Mining group in talks with potential US clients over eco-friendly supply deals

A sunrise drilling site

Sunrise Resources, the Macclesfield-based mineral exploration and development firm, is in talks with two US companies over supplying them with materials from its US sites as the country’s construction industry looks for more eco-friendly raw materials.

The company has mined various sites in Canada, Finland, Ireland and Australia, but is now focusing on the development of its CS Pozzolan-Perlite project in Nevada, USA.

It said field visits have taken place at its American sites in the past two weeks.

Perlite is an amorphous volcanic glass which can be used in lightweight plasters, concrete and mortar, insulation and ceiling tiles, and pozzolan can be used as a substitute for cement in concrete mixtures.

Sunrise executive chairman, Patrick Cheetham said: “From my recent discussions with cement companies, it is becoming increasingly clear that a range of net zero CO2 strategies in the cement and concrete industries, the requirements for sustainability, and the long term decline in fly ash supply are driving cement and concrete companies towards the use of natural pozzolan.

“The manufacture of pozzolan blended cements is a win-win for the cement and concrete companies as not only does it allow them to reduce the embodied carbon in their products, it also increases their cement production per ton of cement clinker capacity at a time when they are already operating at full capacity and sold out of cement.

“Given these drivers impacting on the US cement and concrete industries, our CS and Hazen Pozzolan Projects are well placed to help industry in pursuit of these goals.”

The US is being encouraged by President Biden to use more sustainable building products to cut carbon emissions. Concrete, used in construction, is currently responsible for eight per cent of the world’s man-made emissions, so net zero CO2 targets are a major challenge for the cement and concrete industries.

California is a major target market for Sunrise’s CS Project and has the largest economy of all the US States.

In September 2021, in the first law of its kind in the US, California’s Carbon Cap-and-Trade scheme was signed into legislation and directly targets greenhouse gas emissions associated with the cement industry.

Sunrise says the use of natural pozzolan is a win-win for cement companies. It not only provides for more durable and sustainable concrete with lower embodied carbon, but it also allows the cement company to sell more cement. It says this is an important consideration, particularly as cement companies are currently operating at capacity and are all sold out.

The company said: “These ongoing developments serve to strengthen the place of natural pozzolans in future cement formulations and the CS Project is well placed, being fully permitted and ready to mine.”