TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Four mining research and development (R&D) projects on Friday received a total of $464 308 in support from the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) to spur the mining industry, which is a significant contributor to the local economy.
The Minister responsible for the RDC, Keith Hutchings, made the announcement on Friday, at the opening of the yearly Baie Verte Mining Conference, saying R&D investments in the mining and minerals sector demonstrated government's commitment to developing technical solutions that would contribute to long-term sustainability, while maintaining practices that were environmentally responsible.
The projects that received the grants would aim to improve technical processes, as well as investigate new ways to apply environmentally responsible disposal practices.
Anaconda Mining received $11 625 to increase efficiency in both its mining and milling operations at its Pine Cove mine, on the Baie Verte Peninsula. Working in collaboration with the College of the North Atlantic, Anaconda would investigate grade control in the openpit, and increased gold recovery in the milling process.
"We are extremely pleased with our progress and remain optimistic that our work with these partners will revolutionise our mining and processing capability at Pine Cove," Anaconda GM Allan Cramm said.
Anaconda hoped this enhanced recovery project would allow the operation to mine what is generally considered as lower-grade ore, resulting in a mine life beyond the remaining 6.5 years.
Rambler Metals and Mining Canada also received funding for two separate projects, both of which were being carried out at, or near, its Ming copper/gold mine, also on the Baie Verte Peninsula. One project was receiving $178 439 to research the viability of extracting gold from nearby, exposed, legacy mine tailings, and the other was receiving $250 000 to test the technical and economical feasibility of extracting copper from the Ming mine's lower footwall zone.
"We are delighted to be working with RDC on these projects. Each of them has a particular importance to us. If the testwork proves positive, this research will be useful when combined with other ongoing engineering studies with the overall goal of improving the project economics for Phase 2 of our growth strategy," Rambler corporate development VP Peter Mercer said.
He added that the research, being spearheaded by Memorial University, would be of value, even beyond the company’s own needs.
Memorial University’s Dr Penny Morrill and Dr Tao Cheng were leading a fourth project in collaboration with Rambler and Dr Abigail Steel of the provincial government's Mines Branch. They were receiving $24 244 to support their investigation of improved methods of remediating acid mine drainage from legacy mine sites.
Projects such as this featured collaboration between three key partners: academia, industry and government. It was a priority for both industry and government to ensure that mining practices were environmentally sound.
"RDC is actively supporting R&D projects that will improve the likelihood of new discoveries, and increase metal recoveries from known deposits. By investing in R&D to develop new and better technical processes, it is possible to extend the life of our mines for the benefit of both industry and nearby communities such as Baie Verte," RDC CEO Glenn Janes said.