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Canada Nickel’s Crawford mine could be low carbon nickel leader, Skarn says

Canada Nickel Company, following an assessment from metals and mining ESG research company, Skarn Associates, claims its Crawford project in Ontario, Canada,…

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This article was originally published by International Mining

Canada Nickel Company, following an assessment from metals and mining ESG research company, Skarn Associates, claims its Crawford project in Ontario, Canada, could have an industry leading low carbon footprint, lower than 99.7% of existing global nickel production.

When in operation, Crawford is expected to produce 2.05 t of carbon dioxide (CO2) per tonne of nickel-equivalent production over the life of mine, which is 93% lower than the industry average of 29 tonnes of CO2, it said.

These results are based on a study by Skarn Associates, applying data from Canada Nickel’s preliminary economic assessment (PEA), the results of which were released on May 25, 2021. This study from Ausenco estimated annual average nickel production of 34,000 t over a 25-year life of mine, use of autonomous trolley trucks and electric shovels to reduce diesel use by 40%, and optimisation of the carbon sequestration potential of the tailings and waste rock. A feasibility study on the project is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

On the Skarn study, Canada Nickel said: “Importantly, this CO2 footprint estimate does not include the carbon offset expected to be provided from the process of spontaneous mineral carbonation from the tailings and waste rock comprised largely of serpentine rock which naturally absorbs CO2 when exposed to air.”

Mark Selby, Chair & CEO of the company, said: “This study demonstrates that Canada Nickel’s Crawford project can be a world-leading large scale, low cost nickel supplier while possessing an extremely low carbon footprint. I am particularly excited that we can achieve this result even before we include the carbon offset potential from our waste rock and tailings which we expect to allow us to produce NetZero NickelTM, NetZero CobaltTM, and NetZero IronTM.

“These results reflect the mine’s low strip ratio and our ability to utilise the low carbon hydroelectricity in the region and by using trolley trucks and electric shovels to reduce the consumption of diesel fuel.”

Skarn Associates’ proprietary E0 GHG intensity metric relates to Scope 1 and 2 mine site emissions from mining and processing of ore, plus fugitive emissions. It includes emissions from integrated smelting and refining facilities, but excludes emissions from third-party smelting and refining, Canada Nickel explained.

Emission intensities are stated on a recovered nickel-equivalent basis, calculated using average 2020 metal prices. Emissions are pro-rated across all commodities produced by the mine, based on contribution to gross revenue.

The post Canada Nickel’s Crawford mine could be low carbon nickel leader, Skarn says appeared first on International Mining.

Base Metals

ArcelorMittal plans major EAF, DRI investments for decarbonizing steel production in Canada

ArcelorMittal announced with the Government of Canada its intention for a CAD 1.765-billion (US$1.4-billion) investment in decarbonization technologies…

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ArcelorMittal announced with the Government of Canada its intention for a CAD 1.765-billion (US$1.4-billion) investment in decarbonization technologies at ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s plant in Hamilton.

At the heart of the plan is a 2 million tonne capacity Reduced Iron (DRI) facility and an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) facility capable of producing 2.4 million tonnes of high-quality steel through its existing secondary metallurgy and secondary casting facilities.


Innovative DRI. Source: ArcelorMittal


Modification of the existing EAF facility and continuous casters will also be undertaken to align productivity, quality and energy capabilities between all assets in the new footprint.

The intended investments will reduce annual CO2 emissions at ArcelorMittal’s Hamilton, Ontario operations by approximately 3 million tonnes—approximately 60% of emissions—within the next seven years.

ArcelorMittal will introduce new manufacturing processes that contribute to a considerable reduction of CO2 emissions and deliver other positive environmental impacts including the elimination of emissions and flaring from coke-making and ironmaking operations.

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Smart Carbon. Source: ArcelorMittal


The investment is contingent on support from the governments of Canada and Ontario. The Government of Canada announced it will invest CAD 400 million (US$321 million) in the project. The company is in discussions with the Government of Ontario regarding its support.

The new DRI and EAF will be in production before the end of 2028.

