After studying environmental science, Samantha Langley started her career in a regulatory role but soon realised that she wanted to protect the environment by creating change within industry. That desire saw her move to Kalgoorlie sight unseen to get her start in mining and more than 20 years later it has her leading what could be one of the most important global developments in tackling climate change.
At BHP Nickel West, Samantha is working with a team that will employ technological solutions to see whether the tailings storage dam at the company’s Mount Keith operations can be used as a giant industrial sink for carbon dioxide. The science behind the chemical process – known as mineral carbonation – is proven at a laboratory level but testing it in the field at scale will be a world-first.
Sam has brought together a team of engineers, geochemists and policy and climate change experts from within BHP and engaged with specialists and researchers around the world as the project moves towards implementation. The potential of successful mineral carbonation at global scale is enormous, with estimates it could offset as much as 10 per cent of the world’s emissions. The process is also capable to producing zero carbon cement and building products.