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$24M infusion supports collaborative mining sustainability research


Sudbury, ON – The five-year, multi-million dollar research initiative called Productivity Enhancement and Risk Management in Underground Construction and Mining (PERM) has received commitments of $24-million in funding from a group of private and public sector organizations.

Representatives from Laurentian University and its mining and environmental research centre, Mirarco, opened the event, along with representatives from CVRD Inco, Rio Tinto, Bestech, Symboticware, and Golder Associates.

The project involves three research themes: 1) Design and construction of underground excavations; 2) Integrated mine design and risk mitigation; and 3) Environmental risk management.

More than 26 industrial and institutional research partners are contributing $10.4 million cash and close to $6 million in kind which, when combined with the $8 million from the Ontario government announced earlier this year, totals $24 million of new research funds.

Affirming the benefits of the initiative for the natural resources industry, Michael Winship, vice-president, mines, ontario operations at CVRD Inco, said that long-term research visions are essential to sustainable operations.

“We are at a very fortunate time in the mineral industry, with the current level of exploration and mining activity,” he said. “CVRD Inco is looking towards sustainability in a lasting time frame, one that requires a dual approach of not only solving the challenges of today, but also anticipating how we can continue to find mining methods and tools that will meet the challenges of tomorrow.”

This initiative will create more than 150 person years of work, and support undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students, engineers, environmental scientists, geologists, programmers and IT professionals.