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December 5, 2023

Scaling carbon removal in mining

Isometric partners with WSP to host workshop for mining CDR

Rhys Savage, Ph.D.
Carbon Removal Scientist

Today Isometric and WSP, a leading global engineering and professional services firm, hosted a workshop to kickstart the development of the world’s first industry-wide protocols for the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) in the mining industry.

The workshop brought together more than a dozen representatives from key stakeholders, including mining operators, environmental consultancies, CDR technology companies, academics, and non-profit organizations to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing CDR technologies in the mining sector. It was a pivotal first step towards identifying viable solutions that are both scalable and verifiable and recognizing the value of open collaboration across industry stakeholders.

The mining industry has the potential to become a leader in CDR, with removals on the order of gigatonnes a likely reality given the sector’s existing infrastructure and capital. Mining operators produce over 100 billion tonnes of solid mining wastes per year. If even a fraction of these waste materials are utilized for CDR, this has the potential to make a substantial contribution towards limiting global temperature increases.

Mining wastes are some of the most regulated materials in the world from an environmental perspective. If they’re to be used for CDR on the scale required, the protocols used to monitor and verify their implementation will need the approval of applicable regulatory bodies. It is therefore critical that such protocols are developed in collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders.

To achieve this, Isometric and WSP are partnering to co-lead an international working group to help scale mining CDR technologies and develop MRV protocols accepted by the industry and regulators alike. The working group has four key aims:

  1. Develop industry-accepted CDR protocols for mine wastes.
  2. Ease collaboration between mining operators, CDR suppliers and regulators to allow mining CDR technologies to scale efficiently.
  3. Verify CDR supplier measurements through field trials and pilots at operational mines.
  4. Engage with regulators in international markets to ensure mining CDR meets regulatory requirements related to both carbon-crediting and environmental management.

Isometric and WSP are committed to continuing the dialogue fostered during the mining CDR workshop and translating the insights gained from the workshop into actionable strategies for the mining industry. If you are interested in joining the mining CDR working group or participating in future workshops, please get in touch at mining@isometric.com.

Cover image by Dion Beetson