BHP’s Mt Keith Nickel West Mine has been selected by carbon mineralisation company, Arca, for a pilot project that will use the mine’s tailings to test the safe and practical application of new air-to-rock carbon capture technology. 

Arca received CDN$1.25 million from the British Columbia Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) to support the project. 

CICE chose to provide the grant to Arca as it is one of the first companies commercialising mineralisation for the capture and storage of atmospheric CO₂ that is supported by leading-edge scientific research and technology development. 

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.

Arca said that it is working to enable 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 will manipulate mine tailings to significantly speed up the rate of carbon mineralization, measure critical carbon capture, and sell carbon dioxide removal (CDR) credits that are verifiable and permanent. This process is unique because atmospheric CO₂ is captured and stored in a single step.

CICE Chief Operating officer, Todd Sayers, said that Arca is 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,” Mr Sayers said. 

“With CICE’s support, Arca is in a great position to accelerate large-scale implementation.”

Arca co-founder, Dr Greg Dipple, said that CICE’s grant represents a significant milestone for Arca as it allows the company to fast-track its ability to bring technology and innovation to mining companies around the world, and accelerate the collective mission to support a net zero carbon future. 

Arca CEO, Paul Needham, said that there is already far too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  

“Support from CICE gives us an opportunity to rapidly pilot our negative emissions technologies with companies that produce critical metals for the clean energy transition.”

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