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Federal funding to study "carbon capture" in mine tailings

Feds promise $2 million in funding for research in British Columbia

FPX Nickel Corp. (FPX-TSX.V) has announced that  the Government of Canada’s will make a $2 million investment to support innovation in the study of carbon capture and storage at mining sites, including proposed field work at the Company’s Decar Nickel District in central British Columbia.

The research program is a collaboration between academic institutions including the University of British Columbia and Trent University, and mining companies including FPX Nickel Corp. and De Beers Group, said a news release from FPX.

The study will build on more than a decade of research on technologies that maximize the reaction between carbon dioxide (CO2) and magnesium silicate mine tailings, which are crushed rock left over the extraction of nickel and other elements. In a natural process called carbon mineralization, CO2 reacts with magnesium silicate on the surface of the tailings, binding the CO2 in a benign, solid material form.

In a paper presented to the Resources for Future Generations conference in 2018, leading carbon sequestration researcher Dr. Ian Power (Trent University) noted that the Decar Nickel District’s Baptiste deposit “offers a tremendous opportunity for developing a carbon-neutral mine.”

“We are gratified to see the federal government joining with FPX Nickel and industry participants including De Beers in supporting this important initiative,” commented Martin Turenne, President and CEO of FPX Nickel Corp. “We are particularly pleased to note that field work on assessing the potential for carbon sequestration toward carbon-neutral mining is planned to include field study at our Decar nickel project in central British Columbia. We look forward to the results of this research program, which marks an important milestone in the development of sustainable practices in the mining industry.”

The research project will be funded in part by Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, which is an investment fund for clean technology research and development and demonstration projects in three Canadian sectors: energy, mining and forestry. The project’s goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with mine operations. Co-benefits of the process include stabilizing tailings piles, trapping potentially harmful metals, and reducing the amount of dust generated on mine sites.

The UBC news release describing this research project can be viewed at the following link: