PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Western Australian government will be looking for industry partners to support the mineral carbonation roadmap, which is due for delivery in February next year.
The Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia is developing a roadmap to decarbonise Western Australia through integrated mineral carbonation, which will remove carbon dioxide through a natural rock weathering process, where the carbon dioxide (CO2) binds to minerals in the earth’s crust.
This natural and passive process can permanently remove and store large volumes of CO2 from the atmosphere, transforming it from a gas into solid materials. The roadmap will identify how this natural process can be accelerated.
Nickel tailings are ideally suited for this purpose and mining major BHP Nickel West is working with experts to investigate methods of increasing the carbonation reaction to store CO2 in its mine tailings.
This will reduce or offset its operational greenhouse-gas emissions and lower their carbon footprint, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said.
“This is a real opportunity to change the nature of Western Australia if this mineral carbonisation can work in the way that we hope Western Australia would become a carbon sink rather than a generator of carbon by utilizing mine tailings for nickel, gold, potential lithium projects here in Western Australia to absorb carbon,” Johnston told delegates at the Paydirt Nickel conference, in Perth.
“We look forward to that project being ready in February next year and will indeed be looking for industry partners to support us in that project.”