Conventional nickel mines consume huge amounts of energy to crush the ore, but the Timmins, Ont., location of Canada Nickel Company’s proposed development has the advantage of ample renewable hydroelectricity nearby. (Yusuf Ahmad/Reuters) A small Canadian mining company says it has found a way to mine nickel without spewing a ton of carbon into the atmosphere — an engineering challenge that no less than Elon Musk says is the key to producing the energy to power the world’s future transportation needs. Canada Nickel Company is in the midst of setting up a facility near Timmins, Ont., that CEO Mark Selby said can extract the metal virtually carbon-free. At least one prominent nickel user is excited. Musk, the CEO of electric car company Tesla, needs nickel to satisfy his company’s insatiable appetite for batteries. The process hinges on the rock in question being what’s known as serpentine rock, a type of mineral-rich ore that sucks carbon out of the atmosphere when mined. The company’s property sits on one of the dozen largest known deposits of nickel sulphide on Earth, and about 90 per cent of it is the type that can absorb carbon, Selby said in an interview with CBC […]

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