Funding will support a new industrial research chair and nine new jobs in Thunder Bay
THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is providing more than $690,000 to help support research and development in mineral exploration and mining at Lakehead University. The funding will support a new industrial research chair and the creation of nine new jobs in Thunder Bay. This investment could eventually lead to the discovery of new mineral resources in Northern Ontario.
“Investing in job creation and research and development at Lakehead University will help drive new solutions and support our government’s commitment to grow the province’s mineral exploration and prospecting industry,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “Through this project, we have the potential to attract new investments into the region and drive more economic opportunities here in Northwestern Ontario.”
Dr. Peter Hollings, the current chair of Lakehead University’s Department of Geology, will be named the new Industrial Research Chair in Mineral Exploration. Dr. Hollings and his team will work with Impala Canada and their geology team to analyze nickel, copper and platinum group elements and the associated geological attributes near the Lac Des Iles mine and the surrounding area. The results will lead to new analytical models that will accelerate the exploration and mining of these strategic minerals, potentially reducing the development time of new mine sites.
“Lakehead University wishes to thank the Province, Impala Canada, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for their support for the establishment of an Industrial Research Chair in Mineral Exploration,” said Dr. Moira McPherson, President and Vice Chancellor, Lakehead University. “Dr. Peter Hollings’ research program will focus on the development of innovative new techniques that can be used to enhance the mineral exploration industry’s ability to discover new mines. The mines that will supply the raw materials required for the technologies that power a modern economy.”
“Exploration is the lifeline of the mining industry, and finding new, economically viable mineral deposits opens the door to generations of jobs, investment and community development opportunities,” said Tim Hill, Chief Executive Officer, Impala Canada. “Together with the Government of Ontario, we are proud to invest in this industrial research chair and partner in the world-class research led by Dr. Peter Hollings at Lakehead University.
We are providing unparalleled access to the geological database at our Lac Des Iles Mine and regional exploration properties ̶ a database that is several orders of magnitude greater than most academic-based geoscientific projects. We are confident this collaborative research will greatly enhance the potential for discovery of new mineral resources and have a significant impact on future growth and investment in the Thunder Bay mining district. Together, we hope to unlock nickel, copper and platinum group metals that are essential for the world’s transition to green energy.”
Funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). The corporation promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects – big and small, rural and urban – that stimulate recovery, growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $262 million in 2,549 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.1 billion in investment and creating or sustaining 4,771 jobs.