• 11 hours Gold Miners Brace For Seasonal Downturn
  • 18 hours The Silver Plunge Continues
  • 1 day 7 COVID Vaccine Stocks To Plan Upside Moves
  • 2 days Rhodium Climbs Reaches Record Highs
  • 2 days Tesla Tumbles After Battery Day Fails To Impress
  • 3 days Three Energy ETFs To Watch This Decade
  • 3 days What To Do With $2 Trillion In Suspicious Bank Transactions?
  • 4 days How The Stock Market Predicts Electoral Victory
  • 5 days Tesla's "Battery Day" Could Deal A Blow To Cobalt Miners
  • 5 days New TikTok Deal Hopes To Bypass National Security Concerns
  • 6 days Where Will Gold Go From Here?
  • 6 days COVID-19 Is Fueling A Pastic Waste Crisis
  • 7 days Gold Output Set To Decline
  • 8 days Uber And Lyft Look To Go Electric
  • 9 days COVID-19 Is Crushing Palladium Demand
  • 9 days This ‘Once-Boring’ Tech Company Is Now Super Hot
  • 10 days Will Air-Based Protein Be Our Future Food?
  • 11 days Google Pledges To Go Carbon-Free By 2030
  • 11 days A New Twist In The TikTok Saga
  • 12 days Gold Inches Closer To $2,000
Chinese Panic Buying Could Fuel A Copper Rally

Chinese Panic Buying Could Fuel A Copper Rally

Copper was once again approaching…

Copper Continues To Outperform

Copper Continues To Outperform

A fair part of the…

Demand For Battery Metals To Surge By 500%

Demand For Battery Metals To Surge By 500%

Production of so-called battery metals,…

Mining.com

Mining.com

Mining.com

MINING.com is a web-based global mining publication focusing on news and commentary about mining and mineral exploration. The site is a one-stop-shop for mining industry…

Contact Author

  1. Home
  2. Commodities
  3. Industrial Metals

The Unsung Hero In The Race To Go Green

Green Energy

An international team of researchers has discovered that carbon dioxide plays a crucial role in making metals used in green technologies accessible for mining.

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, the scientists explain that nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum-group elements can be carried by CO2 ‘bubbles’ through magma away from the Earth’s mantle and into the upper crust, where they have the potential to form large ore deposits.

The geoscientists, who hail from the University of Leicester, University of Western Australia, University of Milan, ETH Zurich, Yale University, Universidad de Granada and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, reached this conclusion after assembling a suite of textural, geochemical and isotopic information from rocks derived from a range of selected localities globally. These data allowed them to identify that certain types of magma produce a supercritical CO2 fluid in the mantle, which has a strong attraction to sulphide liquid droplets. 

THE RESEARCH ADDRESSES THE TRANSPORT OF METALS FROM THE CORE AND MANTLE OF THE PLANET INTO THE CRUST TO FORM DEPOSITS OF NICKEL, COBALT, COPPER AND PLATINUM GROUP ELEMENTS

In detail, this CO2 fluid is less dense than the magma itself and so rises, carrying the dense metal-rich sulphides with it. As the CO2 and sulphide get closer to the surface, they then part ways, leaving no evidence of CO2 in the upper crust. The team’s evidence of carbonate and sulphide in the lower crustal rocks provide a vital snapshot of this deep process in action before it is eradicated in the upper crust.

“CO2 has been viewed in recent times as having a negative role in science, considered the villain in causing climate change, but we show that it is actually a hidden hero in bringing us the metals essential for the future of clean energy,” Daryl Blanks, lead author of the study, said in a media statement. “The idea here is that CO2 plays a critical role in the transfer of metals from the mantle and has major implications in the formation of metal-rich magmatic deposits which are used for technologies like electric vehicle batteries.”

Blanks explained that the process of transporting metals by CO2 is like the initial fuel boosters on a rocket launch to space. 

“The fuel boosters (CO2) are essential in getting the rocket (magma) and its precious cargo (metal-rich sulphides) off the ground, but once spent, the fuel tanks separate, and the evidence they were there by the time the rocket reaches space is gone!” he said.

According to the researcher, this discovery may assist in the search for new deposits, allowing exploration to broaden out to viable locations that may not have previously been considered.

By Mining.com 

More Top Reads From Safehaven.com:

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment