FPX Nickel establishes subsidiary to pursue large-scale, low-cost and permanent carbon capture and storage
FPX Nickel Corp., a Vancouver-based junior nickel mining company developing the large-scale Decar Nickel District in central British Columbia, has established a new subsidiary company, CO2 Lock Corp., to pursue opportunities in large-scale, low-cost and permanent carbon capture and storage (CCS).
CO2 Lock has raised $1.7 million in a seed round financing, leaving FPX Nickel with an approximately 76% ownership interest (fully diluted) in CO2 Lock, which will proceed with an independent management team in developing carbon sequestration operations in geological settings worldwide with similarities to FPX’s Decar Nickel District.
CO2 Lock will build on five years of laboratory and field research conducted with partners including the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Natural Resources Canada in understanding the controls for carbon sequestration in the serpentinized peridotites at Decar.
CO2 Lock will operate as a standalone entity from FPX, and will establish ownership interests in prospective mineral tenures, license or advance projects to commercial production and develop intellectual property associated with the operation of carbon sequestration sites worldwide FPX will retain 100% of the carbon credits associated with CCS on its own properties, and will retain a right to use, free of charge, any intellectual property developed by CO2 Lock for the benefit of FPX’s own properties.
Since 2016, FPX has played a leading role in applying fundamental science to evaluate the potential for large-scale permanent CCS in brucite-rich serpentinized peridotites, and we expect the launch of CO2 Lock to greatly accelerate those efforts going forward.
The establishment of CO2 Lock provides immediate value for FPX shareholders and launches a platform for CO2 Lock’s independent management team to aggressively pursue the economic and environmental benefits of large-scale permanent CCS on a global scale. Importantly, FPX will have the right to use any intellectual property developed by CO2 Lock, further raising the potential for development of a low- or zero-carbon nickel mining operation at Decar.—Martin Turenne, FPX’s President and CEO
Since 2016, FPX has led research on technologies that maximize the reaction between CO2 and brucite (a highly CO2-reactive mineral form of magnesium hydroxide) present in the host rock at the company’s Decar Nickel District, and at its secondary properties in British Columbia and the Yukon. In a natural process called carbon mineralization, CO2 reacts with brucite, and to a much less extent with serpentine minerals, in the tailings and waste rock, binding the CO2 in a benign, solid magnesium carbonate which is stable on a geological time scale.
Previous laboratory and field tests conducted by researchers from UBC have confirmed the ability of FPX’s tailings material to mineralize CO2 both when exposed (a) to air, and (b) to a point source of concentrated CO2 gas. Through this work, FPX has become an industry leader in advancing the understanding of the controlling chemistry and mineralogy of carbon capture and the sequestration potential of the host serpentinized peridotite rock.
Ongoing and future test work conducted by both FPX and CO2 Lock will underpin FPX’s efforts to optimize CCS parameters in the Decar development plan, including the potential to leverage CCS to advance Decar as an industry-leading low- or zero-carbon nickel operation.
Decar Nickel District. The company’s Decar Nickel District claims cover 245 km2 of the Mount Sidney Williams ultramafic/ophiolite complex, 90 km northwest of Fort St. James in central British Columbia. The district is a two-hour drive from Fort St. James on a high-speed logging road.
Decar hosts a greenfield discovery of nickel mineralization in the form of a naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy called awaruite (Ni3Fe), which is amenable to bulk-tonnage, open-pit mining. Awaruite mineralization has been identified in four target areas within this ophiolite complex, being the Baptiste Deposit, and the B, Sid and Van targets, as confirmed by drilling, petrographic examination, electron probe analyses and outcrop sampling on all four targets. Since 2010, approximately US$28 million has been spent on the exploration and development of Decar.
Of the four targets in the Decar Nickel District, the Baptiste Deposit, which was initially the most accessible and had the biggest known surface footprint, has been the focus of diamond drilling since 2010, with a total of 99 holes and 33,700 m of drilling completed. The Sid target was tested with two holes in 2010 and the B target had a single hole drilled in 2011; all three holes intersected nickel-iron alloy mineralization over wide intervals with DTR nickel grades comparable to the Baptiste Deposit. The Van target was not drill-tested at that time as bedrock exposures in the area were very poor prior to more recent logging activity. In 2021, the Company executed a maiden drilling program at Van, which has returned promising results comparable with the strongest results at Baptiste.
FPX Nickel Corp. is focused on the exploration and development of the Decar Nickel District, located in central British Columbia, and other occurrences of the same unique style of naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy mineralization known as awaruite.