Archive | Mining Education and Innovation

Mining-polluted water a potential source of antibiotics – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – July 16, 2018)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

University research reveals links between algae and health benefits

Research from Laurentian University in Sudbury is showing that waterbodies located within five kilometres of abandoned Northern Ontario mine sites could be a potential new source of antibiotics.

Led by Dr. J.A. Scott, a professor of bioengineering at the Bharti School of Engineering, the research was published in a recent issue of Phycologia, a journal that features work related to the scientific study of algae, or phycology.

Through his earlier work, Scott had studied microalgae to determine if they could be used to produce biofuel. But because of their beneficial attributes, he speculated the algae could also be used to produce health products, particularly antibiotics. Continue Reading →

Algoma University joins alliance, jumps into mining research – by James Hopkin (Soo Today – July 10, 2018)

https://www.sootoday.com/

Pan-Northern Mining Research Alliance conceived to address challenges in mining sector

The Pan-Northern Mining Research Alliance (PNMRA) will be meeting in Sault Ste. Marie this fall to identify and communicate its funding needs to both federal and provincial governments.

The alliance – which counts Algoma University and Sault College as members – is a collaborative effort between ten post-secondary institutions in northern Ontario.

“The alliance is going to seek industry engagement, supports and collaboration through targeted research opportunities,” said Dr. Pedro Antunes, who is the executive research lead and Canada Research Chair at Algoma University. “The idea is to positively influence government priorities and industry needs that will benefit all of northern Ontario.” Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Sudbury as the ‘Harvard’ of hardrock mining [Part 4 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 6, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

The Sudbury Basin is Ontario’s metallic equivalent to the Alberta oils sands without the massive open pits as most of the mines historically have been underground. For 135 years, the region’s unique polymetallic ore-bodies have produced nickel, copper and significant quantities of cobalt, gold, silver and platinum group metals (PGMs).

It is the third largest source of PGMs after South Africa and Russia. Many multi-generational families earn good middle-class salaries in the many mines, two mills, two smelters and one refinery. Roughly 30 per cent of provincial mining activity takes place in Sudbury, according to the Ontario Mining Association.

Glencore’s recent C$900 million investment in the development of its Onaping Depth project and Vale’s C$760 million phase one development of its Copper Cliff Deep mine are indications of growing confidence in the future of the region. Continue Reading →

Australia’s Iron Ladies of Mining Tech – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – June 2018)

https://www.forbes.com/

A digital-technology revolution is rocking the world’s mining industry just as it has seen a symbolic influx of women into executive roles long reserved for men.

Two iron ore projects in Australia demonstrate what’s happening as the world’s biggest mining companies, BHP and Rio Tinto, move closer to committing more than $3 billion each to what Rio Tinto calls “intelligent mining” and BHP “the mine of the future.” Both are about to make radical changes in their most profitable divisions by designing mines without the burden of legacy equipment, some of which hasn’t changed in decades.

Driverless trains and trucks, already being used in a number of projects, will be joined by an array of sensors, radar controls and Wi-Fi systems that will provide the data to control every aspect of work in the Koodaiderie and South Flank mines–all the way through to rail transport and the final stage of ship loading. Continue Reading →

Charging ahead: The move to battery-powered underground mining fleets is gathering speed – by Peter Braul (CIM Magazine – April 23, 2018)

http://magazine.cim.org/en/

It is also opening up miners to a new realm of possibility.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs), once considered fringe, have rapidly come onto the radar of every OEM in the underground mining industry. Almost all of them are working on new battery-driven models or ways to convert existing products to electrical power. That shift might seem a little outsized, given the number of mines that have actually deployed battery electric technology to full effect.

But Goldcorp’s vice-president of corporate affairs and energy, John Mullally, predicts that the rate of adoption of BEVs will accelerate rapidly over the next five years and expects many underground mines built in Canada will choose battery-powered vehicles over a diesel fleet, and even underground mines already in operation will consider a shift to an all-electric underground fleet.

