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Two new research projects near $2 million for RIME UQÀT-Polytechnique

February 23, 2015 - Source : NEWS

Rouyn-Noranda, February 23, 2015 – The mining industry in Canada and elsewhere in the world could benefit from new knowledge aiming to limit the industry's environmental impacts. The Research Institute on Mines and Environment (RIME) UQÀT-Polytechnique, internationally renowned for its high-level research projects and its expertise in environmental and mining- waste management, has announced that it has obtained two major Collaborative Research and Development Grants (CRD) awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) totalling $1,406,000. Contributions from industrial partners will supplement that amount.

These grants will once again allow RIME UQÀT-Polytechnique to train graduate students while carrying out research initiatives in innovative fields. 

“NSERC is pleased to support these co-operative research and development projects, which foster collaboration between universities and businesses,” said B. Mario Pinto, President of NSERC. “These grants enable us to carry out discovery-focused research in order to develop new environmental solutions, while providing students with practical training opportunities.” 

Two promising research projects
The project “Développement d'un mode de gestion des stériles visant à limiter la génération de drainage contaminé par contrôle des infiltrations d'eau” (developing a waste-rock management method aiming to limit the generation of contaminated drainage through groundwater infiltration control) led by Bruno Bussière (Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue UQÀT) and carried out in collaboration with Benoît Plante (UQÀT) and Michel Aubertin (Polytechnique Montréal), will receive $577,000 from NSERC and $810,000 from RIME's industrial partners over a period of four years.

“The project's main objective is to develop a storage method for waste-rock that aims to control groundwater infiltration and leakage in order to limit the generation of contaminated mining drainage,” explains Benoit Plante, UQÀT professor at RIME.

Patrice Nadeau, Project Leader, Mineral Processing with Rio Tinto Fer et Titane, one of the research project's industry partners, adds: “Restoring waste-rock stacks is one of the biggest challenges in today's mining industry, and the results of this research work will make it possible to develop waste rock management approaches that could facilitate this restoration. The company has made available its Tio mine site in Québec's Côte-Nord region, so that the team can build a totally unique experimental waste-rock stack.

“Moving from laboratory scale to field scale, which is much bigger, represents a major step in testing the new approach we're studying,” notes Mr. Plante.

The research project “Traitement passif du drainage minier acide fortement contaminé par le fer et du drainage neutre contaminé” (passive processing of highly-iron-contaminated acid mining drainage and neutral contaminated drainage) led by Gérald J. Zagury (Polytechnique Montréal) in collaboration with Carmen Mihaela Neculita (UQÀT) and Mr. Bussière, will receive a $252,000 grant from NSERC and $272,000 from RIME UQÀT-Polytechnique's industrial partners over the coming three years.

“Using laboratory and field tests, this research work will help us develop new approaches for processing contaminated mine effluent. The results we obtain will serve to improve the design, construction and operation of mine-water processing equipment,” says Mr. Zagury, a professor at Polytechnique Montréal. The improvement of passive processing methods for contaminated mine effluent remains a central issue for the mining industry in terms of environmental protection. 

“The advancement of knowledge regarding passive processing will enable us to better ensure the long-term quality of our effluents, particularly after mining sites close,” notes Michel Julien, Chair of the RIME UQÀT-Polytechnique Executive Board and Corporate Director, Environment, for Agnico Eagle Mines. 

The Research Institute on Mines and Environment UQÀT-Polytechnique
Building on a partnership that has existed for some 30 years, UQÀT and Polytechnique Montreal jointly launched the Research Institute on Mines and Environment (RIME) UQÀT-Polytechnique in 2013. Thanks to industrial financial support of nearly $10 million over seven years provided by Agnico Eagle Ltd., Canadian Malartic GP, IAMGOLD Corporation, Rio Tinto Fer et Titane inc. and Glencore's Raglan Mine, RIME UQÀT-Polytechnique is home to a research program that is unique in Québec. This innovative partnership supports a leading-edge research program and the training of highly qualified personnel. Focused on environment and mine-waste management, RIME UQÀT-Polytechnique aims to develop environmental solutions for the full life cycle of mining operations.

See also: 

Professor Aubertin's expertise 
Professor Zagury's expertise  


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