State Gas Limited has agreed terms with minerals company Rockminsolutions Pty Ltd for a Joint Venture for a Carbon Management project in Central Queensland.
After initially entering into a Memorandum of Understanding last year1, the parties have now deepened their relationship into a Joint Venture.
The Joint Venture will investigate the potential of the Buckland Basaltic Sequence, located within EPM 27596 (within and adjacent to the western area of State Gas’ Rolleston-West Project ATP 2062), to enable significant decarbonisation through carbon mineralisation, either in- and ex-situ.
Basalt rocks are highly reactive and contain the elements needed for permanently immobilising carbon dioxide through the formation of carbonates such as calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. In these forms, the carbon is stable and safe.
The Buckland Basaltic Sequence is an extensive area of Tertiary aged basaltic ignimbrites (volcanic ash deposits) up to 330m thick. The particular characteristics of this deposit (as nonwelded ignimbrites) suggest very high permeability and porosity, facilitating the availability of the
minerals within the basalt to react rapidly with carbon dioxide.
The size and thickness of the Buckland Basalt Formation provides the potential for very significant quantities of carbon to be mineralised.
The Joint Venture will initially investigate the potential of the Buckland basaltic ignimbrite for a range of ex-situ mineral carbonation purposes such as soil mineral carbonation, while also investigating its potential as a supplementary cementitious material to make low-carbon cements.
Important information as to potential of the deposit for in-situ mineral carbonation - applying the process currently being successfully implemented by Carbfix2 in Iceland - will be revealed as a consequence of this initial work.
State Gas Executive Chairman, Richard Cottee, said that the Company was very pleased to progress its relationship with Rockminsolutions, and embark upon this Carbon Management initiative.
“While State Gas remains focussed on development of its Reid’s Dome and Rolleston-West Gas Projects, the carbon mineralisation approach has the potential to be a gamechanger in carbon management”, he said. “Carbon management is an increasingly pressing need as we move
towards a net zero world, and I am very pleased State Gas is playing its part.”
“I am very positive about the future of this initiative”, he added. “Investigating a broad range of potential opportunities maximises our chances of success. Rockminsolutions has particular strengths in basalt geology, and combining these with State Gas’ operational expertise will optimise the outcomes.”
The Carbfix in situ mineralisation process is one attracting significant international attention, with the US Department of Energy demonstrating the technology at Washington state, and Rio Tinto recently announcing a project in Minnesota, USA3.
The process involves dissolving the carbon dioxide in water, creating a stable solution which can be readily pumped into formations much shallower than those required for traditional carbon sequestration. The high porosity of the Buckland Basalts is expected to facilitate the retention of the carbonated water without the need for a geological seal. As a result, the Carbfix process has the potential to provide a more secure carbon storage solution at substantially lower cost than traditional processes. In its trials in Iceland, Carbfix has found this process has resulted in more than 95% of carbon mineralising underground within two years.
Under the terms of the Joint Venture State Gas will undertake investigatory works to progressively farm-in to Rockminsolutions’ EPM 27596. Initial works of drilling two chipholes into the formation are expected to be undertaken this year. These holes will provide samples for laboratory analysis and to commence the ex-situ studies.
Should the potential of the Formation for carbon management be proved, the options for development include establishment of hydrogen manufacture, direct air capture, or creation of a commercial carbon management hub in Central Queensland.
This announcement was approved for release by Mr Richard Cottee, Executive Chairman.