Dipple has been studying carbon sequestration in silicate tailings for more than fifteen years and has developed a methodology to measure the carbon update in silicate mine residue.
Acceptance of his methodology would mean that carbon credits could be obtained for mine site sequestration of carbon dioxide. Once the silicates convert to carbonates, the CO2 is locked away for geological time scales.
Commenting on the study, Martin Vydra, President of Giga Metals, said, “We have been working with Dr. Dipple for several years now and are looking forward to the next stage of research, which will involve a large-scale pad test to assess the atmospheric carbonisation of silicates in Turnagain material.”
“This will include an assessment of the geochemical effects of carbonation on this material.”
Previous work by Dipple has shown that, in addition to CO2 sequestration, cementation occurs when silicate fine convert to carbonate minerals. The cementation is expected to stabilise and strengthen residue impoundment facilities, thereby decreasing containment risk.
Upcoming studies of the geochemical effect of carbonation on Turnagain lithologies could affect mine sequencing and tailings management practices.
“Our goal is to be the world’s first carbon neutral mine. We plane to use power from B.C. Hydro’s clean energy grid, which will involve more capital expenditure than the alternatives, but is the right thing to do,” Vydra continued.
“This exciting research now underway could help with our goal by providing a way to measure carbon uptake in our residue.”
“Recent focus on ethical and sustainable development of nickel mines is drawing positive attention to Turnagain. Over the last several years, we have invested significant effort into engineering a zero carbon footprint mine and we believe the time is right for the industry to move in this direction.”