This project is part of ArcelorMittal’s new global 25% CO2 2030 emissions reduction target which was announced yesterday in our second climate action report. DRI-EAF technology, such as that being introduced in Dofasco, is at the heart of our new target although we do also continue to develop our smart carbon technology route. Transitioning from the blast furnace route to the DRI-route offers an immediate significant reduction in emissions in the first phase through natural gas and then in a second phase, which we call innovative DRI, harnessing green hydrogen or other Smart Carbon technologies.

This is the first significant decarbonization project we have announced outside Europe and again reflects ArcelorMittal’s determination to lead the decarbonization of the steel industry. Across the company our people are highly motivated to demonstrate that steel can reach net zero and will be the core material for a carbon-neutral world. This project in Dofasco is a very significant and important milestone in this journey.

—Aditya Mittal, CEO ArcelorMittal

ArcelorMittal has an ambition to be net-zero by 2050. The company recently published its second group Climate Action Report in which it set a new 2030 global carbon emissions intensity reduction target of 25%. It has also increased its European 2030 carbon emissions intensity target to 35%, from 30%.

ArcelorMittal estimates the cost of achieving its global 2030 carbon reduction target is around US$10 billion and believes government funding support of approximately 50% is required to enable the company to remain competitive regionally and globally through the transition period given the capital investment required and higher operating costs of low-carbon steelmaking technologies.

The company expects to deploy approximately 35% of this $10-billion investment by 2025 with the remainder in the second part of this decade.

The Company has developed two technology pathways, Smart Carbon and Innovative DRI, both of which it believes will have an important role to play in helping the company achieve net zero by 2050.

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Energy & Critical Metals

Tata Steel contracts for 27 electric trucks for transportation of finished steel in India

As part of its sustainability initiative, Tata Steel is partnering with an Indian start-up to deploy electric trucks for its steel transportin India. This…

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As part of its sustainability initiative, Tata Steel is partnering with an Indian start-up to deploy electric trucks for its steel transportin India. This marks the first use of EVs by any steel producer in the country for transportation of finished steel.


The electric trucks feature a 230.4 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack with a cooling system and a battery management system giving it capability to operate at ambient temperatures upto 60 °C (140 °F). The battery pack will be powered by a 160-kWh charger setup which would be able to charge the battery from 0 to 100% in 90 min. With zero tail-pipe emission, each electric vehicle would reduce the GHG footprint by more than 125 tCO2e every year.

Tata Steel has contracted for 27 EVs, each with a carrying capacity 35 tonnes of steel (minimum capacity). The company plans to deploy 15 EVs at its Jamshedpur plant and 12 EVs at its Sahibabad plant. The first set of EVs for Tata Steel are being put in operation between Tata Steel BSL’s Sahibabad Plant and Pilkhuwa Stockyard in Uttar Pradesh.

At a virtual ceremony organized on July 29, Tata Steel formally flagged-off the loaded vehicle at the Pilkhuwa Stockyard to move to the Sahibabad plant, 38 km away.

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Base Metals

If Coal Is Dead, Then Why Are Ships So Full Of It?

If Coal Is Dead, Then Why Are Ships So Full Of It?

By Greg Miller of FreightWaves,

Amid all the talk of global warming, climate change-induced…

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If Coal Is Dead, Then Why Are Ships So Full Of It?

By Greg Miller of FreightWaves,

Amid all the talk of global warming, climate change-induced catastrophes, decarbonization and green finance, the global trade in “dirty” coal is enjoying an ironic renaissance. Bulk ships are busy transporting coal to Asia — and to eco-conscious Europe — boosting freight income for some of the very shipowners who publicly tout their environmental bona fides to investors.

“Turns out the news of the demise of coal has been greatly exaggerated,” said Stifel analyst Ben Nolan in a new client note. “Despite an unseemly carbon footprint, coal demand is actually accelerating this year.”

Freight rates buoyed by coal

Coal is transported aboard larger bulkers known as Capesizes (ships with a capacity of around 180,000 deadweight tons or DWT), as well as on sub-Cape vessels such as Panamaxes (65,000-90,000 DWT) and Supramaxes (45,000-60,000 DWT).

