278740 Base Metal Production From CO2 Capture and Storage Via the Ics Integrated Mineral Carbonation Process

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 1:30 PM
301 (Convention Center )
Richard Hunwick, Integrated Carbon Sequestration Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia

The ICS Process is a new, patented hydrometallurgy-based process being developed for carbon capture and storage by mineral carbonation.  The ultramafic rocks such as serpentinites preferred for mineral carbonation are also the source rocks for many economically significant base and precious metals including iron ore, nickel, cobalt, chromium and platinum group metals (PGMs).  These are inherently liberated into solution or otherwise rendered more accessible by the Process.  But instead of requiring large quantities of expensive and environmentally challenging mineral acids as in the preferred processes for recovering these metals: high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL), the only chemical consumed in large quantities by the ICS Process is CO2.  In a carbon-constrained world, this gas represents a negative cost to mineral processors, because emitters such as coal-fired power stations will pay them to take it. 

The ICS Process (for Integrated Carbon Sequestration) as its name suggests, seamlessly converts CO2 emitted from power stations and other point sources to mineral carbonates.  Uniquely amongst CCS processes, it avoids any need to produce or handle pure carbon dioxide gas. 

The presentation will discuss the key features of the ICS Process, its development status and outline possible scenarios for the development of ultramafic rock-based mineral resources, starting with the most amenable weathered nickel-rich laterites and saprolites, then extending mining operations into the bulk of the unweathered ultramafics as markets for carbon trading develop in coming years. 

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