Canada Nickel Company Inc. (TSXV:CNC) (OTCQX:CNIKF) – the nickel exploration firm has examined a new method of carbon capture. The company announced its laboratory test program results for the so-called In Process Tailings Carbonation process that Canada Nickel believes can accelerate the natural process of carbon capture from tailings.
Tailings generated in the milling process have the natural ability to absorb CO2 from the air. The lab scale test program demonstrates that Crawford tailings absorb enough CO2 to achieve net zero carbon emissions within 36 hours, and generate up to 21 tonnes of CO2 credits per tonne of nickel produced within just six days.
Normally the process of CO2 sequestration takes multiple months in existing approaches. That means the company has managed to achieve 8-12 times faster carbon capture than current passive tailings methods, delivering carbon capture at a multiple of what the industry is currently able to achieve.
According to Canada Nickel, its process also allows easier quantification and verification of the amount of carbon captured. Canada Nickel’s Crawford Project demonstrated it can generate an average of 710,000 tonnes of CO2 credits per year and 18 million total tonnes of CO2 credits over the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) life-of-mine.
“These lab scale test results demonstrate a potentially transformative process to turn a nickel mine into a net generator of carbon credits rather than a generator of carbon emissions.” said Mark Selby, Chair and CEO of Canada Nickel.
The company’s process involves injecting a concentrated source of CO2 for a brief period of time in tailings while they are still in the processing circuit as opposed to when they are finally deposited.
This process is called In Process Tailings Carbonation or IPT Carbonation. It has only been demonstrated on a lab scale and on a limited number of samples but the company believes given its relative simplicity, it could be scaled up to work with concentrated rather than atmospheric sources of CO2 that could be delivered by the carbon capture industry.
The company believes using this approach, it could produce NetZero NickelTM and NetZero CobaltTM for the EV industry, NetZero IronTM and chromium for the stainless steel industry, and generate substantial carbon credits during the process. Canada Nickel is still in the process of optimizing this carbon capture technology.