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NSERC grants $5.1M to mining innovation project

Industry, academic partnership will develop new tools for remotely sensing and assessing mineral deposits.


May 15, 2013
by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO – The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) will invest $5.1 million into a nation-wide research project led by the mining industry and carried out by Canadian universities to develop new tools for remotely sensing and assessing mineral deposits.

The grant will match close to $7M in cash and in-kind contributions from sponsors in the Canadian 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 at Laurentian University.

The partners include 14 service providers, who were involved in the project from the early stages.

“The buy-in of a broad range of service providers as well as industry sponsors was crucial to ensuring the project had a commercialization component. Most research proposals include acquiring data and generating knowledge, but Footprints includes commercialization as the extra step towards true innovation.” says Alan Galley, CMIC’s Exploration Research Director.