Roadmap for integrated mineral carbonation

  • Roadmap to decarbonise WA through integrated mineral carbonation
  • Potential for WA to sequester more emissions than it produces
  • The Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia will develop a roadmap to decarbonise WA through integrated mineral carbonation.

    Mineral carbonation is a carbon dioxide (CO2) removal method and a natural rock weathering process, where 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.This process is slow to occur in nature so the roadmap, led by Professor Michael Hitch at Curtin University, will identify how this natural process can be accelerated.

    Finding technological solutions for cost effective, rapid and large-scale CO2 sequestration creates the potential for WA to sequester more emissions than it produces, which will support the State’s transition to a resilient, low carbon economy.

    Nickel tailings are ideally suited for this purpose. BHP Nickel West are working with leading Australian and international experts to investigate methods of increasing the carbonation reaction to store CO2 into its mine tailings.

    This will reduce or offset its operational greenhouse gas emissions and lower their carbon footprint.

    The roadmap is expected to be released in February 2023.

    To register your interest, visit https://www.mriwa.wa.gov.au/challenges/mineral-carbonation

    As stated by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:

    “Western Australia has both the natural endowment of minerals and a sophisticated mining sector to rapidly advance mineral carbonation technologies and create significant strategic economic benefit.

    “Mineral carbonation has the potential to remove and permanently store carbon dioxide at the gigatonne scale to quickly transition Western Australia to a low carbon economy.

    “Government industry research partnerships will be critical to increase the speed and scale of deployment to achieve this goal.”

    As stated by BHP Nickel West Asset President Jessica Farrell:

    “Our work to enhance the capacity of Nickel West’s mine tailings to absorb and store carbon is just one example of how BHP is pursuing its decarbonisation goals through innovation, technology, collaboration and empowering our people to develop their ideas.

    “Nickel is critical to global decarbonisation and is an increasingly sought-after product for the electric vehicle battery market.

    “As well as supporting BHP’s own climate change goals, projects such as this help to enhance the sustainability credentials of our nickel products in our supply chains and create a commercial advantage in a competitive market.”

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