Potential for offsetting diamond mine carbon emissions through mineral carbonation of processed kimberlite: An assessment of De Beers mine sites in South Africa and Canada

Evelyn M. Mervine*, Siobhan A. Wilson, Ian M. Power, Gregory M. Dipple, Connor C. Turvey, Jessica L. Hamilton, Sterling Vanderzee, Mati Raudsepp, Colette Southam, Juerg M. Matter, Peter B. Kelemen, Johann Stiefenhofer, Zandile Miya, Gordon Southam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


De Beers kimberlite mine operations in South Africa (Venetia and Voorspoed) and Canada (Gahcho Kué, Victor, and Snap Lake) have the potential to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) through weathering of kimberlite mine tailings, which can store carbon in secondary carbonate minerals (mineral carbonation). Carbonation of ca. 4.7 to 24.0 wt% (average = 13.8 wt%) of annual processed kimberlite production could offset 100% of each mine site’s carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions. Minerals of particular interest for reactivity with atmospheric or waste CO2 from energy production include serpentine minerals, olivine (forsterite), brucite, and smectite. The most abundant minerals, such as serpentine polymorphs, provide the bulk of the carbonation potential. However, the detection of minor amounts of highly reactive brucite in tailings from Victor, as well as the likely presence of brucite at Venetia, Gahcho Kué, and Snap Lake, is also important for the mineral carbonation potential of the mine sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-765
Number of pages11
JournalMineralogy and Petrology
Early online date28 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Event11th International Kimberlite Conference (IKC) - Gaborone, Botswana
Duration: 18 Sep 201722 Sep 2017


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