Canada Nickel Company Inc. (TSXV: CNC) has obtained promising results from the first phase laboratory scale testing, which demonstrates the potential for carbon sequestration in tailings at its Crawford Nickel-Sulphide Project near Timmins, Ontario.
The laboratory tests were conducted by researchers from Kingston Process Metallurgy and Queen’s University and demonstrate that the project tailings naturally sequester CO2 into a mineralized form, which industry research has demonstrated is permanent.
Chair and CEO, Mark Selby, said this is a critical foundation of Canada Nickel’s NetZero initiative to become the first zero carbon nickel operation. Canada Nickel’s wholly-owned Net Zero Metals subsidiary has successfully applied and registered trademarks in various jurisdictions for NetZero Nickel, NetZero Cobalt and NetZero Iron in expectation that the company believes it can be successful in achieving its zero carbon initiatives.
“Today’s announcement is a critical demonstration that our tailings have the fundamental capacity to capture CO2 in amounts that exceed what we believe will be required to achieve net zero carbon production for our concentrates,” Mr Selby said.
“Any CO2 sequestration in excess of the 4.6 kg per tonne of tailings level would be potentially available for sale as carbon credits. Work is underway on a series of larger scale tests aimed at demonstrating that Crawford tailings can be exposed to enough CO2 for a sufficient time period to achieve the sequestrations levels that were achieved at a lab scale. We look forward to seeing the results over the coming year.”
What is mineral carbonation
The tailings and waste rock produced from the Company’s Crawford Nickel-Sulphide Project are anticipated to spontaneously and permanently capture CO2 when exposed to the atmosphere.
Canada Nickel is developing processes to optimize the carbon capture potential of the Project to offset project emissions and work towards developing a potentially carbon negative nickel mining operation in Timmins, Ontario.
The key minerals that are responsible for this spontaneous reaction at Crawford are serpentine, olivine and brucite, which make up more than 80% of the resource material at Crawford. Brucite is the most reactive mineral, with an average content of 1.9% in Crawford based on 999 distinct QEMSCAN mineralogy analyses across the Crawford Main and East Zones as reported in the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) dated May 25, 2021.
Based on the brucite concentration above, it is estimated that only 31% of the brucite in Crawford needs to be carbonated to offset all of the estimated emissions from the PEA to make the operation carbon neutral.
Description of current results
Based on analysis by Skarn Associates, Canada Nickel estimates a preliminary emission intensity of 2.8 tonnes CO2 / tonne of Nickel equivalent concentrate production using data from the Crawford PEA.
In order to offset all of the estimated Scope 1 and 2 emissions from the proposed mine and mill, the company estimates that a carbon capture rate of 4.6 Kg CO2 per tonne of tailings produced is required.
The next stage of test work will evaluate on a larger scale sample how much of this potential can be realised.
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