• US Department of Energy awards $2.2m  to a Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) led team to explore carbon storage potential at nickel project
  • Vulcan approved to dual list on Frankfurt Stock Exchange


The US Department of Energy has awarded $2.2m in funding to a Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) led team to explore carbon storage potential at the Tamarack Nickel joint venture in Minnesota, US.

Tamarack is a nickel, copper and cobalt project located in central Minnesota that is currently progressing towards feasibility studies.

The project is managed by Rio Tinto’s joint venture partner Talon Metals, which holds a 51 per cent share and has a right to earn-in to acquire up to 60 per cent.

RIO has assembled a team of climate innovation and research leaders to explore new approaches to store carbon safely and permanently as rock.

Until now, large scale carbon mineralisation projects have focussed on areas with certain types of rock formations known as basaltic lava geology, such as Carbfix’s sites in Iceland – the world’s leading carbon mineralisation company.

In contrast, the Tamarack Nickel Project includes a large bowl of what is known as porous ultramafic rock and while this bowl sits outside the resource of nickel and other battery minerals, it has the potential to safely store hundreds of millions of tons of carbon in solid form.

Rio Tinto’s technical experts will work with partners including the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), which has demonstrated carbon mineralisation technology in Washington state; Columbia University; Carbfix; and Advantek Waste Management Services.

Talon Metals is contributing ore body knowledge and land access for scientific field work.

The project will include laboratory studies and field work to confirm the carbon storage potential of the site, understand the area’s hydrology and assess different carbon mineralisation technologies, developing a roadmap by 2025 to guide decisions on implementation.


Leveraging knowledge from Wallula Basalt Carbon Storage Pilot Project

PNNL CO2 subsurface sequestration expert Todd Schaef said “This work will leverage the knowledge gained from PNNL’s Wallula Basalt Carbon Storage Pilot Project in the south of Washington State, the only supercritical CO2 injection in basalt demonstration in the world.

“We will be developing forward-looking carbon storage strategies with Rio Tinto and the broader team – PNNL stewards a suite of capabilities that allow us to look at real-time CO2 interactions with rocks under extreme conditions.”


Vulcan approved to dual list on Frankfurt Stock Exchange

Following its application earlier this month to list on the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the German Financial Supervisory Authority has now approved Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL) listing.

VUL managing director Dr Francis Wedin said marking an ASX first, the FSE dual listing will increase the international profile of the company.

“This will also provide the full range of the European investment community an opportunity to invest in the the Zero Carbon Lithium Project, which has a German base and plays a role in the EU energy transition,” he said.

Vulcan will retain its existing primary listing on the ASX.

Sparc, FMG to produce “ultra-green” hydrogen

In October last year Sparc Technologies (ASX:SPN) entered a joint venture (Sparc Hydrogen) with the University of Adelaide to progress a project focused on producing commercially viable ultra-green hydrogen.

The ultra-green hydrogen, which has been developed by the University of Adelaide and Flinders University, is made through a process known as thermo-photocatalysis – a method involving the suns radiation and thermal qualities to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Because the project won’t be using renewable energy from wind farms or photovoltaic solar panels, the company expects capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) costs to be significantly lower.

As well as this, Sparc says without the footprint associated with massive scale wind and/or solar farms, this technology can also be adopted remotely and for onsite use, thereby reducing the reliance on long distance hydrogen transportation and/or electricity transmission.

As part of the JV Agreement, an initial stage-1 investment of $1.06m has been made by SPN to advance the project for the first 12 months.

The plan is to have a commercially ready technology targeting sub $2/kg production costs at the completion of the program.

Fortescue Future Industries has also come on board as joint venture partner ,with the Sparc Hydrogen JV comprising Sparc (52%), UoA (28%), and FFI (20%).