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Kimberlite absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere - study

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(Kitco News) - Russian mining company ALROSA, a global leader in diamond mining, today announced that it has completed the first phase of a study into kimberlite's ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.

According to the company’s statement, the initial results show that the CO2 absorption potential of kimberlite is comparable to, and in some scenarios, can be several times greater than the carbon dioxide emissions of the entire ALROSA Group.

The company said that preliminary results indicate that CO2 absorption by kimberlite in the Udachnaya pipe in Russia could be as high as 80 kg per ton of processed ore, which is almost four times greater than the diamond mining industry's average annual CO2 emissions.

ALROSA added that preliminary studies focused on the chemical processes that occur in spent ore, and included ore samples in various stages of their lifecycle, such as extraction, processing and post-processing storage.

Selected ore samples that had gone through the technological cycle and been placed in tailings storage tanks for a period of between one month and ten years were compared with original kimberlite samples extracted from the drill core sample.

The discovery of kimberlite ore's ability to absorb carbon has created the opportunity for diamond mining companies to advance climate initiatives involving CO2 capture and storage, the company said in its press-release.

Mikhail Dubovichev, Head of ALROSA's innovation and technology center, commented, "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, noted that achieving carbon neutrality today merely by upgrading existing production processes is challenging.

"ALROSA's ambitious carbon neutrality goals can only be met through a combined approach that also includes absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and offset measures," she said.

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