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Innovation centre opens at Memorial University


St John’s, NFLD – A new research and innovation facility, the Inco Innovation Centre, has been officially opened at Memorial University. The centre is supported by a $20-million commitment from Inco, comprised of $13 million for capital costs and $7 million for ongoing operating costs.

Funding for the centre was part of the development agreement between Inco and Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial government in September 2002 covering the Voisey’s Bay nickel-cobalt project in northern Labrador.

“Inco is extremely proud to be associated with Memorial and this new centre,” says Scott Hand, Inco’s chairman and CEO. “Our Voisey’s Bay project has demanded some of the most innovative partnerships this country has ever seen among private industry, government, aboriginal peoples and leading educational institutions like Memorial University. We believe that this centre will help to foster and promote the kind of innovation that has made Voisey’s Bay possible."

Comprising some 9,000 sq m, the new centre houses multiple research, business support and educational facilities on three floors. Work there will focus on developing leading-edge technologies to support advanced exploration techniques, and serve as a center of excellence for applied environmental studies and for the development of mineral-processing technologies based on hydrometallurgical techniques.

Inco recently announced that the company has produced first concentrate from the Voisey’s Bay mine and concentrator in northern Labrador. As part of the development agreement with the province, Inco is also currently undertaking a US$155-million research and development program to confirm the technical and economic feasibility of using hydrometallurgical processing to treat the nickel concentrates to be produced at Voisey’s Bay.