Lab Canada

Blockbuster $5M funding supports collaborative mining industry research

Toronto, ON – What is said to be the largest grant ever awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), through its Collaborative Research and Development program, is supporting a massive nationwide research project led by the mining industry and carried out by Canadian universities.

The $5.1 million NSERC grant will match close to $7M in cash and in-kind contributions from sponsors in Canada’s mining and exploration industry, acting through the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC).  The initial grant application to NSERC included 17 Canadian universities and 24 industry partners.  Since the project won official approval, the number of participating universities has grown to 24, while the number of industry partners has grown to 27.

The research project, known as the “Footprints Project,” will develop new tools for remotely sensing and assessing mineral deposits far below the surface based on their subtle signals, or footprints.

“Ultimately, we believe the work we’re pursuing can improve the way we approach mineral exploration and resource development in Canada and around the world,” says Dr. Michael Lesher, research chair in mineral exploration and professor of economic geology at Laurentian University.

The 24 universities participating in the research collaboration will do so under the leadership of Dr. Lesher and Dr. Mark Hannington, Goldcorp chair in economic geology and professor of earth sciences at University of Ottawa.

The project’s industry sponsors and university research community share a 10-year strategic vision that the success of the project could result in the development of a more permanent, national minerals-related research network.