Green gold from mining residues

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Long regarded as an environmental problem, the waste rock from the mining might actually help the fight against planetary warming by absorbing part of the greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. Greg Dipple, professor in the Department of Earth Sciences and Ocean at the University of British Columbia, has studied the ability of these rocky residues durably trap carbon dioxide (CO2).

D'after him, this phenomenon, natural to scale of geologic time, would manifest much more quickly on the rich tailings in magnesium silicates like those from nickel mines, diamonds, beryl, platinum and those from certain mines 'gold. The mineral carbonation process enables CO2 dissolved in rain water to react with the silica at the surface of the rock. Dipple think it is possible to trap these waste all CO2 produced by the mining itself, transforming the industry into a clean industry in terms of gas issuance has serre.Alors effect of the phenomenon is very fast on some sites, it is barely noticeable to others.

The next step of the research then is to model the method and understand how to improve the absorption rate of CO2 has a sustainable cost to the miners. It would appear that the efficiency of the carbon dioxide absorption varies depending on the means used to treat residues miniers.Bien that skeptics initially, the mining companies are beginning to look with interest on the issue.

- UBC Public Affairs:
Sources: University of British Columbia reports, 10 / 01 / 2005
Editor: Delphine Dupre, VANCOUVER,


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