“By moving away from diesel and by achieving other reductions associated with the use of clean technologies, Goldcorp can avoid more than 7,000 tons of CO2 and eliminate three million litres of diesel fuel, one million litres of propane and 33,000 megawatt hours of electricity every year,” said Mullally, who also stressed the positive impact on air quality and noise level that has already been noted by the development miners at the company’s all-electric Borden mine near Chapleau, Ontario. Continue Reading →

[Nadia Mykytczuk – Laurentian University] Research chair on first name basis with microbes – by Ella Myers (Sudbury Mining Solutions – August 22, 2016)

http://www.sudburyminingsolutions.com/

Taking biomining and bioremediation to the next level

Biomining and bioremediation are one step closer to wider use in the mining industry with the creation of a new position at Laurentian University geared towards commercializing the technologies.

As of July 1, Nadia Mykytczuk is Laurentian University’s first industrial research chair in mining, bioremediation and science communications. Ontario is investing more than $630,000 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to create the five-year research chair position.

“It’s less of a teaching load and more research,” said Mykytczuk. “The impetus was to create a vibrant research program and initiate new projects with industry. The research chair matters because we have a very long legacy of mine waste impacts in Canada and the world, and we now have the opportunity to use biotechnology to help decrease those impacts.” Continue Reading →

South Australian geologists to drive a revolution in minerals exploration – by Anthony Dodd (The Lead – April 03, 2018)

http://theleadsouthaustralia.com.au/

A new research centre has been established to help reduce the cost of mineral exploration in Australia in order to boost output.

Replacing the Deep Exploration Technologies CRC, the newly established MinEx Cooperative Research Centre will begin operating in July at the University of South Australia and in Western Australia.

Chief Scientific Officer for the MinEx CRC and John Ralston Chair in Minerals and Resources Engineering at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, Professor David Giles, said his objective is to enhance the efficiency of minerals exploration nationally.

“In the Australian context, the cost of exploration for new deposits has risen over the past 30 years and our success rate has declined,” Prof Giles said. Continue Reading →

$2M for Sudbury Laurentian engineering school – by Staff (Sudbury Star – March 18, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

The Bharti School of Engineering at Laurentian University has received $2 million from the Canadian mining firm, IAMGOLD Corporation Inc. The money will fund the creation of a collaboration space for engineering students in the newly constructed Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building. To honour this contribution, the space will be named the IAMGOLD Student Engineering Junction.

In addition, money will support engineering lab refurbishment, upgrades to technology and equipment, research, scholarships as well as student activities and field trips.

“We are grateful to IAMGOLD for their continued support of Laurentian students. This investment will further enhance our students’ learning experience at the Bharti School,” Markus Timusk, director of the Bharti School of Engineering, said in a release. “Engineering students from across disciplines will have a place to gather, collaborate and share ideas and knowledge. Students will also have access to leading-edge technology and additional experiential learning opportunities.” Continue Reading →

The Sudbury recipe: How the city came to be a global centre of mining innovation (Canadian Mining Journal – February 2018)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Sudbury has a long history as an important mining centre in Canada, with the first of many nickel-copper mines, Murray, built in the late 1880s.

But over the past 15 years, the city has become known as a mining innovation hub, with a dense and extensive network of service and supply companies and research institutions whose influence stretches well beyond northern Ontario.

The feat is all the more impressive considering the price of nickel – the commodity that was most responsible for Sudbury’s rise as a mining centre – is far from booming. (It was US$6.21 per lb. at press time.) Ian Wood, director of economic development at the city of Greater Sudbury, says that the reason for the strength of the city’s mining service and supply sector stems from the needs of thetwo dominant nickel giants in the area – Glencore (formerly Falconbridge) and Vale (formerly Inco). Continue Reading →

MIRARCO linking the world to Canadian mining – Vic Pakalnis (Canadian Mining Journal – February 2018)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

On Dec. 7th, 2017, a high level delegation from Northeastern University (NEU) in China came to Laurentian University in Sudbury, to sign an international agreement to establish the China Canada Centre for Deep Mining Innovation (CCCDMI).

Madam Xiaomei Xiong (Secretary of the Party Committee, Northeastern University), along with four colleagues from the Northeastern University of China, signed the agreement in the presence of Laurentian’s Serge Demers, acting president and provost, Dr. Rui Wang, vice-president research and myself, president and CEO MIRARCO Mining Innovation.

Two weeks later, Canadian delegates Ross Sherlock of Metal Earth, Caleb Leduc of CROSH, Dr. Ming Cai of Laurentian University/MIRARCO and myself, met with officials at Northeastern University located in Shenyang, China. Continue Reading →

Mining innovation a hard sell – by Paul Attfield (Globe and Mail – February 20, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Change can be a hard sell in the mining sector. Just ask Fred Davidson. “Nothing is dramatic, it’s all incremental,” says the chief executive of Energold Group Corp., a 35-year veteran of the industry who has worked in 18 countries.

