Rio Tinto and DOE to finance carbon mineralization in Minnesota

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto and the Department of Energy (DOE) have teamed up to finance a Rio Tinto-lead team to explore carbon storage potential at the Tamarack nickel joint venture in central Minnesota. DOE announced this Monday a funding award of $2.2 million.

Firstly, Rio Tinto has assembled a team of climate innovation and research leaders to explore new approaches in carbon mineralization technology as a way to safely and permanently store carbon as a rock.

Moreover, carbon mineralization uses natural chemical reactions to convert captured carbon dioxide (CO2) into rock and store it underground. It has the potential to be an important technology in meeting global climate goals and is now being used at a large scale by the world’s leading carbon mineralization company Carbfix in Iceland.

As a result, Rio Tinto will contribute $4 million in funding for the 3-year project in Minnesota; in addition to the funding from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E Innovation Challenge, mentioned above.

Consequently, under the agreement, Rio Tinto’s technical experts will work with partners from the DOE; and from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). This institution has demonstrated carbon mineralization technology in Washington state; Columbia University; Carbfix; and Advantek Waste Management Services.

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Rio Tinto to deliver top-notch project

Furthermore, Talon Metals, the majority owner and operator of the Tamarack Nickel Project; and Rio Tinto’s joint venture partner, will also contribute with ore body knowledge and land access for scientific fieldwork.

Dr Nigel Steward, Chief Scientist at Rio Tinto, said about the matter. “Our aim is to deliver carbon storage solutions that can help to meet climate targets by reducing and offsetting emissions from our operations and in other industries.”

He also remarked. “We will be working with leading researchers and innovators to prove the carbon storage potential of the Tamarack site and develop mineralization solutions that can be used not just here but at other similar locations.”

On the other hand, PNNL’s CO2 subsurface sequestration expert Todd Schaef, said. “This work will leverage the knowledge gained from PNNL’s Wallula Basalt Carbon Storage Pilot Project; the only supercritical CO2 injection in basalt demonstration in the world. We will be developing forward-looking carbon storage strategies with the broader team.”

Finally, Carbfix CEO Dr. Edda Aradottir said “This project will bring together leading industrial players, academics, and experts demonstrating the international partnerships needed for accelerated climate action.”

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