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New lab to be Canada’s only ISO-certified electron microprobe facility


Saskatoon, SK – A new Advanced Microanalysis Centre at the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) in Saskatoon has been provided with $1.3 million start-up funding.

The research scientists at the SRC Advanced Microanalysis Centre will use an electron microprobe that uses test samples measured in grains, to identify and analyze the chemical composition of solid materials. The microprobe will be a key piece in the centre’s suite of new analytical equipment. The increased analytical capacity means local firms can have testing done in the area, saving both time and expense. Smaller, junior mining firms will now have better access to data interpretation results, thereby increasing their business competitiveness.

“The Advanced Microanalysis Centre’s high-tech equipment and expert scientists are going to make SRC a one-stop-shop for mineral processing and analysis that meets our mining companies’ needs,” said Dr Laurier Schramm, the SRC’s president and CEO.

The centre will be the only ISO-certified electron microprobe facility in Canada and the only national, commercially licensed facility that can safely prepare and test thin sections of radioactive materials, which form the most basic and essential analysis done by geologists in every type of mining exploration. Geologists working for Saskatchewan mining firms are eager to make use of the new microanalysis facilities at SRC.

Funding is provided through the renewed Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA). Joint federal-provincial funding of $1.3 million will enable SRC to purchase the instruments and equipment, including the electron microprobe, to outfit the lab.