Archive | Mining Education and Innovation

Project imagines mining without the need for blasting – by Staff (Sudbury Star – August 8, 2019)

Imagine building a new underground mine — or expanding an existing one — without using explosives.

That’s the goal of a new project unveiled in Sudbury on Wednesday. And while the announcement was made in here, the money — $1.5 million — will go to McGill University of Montreal to test cleaner methods of mining.

“Today’s announcement is a great example of how we can use intelligent, targeted investments to ensure Canada remains at the forefront of mining practices,” Sudbury Paul Lefebvre said in a release. “By investing in projects like rock fragmentation research, we will ensure that Canada remains a leader in environmental stewardship, while creating a more prosperous mining industry.” Continue Reading →

How pulling frozen mud ‘Popsicles’ from N.W.T. lakes can help make mining cleaner – by Priscilla Hwang (CBC North – August 6, 2019)

An Ottawa researcher developing new technology to pull up and analyze frozen mud samples from N.W.T. lakes says it will give regulators and mining companies a better tool to do their jobs.

“It’s a technology that’s going to allow mining companies to … better plan how they’re going to use the area around the lake, and make sure that their work is done sustainably,” said Tim Patterson, professor of geology at Carleton University.

“That’ll allow them to do better to protect the aquatic ecosystems.” Currently, mining companies have to follow strict cleanup protocols when planning to mine in the N.W.T. Continue Reading →

EDITORIAL: Mining industry has role to play in carbon capture – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – July 24, 2019)

The carbon neutral mine is on the horizon. That’s the aim of a collaborative program to test immobilizing carbon dioxide in mine tailings. Lab scale tests are promising, and now the research is moving into the field.

The technology could reduce – if not eliminate – greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at mines and result in the world’s first carbon neutral mining operation.

The research is headed by the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, Trent University, and Institut national de la recherches scientifique. The program is financially supported by Geoscience BC, Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, De Beers Group, FPX Nickel, Giga Metals, and the governments of British Columbia, Yukon and Northwest Territories. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Mining Innovation: CEMI, Sudbury, Ontario and CEDC, Thunder Bay, Ontario sign memorandum of understanding to co-develop capacity of the mining innovation ecosystem (July 8, 2019)

In an effort to help strengthen collaboration across Ontario and leverage resources within the mining innovation ecosystem, the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) and the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) are pleased to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The Doug Murray, CEO of CEDC said that “Mining and further mining innovations are important aspects for the continued growth of the Northwestern Ontario Economy and thus appreciate CEMI’s support to make this happen.” and his words aligned with CEMI’s President Douglas Morrison who said “CEMI has always undertaken to help promote mining activity in the north-west of Ontario, and this is another way to recognize our collaborative relationship.”

The purpose of this MOU is to promote a collaborative strategic approach to all aspects of mining, through mining research, technology development and the commercialization of mining innovation. Continue Reading →

Steel contributes $225K to research – by Mia Jensen (Sudbury Star – June 29, 2019)

The United Steelworkers announced Friday that they are committing $225,000 over the next three years to Laurentian University’s Centre for Research in Occupation Safety and Health.

As the only centre for occupational health and safety research in Northern Ontario, CROSH’s goal is to partner with workers, workplaces, communities and governments to tackle relevant workplace challenges.

The centre uses a field-to-lab-to-field approach to their research. Researchers engage with industries and communities in the field to understand the problems they are facing. Then they bring their findings to the lab at Laurentian University to troubleshoot evidence-based solutions, before bringing those solutions back to the workplace to be tested in the field. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Cambrian College Named National Centre for Mining Applied Research

SUDBURY – Cambrian College’s reputation for applied research has reached new heights. Today, the Government of Canada announced that Cambrian has been designated as a national Technology Access Centre (TAC), for its expertise in mining.

Cambrian’s TAC, to be known as the Centre for Smart Mining, is made possible through renewable funding of $1.75 million over five years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Making the announcement on behalf of the government was Nickel Belt Liberal MP Marc Serré.

“With its wealth of experience, infrastructure, expertise and existing relationships with industry partners, Cambrian is extremely well-positioned to advance entrepreneurial activity in mining technology,” says Marc Serré. ”We can confidently expect that through its Centre for Smart Mining, Cambrian will become an even greater resource for mining technology developers and producers in Nickel Belt/Greater Sudbury, Northern Ontario and around the globe.” Continue Reading →

Nevada’s Mackay, Newmont partnership 50 years old – by Adella Harding (Elko Daily Free Press – June 6, 2019)

A partnership between the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno and Newmont Goldcorp is marking its golden anniversary of helping students, the Mackay School, the mining industry and Newmont recruitment all these years.

“Both Newmont and Mackay get something out of the partnership,” said Melissa Harmon, general manager of Newmont’s Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County.

Newmont has donated an estimated $8 million to the Mackay School and UNR since 1969, Harmon said. Newmont also was the first mining company to reach the philanthropist level in 2011 for giving $5 million to the university. Continue Reading →

How should universities introduce more closure training into classrooms? – by Jax Jacobsen (CIM Magazine – May 27, 2019)

Mining engineering grapples with how to integrate more closure and CSR into the curriculum

Following a series of high-profile tailings dam failures, the waste management and closure practices of the mining industry are under increasing scrutiny. Canadian universities for their part are questioning how they should adapt their curriculum to better prepare the next generation of miners to work in this new reality.

