Tag Archives: Mt Keith

Arca banks CICE funds for air-to-rock carbon mineralisation project at BHP Nickel West Mt Keith

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.

BHP Nickel West eyes wind power potential as Northern Goldfields Solar Project kicks off

Construction is now underway on one of the world’s largest off-grid mining solar and battery energy storage systems being built by TransAlta to help power BHP Nickel West’s Mt Keith and Leinster operations.

The Northern Goldfields Solar Project, which was announced last year, includes a 27.4 MW solar farm at Mt Keith, a 10.7 MW solar farm and a 10.1 MW battery at Leinster, and will be integrated into TransAlta’s Northern Goldfields remote power grid.

The project, which will replace power currently supplied by diesel and gas, will help BHP Nickel West reduce Scope 2 emissions at its Mt Keith and Leinster operations by 12%, resulting in an estimated reduction of 54,000 t/y of CO2-e.

The construction phase of the project is set to create more than 100 direct and indirect jobs in the Goldfields and Perth regions, and is expected to produce its first solar power by November 2022.

The project aims to employ Traditional Owners from the Tijwarl Native Title Holders following TransAlta’s contractor, juwi, awarding Cundaline Resources with the primary civil contractor role on the project. Cundaline Resources is an Aboriginal business whose owners include members of the Tjiwarl Aboriginal Corporation.

BHP Nickel West Asset President, Jessica Farrell, said BHP was meeting its commitment to deliver sustainable low carbon nickel to its customers, a product that is in high demand to power batteries and electric vehicles.

“The Northern Goldfields Solar Project is BHP’s first off-grid large-scale renewable energy project across our global operations and, significantly, will remove the equivalent of up to 23,000 combustion engine cars from the road every year, supporting our greenhouse gas reduction targets,” Farrell said.

“It is also very exciting that following years of close engagement with the Tjiwarl Native Title Holders, our project has contracted the services of a local Aboriginal business, boosting opportunities for people in the local community and across the northern Goldfields generally.”

TransAlta also unveiled today it had entered into an agreement with BHP to identify potential wind sites for a 40-50 MW wind farm, which would connect to TransAlta’s northern grid and reduce Scope 2 emissions at BHP’s Mt Keith and Leinster operations by an estimated further 30 per cent.

Adding wind will increase renewable energy supply to support BHP’s growth and to further each company’s sustainability goals, BHP said.

TransAlta Australia Managing Director, Kelvin Koay, said the construction phase of the solar and battery farm was an exciting step for the project.

“The Northern Goldfields Solar Project is TransAlta’s first renewable energy project in Australia and is an important element of our Clean Electricity Growth plan. This project contributes to achieving TransAlta’s target of a 75% GHG emissions reduction over 2015 levels by 2026 and 2050 carbon neutrality goal. As a company, we have a strong decarbonisation track record having already achieved a 61% emissions reduction since 2005.

“We’ve had a long-standing partnership with BHP since the 1990s and we welcome the opportunity to support BHP in meeting its carbon emission targets and in enhancing its competitiveness as one of the lowest carbon nickel miners in the world.”