Footprints Project to Boost Mining

Mining Research Laurentian
Laurentian University will be home to the Footprints project
Mining Research Laurentian
Laurentian University will be home to the Footprints project

THUNDER BAY – Mining – The Footprints Project is focused on finding even trace amounts of minerals. “Canada’s economic competitiveness depends on supporting business-related research and development that drives innovation,” said Minister of State Goodyear. “Our government remains committed to supporting partnerships that will create jobs and strengthen Canada’s long-term prosperity.”

Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today launched a pan-Canadian research collaboration among 24 leading mining companies and 17 universities from across Canada, to develop tools to increase mining and mineral exploration success rates.

The “Footprints” project, led by Laurentian University and the Canada Mining Innovation Council, will focus on researching and developing more effective tools to find deeply buried or remote ore deposits by following the “footprints” or trace elements of these ores.

“Our Government is committed to the responsible development of our natural resources to the benefit of Canadians from coast to coast to coast,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. “Mining continues to be a cornerstone of the Canadian economy, providing high-quality jobs and benefits to communities across the country.”

This five-year, $5.1 million investment by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), is the largest Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) grant ever awarded. These grants support multi-year research and development projects between industry and university researchers, focused on single company projects or industry-wide priority areas. The grants enable companies to access the expertise, knowledge and facilities at universities, and provide training to students in the essential technical skills required by industry. These mutually beneficial collaborations can lead to industrial and economic benefits for Canada.

“Industry-university research partnerships have significant impacts on Canada’s economy and productivity because they build on our strong base of discovery research and accelerate its translation into knowledge and technologies that can help companies improve their products, processes and services,” said Janet Walden, Acting President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. “NSERC is pleased to support this unique collaboration, as it is an excellent example of the value proposition postsecondary research and training brings to industry.”

The research will be led by Laurentian University’s Dr. Michael Lesher, Dr. Mark Hannington of the University of Ottawa, and Dr. François Robert, Vice-President and Chief Geologist, Global Exploration, Barrick Gold Corporation Canada, who will lead the industry partners on the project. The 24 industrial partners have pledged $6.7 million ($2.8 million in cash and $3.9 million in-kind) over five years, through the Canada Mining Innovation Council.

Across Canada this week, communities that are built on mining, exploration and mineral processing are celebrating National Mining Week from May 13 to May 19. It is an annual celebration of Canada’s international leadership and expertise in mining.

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

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