Blackstone is launching a "green" hydrogen study to assess if the gas could be created as a by-product of hydroelectric power at Ta Khoa, for use in its planned downstream processing plant instead of oxygen.
The oxygen would have been produced by a conventional cryogenic oxygen plant, with nitrogen as a by-product. But hydrogen fits better with the company's aim to develop a zero-carbon mining operation and downstream processing facility.
"The Ta Khoa Project benefits from significant competitive operating advantages including access to renewable hydropower," said Blackstone Minerals' Managing Director Scott Williamson. "The decision to commence a Green Hydrogen Study reflects Blackstone's commitment to minimising its carbon footprint and producing downstream nickel products with the highest ESG credentials."
The study will also assess the potential to offset refinery operating costs through the sale of green hydrogen.