Alrosa has launched a preliminary study to see if the kimberlite ore that is used for diamond mining can be used to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The study, conducted with leading Russian research organizations, will run until 2023.
An Alrosa statement said the initial results show that kimberlite’s CO2 absorption potential is comparable to, and could even be several times greater than, Alrosa’s overall carbon emissions. For example, the CO2 absorption from the kimberlite in its Udachnaya pipe was found to reach as high as 80 kg per ton of processed raw material, which is almost four times greater than Alrosa’s average annual CO2 emission, the statement said.
Mikhail Dubovichev, head of Alrosa’s innovation and technology center, said in the same statement that “if future research confirms the preliminary data found, we will have established significant potential for compensating greenhouse gas emissions in diamond mining through the ore’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This discovery could mark a new step in the efforts to preserve our planet’s ecosystem.”
Polina Anisimova, chief ecologist at Alrosa, said that the company currently generates about 90% of its power from renewable sources.
“[Alrosa’s] logistics function is replacing traditional liquid fuel with natural gas, enabling a structural reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” she said in the same statement. “However, achieving carbon neutrality today merely by upgrading [our] existing production processes is challenging.”
Photo © ALROSA.