Mining giant Rio Tinto will promote the use of decarbonisation through a collaboration with carbon capture expert Carbfix, which will see the companies capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide (CO2) underground at the ISAL aluminium smelter in Iceland.

The strategic partnership will involve Carbfix injecting CO2 into the Coda Terminal, the world’s first carbon mineral storage hub, located underneath the ISAL site on Rio Tinto’s land.

With liquefied CO2 to be shipped from North Europe for storage, the partners aim to work together to further decarbonise the plant using other carbon capture solutions currently being tested.

Calling it a ‘significant step forward’ towards developing the world’s first carbon mineral storage hub, Edda Sif Aradottir, CEO, Carbfix, said that this kind of large scale deployment of CCS is necessary for international climate goals to be met.

In addition to reducing emissions at mines and smelters, Rio Tinto is also looking into the potential of carbon capture and mineralisation.

The storage system works by the CO2 that’s injected into geological formations being mineralised into solid carbonates by accelerating natural processes.

Carbfix aims to drill the Coda Terminal’s first injection wells in 2022, with shipments of CO2 starting in 2025.