A study commissioned by Canada Nickel Company (TSXV: CNC) revealed that its Crawford project in Ontario, Canada, is set to produce 2.05 tonnes of carbon dioxide per tonne of nickel-equivalent production over its 25-year mine life —93% lower than the industry average of 29 tonnes of CO2.
The study was conducted by Skarn Associates, a metals and mining ESG research company, applying data from Canada Nickel’s preliminary economic assessment.
According to the report, the CO2 footprint estimate does not include the carbon offset expected to be provided from the process of spontaneous mineral carbonation from the operation’s tailings and waste rock, largely composed of serpentine rock which naturally absorbs CO2 when exposed to air.
Skarn Associates’ E0 GHG intensity metric relates to Scope 1 and 2 mine site emissions from mining and processing of ore, plus fugitive emissions. It includes emissions from integrated smelting and refining facilities but excludes emissions from third-party smelting and refining. Emission intensities are stated on a recovered nickel-equivalent basis, calculated using average 2020 metal prices. Emissions are pro-rated across all commodities produced by the mine, based on contribution to gross revenue.
“This study demonstrates that Canada Nickel’s Crawford project can be a world-leading large scale, low-cost nickel supplier while possessing an extremely low carbon footprint,” Mark Selby, the miner’s chair and CEO, said in a media statement.
“I am particularly excited that we can achieve this result even before we include the carbon offset potential from our waste rock and tailings which we expect to allow us to produce NetZero Nickel, NetZero Cobalt, and NetZero Iron. These results reflect the mine’s low strip ratio and our ability to utilize the low carbon hydroelectricity in the region and by using trolley trucks and electric shovels to reduce the consumption of diesel fuel.”
The Crawford nickel-cobalt sulphide project is located in the Timmins-Cochrane mining camp in Ontario.