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Minnova Corp outlines two pronged renewable energy and gold mining strategy


The energy sector has come to a turning point. The major countries of the world have made significant long-term commitments to this energy transition with a focus on electrification and zero carbon green hydrogen. This leaves gold miner Minnova Corp [TSXV:MCI / OTC Pink AGRDF] in an interesting position as it pushes forward with a two prong strategy at its site in central Manitoba.

“We believe we are well positioned to advance quickly to green hydrogen production via two proven, conventional processes – electrolysis and pyrolysis – on a global basis,” CEO Gorden Glenn told The Armchair Trader this week. “In Manitoba we have access to some of the lowest cost hydro power available anywhere in the world and the province is also well endowed with sustainable forest and agricultural biomass.”

Minnova Corp says it is advancing discussions on both production processes and hopes to have initial site selection(s) finalised in the coming weeks. Following that the company  will be advancing to detailed site analysis concurrent with funding.

Canadian government is supporting development of green energy

The Canadian government has made a significant financial commitment to support the infrastructure required to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Federal funding commitments total over C$10 billion (2020/21) to accelerate decarbonatisation to develop new clean energy technology and green energy production. This is just the beginning of policy and fiscal stimulus that will ultimately transform all sectors of the Canadian economy.

The province of Manitoba is also committed to new development projects, particularly in northern communities in need of economic development and diversification. In the November 2021, Throne Speech Premier Heather Stefanson confirmed the government’s intention to reduce red tape for businesses and foster investment to expand job opportunities for northern and First Nations communities, help get new products to market, and improve access to capital for Manitoba businesses.

“Achieving a zero-emission future clearly requires the alignment of all levels of government and industry and this is exactly the current situation we are exposed to in Manitoba with our Minnova Renewable Energy strategy,” Glenn explained. “In Manitoba we are in the right place at the right time with our Minnova Renewable Energy strategy. Our vision has been well received in the communities that we have targeted for potential development. Further, our positive experience working in Manitoba to develop the PL Gold Mine puts us in a favourable position to attract federal funding support that lines up directly Canada’s decarbonisation goals.”

In addition to that, Minnova’s research and development efforts focused on green hydrogen production efficiency and potential for biochar transformation to graphene could have far reaching benefits to shareholders, local communities and the Canadian economy in general.

Green hydrogen economy still evolving in Canada

The green hydrogen market is still evolving in Canada but is much further advanced in other jurisdictions with major industrial offtaker actively seeking green hydrogen or green syngas (renewable natural gas) to reduce carbon emissions. “This is truly a global initiative and we are also actively selecting sites for green hydrogen development in north and south America and in Europe,” Glenn said.

The unprecedented global alignment in support of new green energy and renewable energy technology development is unparalleled and more importantly the policy and financial support is also in place.

Minnova Renewable Energy is an early mover in the energy transition and has a real opportunity to be part of the solution to reduce dependence on historic fossil fuel usage in transportation and support the adoption of alternative and renewable and sustainable fuel like green hydrogen.

“Considering the magnitude of the opportunity our efforts go well beyond Manitoba to position our developing proprietary gasification technology in geographies with access to low cost biomass feedstock with developed or developing green hydrogen markets,” Glenn added. “Like Manitoba the interest level in our initiative is being well received where we have initiated site selection discussions.”

Working with DUMA Engineering on gasification technology

Minnova continues to work on ongoing design and testing of a new generation of gasification technology by DUMA Engineering in collaboration with leading European Institutes that is thought capable of producing higher hydrogen content and tar free syngas than existing technologies.

Results from level 8 cold test work carried out earlier this year were positive and confirmed different fluid dynamics configuration options. Design and test work is ongoing and is expected to be finalised in the second quarter of 2022. Upon completion of final tests, global patents will be filed to protect this innovative gasification technology in parallel to ongoing commercialisation discussions considering both licensing and build-own-operate options.

In addition to supporting the development and commercialisation of a proprietary new gasification technology Minnova Renewable Energy is expanding research and development efforts to include analysis of biochar derived from pyrolysis to improve environmentally friendly processing techniques to produce graphite and graphene.

Biochar already has demonstrated commercial uses ranging from soil enhancement to filtration systems but more recently offers potential to be a natural source of graphene. The planned research initiative will inform Minnova’s strategy to maximise green hydrogen production and produce a high quality biochar with potential to be transformed to a commercial renewable graphene product.

Development of PL Gold Mine is still very much on the cards

Minnova is not leaving the development of the PL Gold Mine behind, and Glenn has been at pains to stress this. Minnova is an also well known as an emerging Canadian gold producer focused on restarting the PL Gold Mine and expanding gold resources on its PL and Nokomis gold deposits. Minnova has completed a positive feasibility study in support of restarting the PL Mine at an average annual production rate of 46,493 ounces over a minimum five year mine life. The resource remains open to expansion and future surface exploration work programs will target resource expansion.

“At PL we continue to analyse our development and financing options, solicit and consider M&A and are actively seeking additions to management to focus on PL’s ultimate re-start,” Glenn said. “Based on the 2018 feasibility study the restart of PL has considerable inherent value at current gold price in the US$1800/oz range. Beyond the base case feasibility study development plan we have successfully demonstrated the resource and reserve expansion potential and vast exploration potential with the last drill hole of the 2021 drill program.”

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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