According to Clarksons Platou Securities, Capesize spot rates averaged $32,800 per day on Monday, with Panamaxes at $31,800 and Supramaxes at $31,600. It’s rare in dry bulk shipping for all three segments to simultaneously top $30,000, as they have for the past five weeks.

“Strong activity in the coal markets as well as robust minor bulk volumes remain the driving force of elevated rates across the different asset classes,” said Clarksons.

The Financial Times recently pointed out that coal commodity pricing is outpacing both real estate and financial stock returns this year. The price of high-grade Australian thermal coal (used for power generation) had risen to $151 per ton as of Friday, more than triple its price last September, according to Argus. The price of semi-soft Australian coking coal (or metallurgical coal, used for steel production) was $127 per ton, up almost 80% year to date.

“Year-to-date thermal coal exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast, where exports tend to be very price- and demand-sensitive, are up 194%,” said Nolan.

Thermal coal demand drivers

Some of the extreme weather events being attributed to global warming are now increasing demand for seaborne shipments of high-carbon-emitting coal.

Exceptionally hot weather has hiked electricity usage, which is simultaneously being pushed up by growing economic activity. Higher electricity usage increases demand for thermal coal imports. “This year, a hot summer in Asia has led several of the big consumers, which had been shifting away [from coal], to not shift at all,” said Nolan.

A drought in May in southern China cut that region’s access to hydropower, an alternative to coal. More recently, the problem has been too much water in northern China. This month’s tragic floods in Zhengzhou are curtailing coal moves from inland sources. China’s state planner reported that coal transport from Inner Mongolia and Shanxi through Zhengzhou to eastern and central China has been “severely impacted.”

Hot weather is simultaneously boosting prices and lowering reserves of natural gas, which competes with thermal coal for power generation. “Even in Europe, which is the epicenter for decarbonization, low natural gas inventories are driving a sharp increase in thermal coal imports from virtually every nation,” said Nolan.

Restocking for winter

Summer demand will be complemented by restocking for winter demand and inventory rebuilding in general, as well as by demand for coking coal for steel production.

Maritime Strategies International (MSI) noted in its monthly outlook, “China’s National Development and Reform Commission has announced plans to build stocks of over 100 million tons of ‘deployable coal reserves,’ but domestic coal stockpiles are at their lowest levels since February.”

It’s not just China. According to Braemar ACM Shipbroking, “In preparation for the winter season, South Korea, among other nations, has increased coal purchases to avoid energy supply deficits.” South Korea’s July coal imports are on track to hit a five-year high.

Nolan added, “With coal prices currently in regions not seen in a decade or more, there is ample motivation to increase production anywhere and everywhere. Clearly, this is good news for dry bulk shipping moving into winter as coal is often stockpiled in advance and the motivation for such inventory building should be great given the risk of [natural] gas shortages.

“This should lead to some very interesting months starting in September, given how tight the dry bulk shipping market already is currently.”

Decarbonization and Chinese imports

One irony of the current market is that weather events ascribed to global warming are stoking demand for transport of out-of-favor coal. A second irony is that the decarbonization push in China could increase coal-shipping demand even more. 

During last month’s Marine Money Week virtual conference, Magnus Halvorsen, CEO of Norway-listed 2020 Bulkers, explained, “China consumes around 4 billion tons of coal [a year] and imports shy of 300 [million tons], so any change in the import ratio to consumption will have a dramatic impact on import requirements. If China, as part of an environmental crackdown on its domestic production, produces significantly less coal, it’s going to have a strong impact on import requirements.”

According to Aristides Pittas, CEO of EuroDry (NASDAQ: EDRY), “China, for environmental reasons, is going to limit the use of its own coal mines. So, the better-quality coal [from outside China] will benefit, and that will benefit the shipping market.

“We all know coal is a dirty cargo and one that will become obsolete at some point in time,” said Pittas during the Marine Money Week event. “We are all in favor of that. We want a clean world and we want to help. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen that quickly. And the road to decarbonization will create a lot of inefficiencies. Inefficiencies are usually things that help shipping markets.

“I think coal will surprise people,” said Pittas. “It’s not disappearing yet, so watch out.”

Tyler Durden Fri, 07/30/2021 - 14:28
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