Ring of Fire Metals (RoF Metals) has commenced two studies exploring the use of wind power and atmospheric carbon removal as part of planning for a net zero emissions mine in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire.
Stephen Crozier, RoF Metals VP Sustainability, said the findings from a study of the wind energy resource conducted by global renewable energy company Windlab earlier this year were promising.
“Our primary focus in the development of Eagle’s Nest is to implement low emissions technologies throughout the operation, wherever possible,” he said.
“We are encouraged by the results of the initial wind study and believe there is good potential to generate clean energy using wind turbines in the area, which we will further define with additional study in the near term.
“Other options for complimentary low and no-emission generation, including biomass, pumped hydro and solar, are also being investigated to supplement clean wind energy production if needed.”
Following completion of the Windlab study, RoF Metals installed a Vaisala WindCube® lidar for the collection of more detailed data.
“Unlike traditional tower installations, lidar devices obtain measurements throughout the air column from the base to the top of the turbine blades rather than just at the hub,” said Stephen.
“We have already started collecting detailed data using WindCube® and will continue throughout the seasons to track natural weather variability.
“Data from both studies will then be matched with projected power demand to guide modelling of power generation and storage options for the proposed Eagle’s Nest mine.
“Ultimately we would like to be able to draw upon and potentially supply to Ontario’s power grid when it is expanded to northern communities.”
RoF Metals is also participating in the DETAILS project with Dr Liam Bullock at Geosciences Barcelona, an institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (GEO3BCN-CSIC), to investigate the potential to use mine tailings to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“The tailings from ultramafic nickel deposits have been shown to have the potential to absorb significant quantities of carbon dioxide, and there may be ways we can speed up the rate that this happens,” said Stephen. “We have provided Geosciences Barcelona with samples of tailings from the Eagle’s Nest project and they are evaluating their potential for carbon dioxide absorption. We hope to be able to use our tailings to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and safely and permanently store it underground.”
About our partners:
Windlab is a global renewable energy company and provider of the WindScape technology, a world-leading atmospheric modelling and wind energy assessment technology developed by Australia’s premier scientific research institute, the CSIRO. Windlab is majority owned by Squadron Energy, a member of the Tattarang group of companies.
WindCube® was provided by Vaisala, a global leader in weather, environmental and industrial measurements headquartered in Finland and providing a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services.
The CSIC (or Spanish National Research Council) is the largest public research institution in Spain. Dr Liam Bullock’s European Union-funded DETAILS (Developing enhanced weathering methods in mine tailings for CO2 sequestration, H2020-EU.1.3.2. Grant ID: 101018312) project is being hosted by Geosciences Barcelona (GEO3BCN-CSIC) and supervised by Dr. Jose Luis Fernandez Turiel, GEO3BCN-CSIC researcher.