Arca, the carbon mineralisation company, has announced that the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) has provided the company with a C$1.25 million ($910,966) grant that will be used to support a pilot project on air-to-rock carbon mineralisation using the mine tailings in BHP Nickel West’s Mt Keith mine in Australia.
CICE chose to provide the grant to Arca as it is one of the first companies commercialising mineralization for the capture and storage of atmospheric CO2 that is supported by leading-edge scientific research and technology development, it says. With this grant, Arca is now set to implement and scale its solution in a global setting.
The 18-month project will test and verify Arca’s methodology to capture and permanently store atmospheric carbon dioxide, and demonstrate to the mining industry that Arca’s technologies can integrate safely and successfully at an operating mine site, it said.
Low-grade disseminated sulphide ore is mined from Mt Keith, a large open-pit operation, at Nickel West, while high-grade nickel sulphide ore is mined at the Cliffs and Leinster underground mines. The ore is processed through two large concentrators and dryers at Mt Keith and Leinster, while Nickel West’s concentrator plant in Kambalda processes ore and concentrate purchased from third parties, BHP says.
As early as 2020, BHP said it was looking to add to the approximately 40,000 t/y of CO2 stored directly in the Mt Keith tailings dam.
Todd Sayers, Chief Operating Officer of CICE, said: “Arca is truly a pioneer in engineered mineralisation for carbon removal. The company’s powerful combination of world-leading science and innovation, team experience and global scaling strategy strongly aligns to the CICE mandate. With CICE’s support, Arca is in a great position to accelerate large-scale implementation.”
Arca enables mines to permanently remove CO2 while producing the metals needed to drive the clean energy transition. Using rovers, surface manipulation technology and machine-learning algorithms, Arca says it manipulates mine tailings to significantly speed up the rate of carbon mineralisation; measure critical carbon capture; and sell carbon dioxide removal credits that are verifiable and permanent. This process is unique, it says, because atmospheric CO2 is captured and stored in a single step.
Dr Greg Dipple, co-Founder of Arca, said: “CICE’s grant represents a significant milestone for Arca as it allows us to fast-track our ability to bring our technology and innovation to mining companies around the world, and accelerate our collective mission to support a net-zero carbon future.”
Arca says it works with producers of critical metals around the world, helping them assess and quantify the carbon mineralisation potential of their mine tailings. Its technology has been recognised with a $1 million XPRIZE Milestone Award for Carbon Removal, two Foresight50 awards, and is supported by Sustainable Development Technology Canada, National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Programme, Lower Carbon Capital and the Grantham Foundation.