Financial Feasibility of Integrating Mineral Carbonation into Proposed Mining Operations at the Turnagain Nickel Site, Northern BC

CIM Vancouver 2010
Sarah Robin Hindle, Michael Hitch,
Abstract Carbon capture and storage has jumped to the forefront of
climate change mitigation efforts for its ability to sequester large
amounts of carbon. Mineral carbonation is one prominent
option, mimicking and accelerating the natural weathering
process of certain silicate minerals, thereby producing stable
carbonate minerals that can store carbon on geologic time
scales with little to no risk of leakage. This process is ideally
suited for integration into proposed mining operations at the
Turnagain nickel site in Northern BC due to its abundant supply
of suitable ultramafic feedstock materials such as olivine and
serpentine, as well as the potential to share costs, reduce net
emissions, and bring value to otherwise valueless waste rock and
tailings. While studies have shown this process to be
technologically viable on a laboratory scale, assessing the
economic and financial viability of such a process is necessary
prior to its implementation on an industrial scale. An evaluation
of financial feasibility has been done for the Turnagain nickel
site, and includes an assessment of estimated costs as well as
potential revenue streams available from carbon trading under a
proposed cap and trade system to estimate overall project NPV.
Keywords: Mineral Carbonation, Mining, Financial analysis
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