of equipment from using diesel power to hydrogen technology,” explains Beech Veltman CEO Warren Beech.

While the transition to renewable-energy sources is aimed at eliminating the production of greenhouse gases (GHGs), carbon capture is aimed at securing carbon dioxide at the point of source, with it being transported and stored thereafter to eliminate emissions into the atmosphere.

Beech tells Mining Weekly that the utilisation aspect can potentially create additional revenue, as the captured carbon can be used for industrial purposes.

However, “CCUS is unlikely to become a reality in the near future, owing to the costs associated with the reuse of carbon dioxide (CO2).”

Carbon capture and use technology is expensive, and despite projects being implemented internationally, it would probably not meet the affordability, reliability and sustainability requirements, he adds.

Implementing CCUS projects would result in many benefits, including compliance with GHG emissions requirements, and the associated health and social benefits.

Beech adds that CO2 storage will require ongoing monitoring and maintenance, consequently creating job opportunities, employment and socioeconomic benefits, which may flow to the surrounding communities.

“However, the reality is that South Africa will continue to rely on energy from its coal-fired power stations for the foreseeable future, and the emphasis must be on making it as easy as possible for CO2 point-source capture to be implemented,” he concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor


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