Case in point is Energold’s mobile drilling rig, which allows miners to reach inaccessible sites using small helicopters, pickup trucks or even mules to get the equipment on site.

The technology lessens the environmental impact compared with more traditional prospecting methods that require building a road to the drill site, or dragging big rigs across the terrain. Reducing the collateral damage of exploratory drilling can have its advantages, Mr. Davidson says, given that it can take 10,000 prospects to build one mine. Continue Reading →

Slow-moving mining companies begin to look to startups for digital innovations (Toronto Star – February 26, 2018)

https://www.thestar.com/

CANADIAN PRESS: VANCOUVER—The mining industry has developed a reputation for being slow to change, but a new wave of startups is helping push it into the digital age.

Four of those companies have been declared finalists in Goldcorp Inc.’s mining innovation competition, banking on the potential to replace cyanide, to use sound waves to see deep inside the earth, map mines in virtual reality and digitize trading.

The companies — EnviroLeach Technologies Inc., Acoustic Zoom Inc., LlamaZoo Interactive Inc. and Open Mineral AG — were chosen out of for more than 100 companies looking to bring new ideas to the industry. Continue Reading →

Exploring Innovation in Northern Canada with Insights from the Mining Innovation System in Greater Sudbury, Ontario – by Heather Hall (The Northern Review – June 29, 2017)

http://journals.sfu.ca/

Heather Hall is the Assistant Professor, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo.

The Mining Innovation System in Greater Sudbury

The remainder of this article focuses on the development of the mining innovation system in Greater Sudbury to provide insights on innovation and economic development in northern regions.1

It is worth noting that Sudbury2 is a unique case study to investigate the northern dynamics of innovation in the Canadian context due to its size (population 165,000) and location. As will be discussed later, it is the largest community in northern Canada and is located in the southern part of the provincial North. That being said, the Sudbury case does provide insights into the economic development challenges that are faced by many communities across northern Canada.

It also highlights the importance of public investment and infrastructure for enhancing northern innovation. In the circumpolar context, Sudbury is not unlike Oulu (Finland), Tromsø (Norway), and Luleå (Sweden) in terms of its development, size, and function as a regional-service centre. Continue Reading →

CEMI NEW RELEASE: CLEER MINING PROPOSAL NOT SELECTED IN INNOVATION SUPERCLUSTERS INITIATIVE (February 15, 2018)

Industry remains committed to investing in mining innovation

Ottawa, February 15, 2018 – The consortium behind the CLEER supercluster proposal remains committed to transforming Canada’s mining industry through innovation, despite not being amongst the five projects selected by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for supercluster funding.

The Canadian mining industry developed the pan-Canadian supercluster initiative, CLEER (Clean, Low-Energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated) to power clean growth through mining innovation. The CLEER submission was prepared on behalf of the mining sector by CEMI, CIMRE, CMIC, COREM, IMII, and MSTA. The CLEER proposal was one of nine projects that was shortlisted by the federal government and the only proposal focused on clean resources.

“We thank Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for considering the CLEER proposal and are honoured to have been a finalist. While we are disappointed with the final outcome, we remain optimistic, firmly committed to mining innovation and working towards building up this significant initiative,” stated Adrian McFadden, Chair of the CLEER Interim Board. Continue Reading →

What it means to be a miner in the 21st century – by David Garofalo (Globe and Mail – February 15, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

David Garofalo is the CEO of Goldcorp Inc.

The mining industry has traditionally been a laggard when it comes to innovation. The 21st-century economy, however, dominated by emerging technologies like electric vehicles, green energy sources and ever-more advanced mobile devices, is demanding creative approaches to efficiently delivering the raw materials that will fuel modern economies.

Canadian mining is seeing a real drive to innovate that is bolstering our ability to get materials to global markets as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. And it’s changing what it means to work in mining.

New technologies are enabling workers to make quicker, more informed decisions at the front lines of operations. Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning are giving geologists more options and the data to understand existing deposits differently, along with tools to make new discoveries. Increased automation is removing workers from the riskiest parts of the mine, making our mines safer as we strive for zero harm. Continue Reading →