Colorado-based mining company Newmont has partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the US to investigate the REMineD process, which entails rapidly transforming carbon into dolomite in tailings.
According to Mining.Com, the project will span three years and cost $4.3 million. It has been funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management Technology Commercialization Fund which promotes technologies used to mitigate the effects of climate change. The NREL will manage the project with UCLA, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
The carbonates sequestered in the tailings can be converted into substitutes for C02-intensive construction materials like concrete.
Newmont’s director of processing, Frank Roberto, says CCUS in tailings supports a long-term direction for the mining industry. “Waste rock and tailings are the largest components of residues from our mining operations, and the work for direct air capture of CO2 through tailings carbonation provides a unique opportunity to reduce our and others’ emissions throughout the value chain,” Roberto said.