Leading mining educators in Canada have mixed feelings about shaking up the curriculum to incorporate more mine closure-focused coursework.
“We cannot [spend] the time on courses related to these fields without having an impact on other fields,” said Bruno Bussière, a professor at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) and the scientific director of RIME UQAT-Polytechnique (Research Institute for Mines and the Environment).

“We have very dense programs with a lot of courses,” he said, adding that incorporating new course requirements would mean removing something else from the curriculum. Continue Reading →

Africa: 4th Industrial Revolution Disrupts Mining Sector – by Mthulisi Sibanda (All – May 2019)

Johannesburg — THE South African mining industry is undergoing an extensive transformation amid the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) taking root in what is among the major sectors of the continent’s most advanced economy.

Mining forms the backbone of the South African economy and is responsible for a third of the country’s commodity exports. It is indirectly responsible for employment in associated industries, through its vast supply chain.

“The industry that everybody currently knows will be unrecognizable in five to seven years,” said Tony O’Neill, Technical Director at Anglo American. He was speaking ahead of the first 4IR in Mining Seminar in South Africa. Continue Reading →

Underground Robots: How Robotics Is Changing the Mining Industry – by Adityarup Chakravorty (Earth & Space Science News – May 13, 2019)

Earth & Space Science News

December 2018, Slovenia: A team of scientists, engineers, and technicians from a consortium of universities, organizations, and companies across Europe boldly prepare a robot to go where no robot has gone before.

The robot, UX-1, is prepped to enter and navigate the narrow, flooded passages of the Idrija mercury mine in western Slovenia. It’s a field test—UX-1’s second—to determine whether the robot can autonomously navigate the dark, murky waters of the closed mine and use its multispectral camera to recognize different minerals.

UX-1’s creators hope that one day it will be part of a multirobot platform called the Underwater Explorer for Flooded Mines (UNEXMiN) and be used for “non-invasive [and] autonomous 3D mine mapping for gathering valuable geological, mineralogical and spatial information…that cannot be obtained by any other ways, without major costs,” according to the project’s website. Continue Reading →

Innovation centre planning $4M expansion in Sudbury: NORCAT plans above-ground addition to its underground centre to meet demand – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – April 30, 2019)

NORCAT is planning a $4-million expansion at its Sudbury underground centre to meet growing demand for the development, testing and commercialization of new mining technologies.

Situated northwest of the city in the community of Onaping, the underground facility was established in 1997 at the former operating Fecunis Adit Mine, previously owned by Falconbridge (now Glencore).

Don Duval, NORCAT’s CEO, noted the organization is the only non-profit regional innovation centre globally to have an operating mine dedicated to helping startup companies develop, test and demonstrate emerging technologies in an operating mine environment. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Canada Announces Six Crush It! Mining Challenge Finalists to Advance Toward $5-Million Grand Prize

MONTREAL, April 30, 2019 /CNW/ – Improving the energy efficiency of Canada’s mines is critical to our transition to a low-carbon economy. Finding and advancing innovative solutions that reduce energy use for crushing and grinding mined rock will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve productivity and help our mining industry become more competitive.

Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the six finalists for Impact Canada’s Crush it!

Challenge at the 2019 Canadian Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum’s Convention. Each finalist is eligible to receive up to $800,000 to build and test his or her cleantech solution before advancing to the next stage of the challenge.

The finalists are: Continue Reading →

Why mine closure matters and why it gets ignored – by Alisha Hiyate (Canadian Mining Journal – January 1, 2017)

Trends in mine closure from the Progressive Mine Forum

If you want to clear a room of miners, there are few better ways than to raise the topic of mine closure. At least, that’s sort of what happened at the Progressive Mine Forum in Toronto in late October.

The inaugural event, organized by The Northern Miner, was dedicated to discussing innovation in mining. After a day of roundtables discussing CSR, Big Data in exploration, and innovation in mine development, operations and finance, about half the audience got up and left when it came time for the final topic of the day – mine closure. (Watch the Mine Closure portion of the event.)

While mine closure may not be a sexy topic, it is an urgent one. “It’s the single most important thing that our industry does,” said Douglas Morrison, president and CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation. Continue Reading →

World’s largest copper producer brings AI to its mines – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – March 26, 2019)

Chile’s Codelco, the world’s No. 1 copper producer, will incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into its mines to monitor the health of mining equipment and ensure operations run efficiently, as part of a deal signed Tuesday with Chicago-based AI provider Uptake.

The move is part of an aggressive transformation of the state-miner, which is looking at adding fresh technologies to revitalizing some of its century-old mines.

Over the next ten years, Codelco plans to automate the operation of its mine fleets and processing plants, capture data and detect efficiencies as it continues to redefine its entire operational approach. Continue Reading →

Mindset needs to change in mining: Sudbury risks having “someone else eating our lunch,” says CEMI top executive – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – March 25, 2019)

Douglas Morrison says Sudbury’s mining sector has two choices: become a creator of change, or be a victim of it. That message had the attention of a packed auditorium at Dynamic Earth for the March 21 meeting of the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Institute of Mining.

The CEO of the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) explained long overdue major changes in operations are coming fast, but the industry is focusing too much on small areas like replacing machinery and digitization.

What really needs to change is the mindset of how entire mining operations are run. “If we want to make the process more efficient, we have to start at the back, not the front,” Morrison said. Continue Reading →