Image: Blackstone Minerals Limited

Blackstone Minerals Limited is extending its commitment to producing green nickelTM.

Blackstone shared details on the first of several initiatives being considered as part of the company’s goal of developing a zero-carbon mining operation and downstream processing facility at Blackstone’s flagship Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE Project in Vietnam.

The Company’s current Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) needs the downstream processing plant to utilize oxygen (refer Figure 1). Typically, oxygen is generated using a typical cryogenic oxygen plant, which also produces nitrogen as a by-product. However, the Company will research manufacturing oxygen by water electrolysis, which will result in the production of “green” hydrogen as a by-product. This will be accomplished by utilizing ample renewable hydroelectric power and water available at Ta Khoa (Green Hydrogen Study).

The study will include:

  • An examination of emerging green hydrogen technologies and their potential application at Ta Khoa.
  • A trade-off analysis of each option’s economic (capital and running costs) and environmental benefits
  • Assessment of downstream businesses’ ability to access renewable

The possibility of producing green hydrogen as a byproduct at Ta Khoa bolsters Blackstone’s goal of developing a zero-carbon mining operation and downstream processing facilities at the site.

The following highlights how the green hydrogen concept fits into the Company’s overall strategy:

  • The POX process requires oxygen as an input, and the Company thinks that water electrolysis with hydrogen as a by-product may be an economically viable and sustainable option.
  • Green hydrogen for use in hydrogen fuel cells is gaining popularity as a complement to battery electric vehicles;
  • The Company intends to use this by-product hydrogen as a fuel for its own concentrate haulage road fleet;
  • As new hydrogen fuel cell mining fleets become commercially viable, the Company will also look to integrate hydrogen fuel cell vehicles into their fleet.

If the economics of this study are favorable, Blackstone will consider incorporating Green Hydrogen into the Ta Khoa base case and exploring commercialization opportunities for sale to third parties, given the abundance of hydroelectric power and pure water in northern Vietnam.

Blackstone Minerals’ Managing Director Scott Williamson commented: “The Ta Khoa Project benefits from significant competitive operating advantages including access to renewable hydropower. The decision to commence a Green Hydrogen Study reflects Blackstone’s commitment to minimising its carbon footprint and producing downstream nickel products with the highest ESG credentials.”

Nedim Husomanovic

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