Archive | Mining Education and Innovation

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 →


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)

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 →

‘Every area of mining ripe for innovation’ – Goldcorp – by Henry Lazenby ( – February 9, 2018)

VANCOUVER ( – Every conceivable area of mining is in dire need of technological innovation, major miner Goldcorp tells Mining Weekly Online in an interview.

“We are not exactly the most advanced industry in the world, and we’re slow in adopting new technologies. Every area is ripe for innovation,” Goldcorp’s VP for technology Luis Canepari says. According to him, perhaps the most critical area in need of innovation is exploration.

He explains that, these days, across the entire mining industry, the exploration success rate is very low. “Anything that we can do to improve those results have a direct correlation to improving the bottom line. That is why we are spending big on exploration innovation.” Continue Reading →

Mining in the digital age a challenge – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – February 2, 2018)

The mine sector may be lagging behind others in its embrace of digital technologies, but companies need to catch up to be sustainable, an industry leader said Thursday. “It’s clearly a different world we’re heading into,” said Rick Howes, CEO of Dundee Precious Metals, at a one-day conference on digital transformation. “We were focussing on the blue collar work; now we’re focussing on white collar work and how we use data.”

Howes was named an outstanding innovator in 2016 by the Mining Technology Hall of Fame for an operational performance project at his company’s Chelopech mine that uses new technologies to provide real-time production management.

If mines haven’t made as fast a leap into the digital future as manufacturers and other sectors, it’s largely because they are limited in their “strategic agility,” Howes told the conference audience. “Our ability to respond to change is very slow compared to other industries; it’s the nature of our business because of the way we invest in mines and mining technology, develop mines, build and operate them, and then shut them down.” Continue Reading →

Laurentian University researchers put Cobalt camp under the microscope – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 25, 2018)

First Cobalt Mining conducting in-depth study of historic silver district

First Cobalt Mining, the biggest exploration player in the Cobalt camp, is bringing a Laurentian University researcher into the fold to better understand the geology of its properties in northeastern Ontario.

The Toronto company announced it’s embarking on a dedicated research partnership program with the university’s Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC) by sponsoring a post-doctoral position to carry out the first detailed study of major structural features in the 110-year-old history of the camp.

“We’re looking at it from a new set of eyes as researchers,” said Ross Sherlock, who oversees MERC’s Metal Earth project. “It’s an unusual geological assemblage.” MERC is the geoscience arm attached to Laurentian’s Harquail School of Earth Sciences, under the umbrella of the Goodman School of Mines. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Investing in Canada’s clean tech ecosystem will promote effective mining waste management while reducing greenhouse gases (January 24, 2018)

NEWS PROVIDED BY: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Minister Bibeau announces $1.2 million to help a Thetford Mines company develop new technologies that will improve mining operations and produce cleaner ore

THETFORD MINES, QC, Jan. 24, 2018 /CNW/ – A more economical and environmentally friendly approach to capturing arsenic waste from mining operations may soon be developed thanks to an investment in new clean technologies from the Government of Canada.

The federal investment of $1.2 million was announced today by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophone and Member of Parliament for Compton–Stanstead, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Dundee Sustainable Technologies will use the funding to develop a process to separate the arsenic waste commonly produced through mining operations and trap it in stable, non-toxic glass. Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s Laurentian University looking at a bright future – by Staff (Sudbury Star – January 18, 2018)

Laurentian University is broadening its horizons and looking toward a bright future.

The university launched its 2018-2023 strategic plan Wednesday, which focuses on its five shared values: the north inspires us, student success is our success, teaching and learning define us, curiosity drives our research, and relationships are our priority.

“Laurentian’s 2018-2023 strategic plan encapsulates our university’s core values,” Pierre Zundel, interim president and vice-chancellor, said Wednesday. “We have embraced our identity as well as our collective strengths to identify 25 desired outcomes.

This strategic plan is a reflection of our students, faculty and staff, their work, and the positive impact Laurentian will continue to make in the world. Together, we will shape the future.” Continue Reading →

Ontario funds health and safety research in Sudbury – by Staff (Sudbury Star – January 18, 2018)

Laurentian University’s Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health will receive more than $300,000 in new research funding from the Ontario government. Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault, who is also Ontario’s minister of Energy, made the announcement at the CROSH lab Tuesday.

“Addressing high hazards associated with the operation of mobile equipment was a priority identified in the 2015 Mining Health Safety and Prevention review,” Thibeault said in a release. “Furthermore, addressing indigenous workplace issues will begin a conversation about what is needed to improve occupational health and safety of Indigenous peoples in the workplace.”

In all, Ontario is awarding $310,000 to support innovative research projects and top talent. The funding will assist CROSH researchers as they carry out three projects aimed at addressing mobile equipment hazards, advancing Indigenous occupational health and safety in Northern Ontario, and improving safety for people who work around heavy equipment. Continue Reading →

Plug in to underground digital innovation: PACE hosting inaugural conference aimed purely at digital future of mines – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – December 29, 2017)

Digital technology is part of so many aspects of life, yet there is little talk over the radical changes it is making in the mining industry. To help bring awareness to this phenomenon, and bring digital mining companies together in one place, Partners in Achieving Change Excellence (PACE) is hosting Beyond Digital Transformation, Feb. 1 at the United Steelworkers Hall in Sudbury to discuss how mining companies from around the world see the future of digital technology in their industry.

“The conference is really for anyone who wants to plug into where the mines are going from a digital transformation perspective,” said Neha Singh, the “change guru” and project manager at PACE.

And by digital transformation, she said they are looking at how companies and individual mines are using technology. She said the mining industry is a great example of a sector that hasn’t consistently embraced digital innovation underground for various reasons, including connectivity. Continue Reading →