De Beers kimberlite mine operations in South Africa (Venetia and Voorspoed) and Canada (Gahcho Kué, Victor, and Snap Lake) have the potential to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) through weathering of kimberlite mine tailings, which can store carbon in secondary carbonate minerals (mineral carbonation). Carbonation of ca. 4.7 to 24.0 wt% (average = 13.8 wt%) of annual processed kimberlite production could offset 100% of each mine site’s carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions. Minerals of particular interest for reactivity with atmospheric or waste CO2 from energy production include serpentine minerals, olivine (forsterite), brucite, and smectite. The most abundant minerals, such as serpentine polymorphs, provide the bulk of the carbonation potential. However, the detection of minor amounts of highly reactive brucite in tailings from Victor, as well as the likely presence of brucite at Venetia, Gahcho Kué, and Snap Lake, is also important for the mineral carbonation potential of the mine sites.
Mineralogy and Petrology – Springer Journals
Published: May 28, 2018