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College Boréal awarded two research projects

Forestry technology student Brady Laurin at College Boréal’s Xstrata Nickel Biodiversity Applied Research Centre studies the potential for wood ash in mining lands remediation.

College Boréal faculty and students carried out two mining related research projects this past summer.

Instructors and students in the college’s heavy equipment mechanics program worked on applying a data capture instrument called the Symbot to a broader selection of engines used in underground mining, while teachers and students in the college’s chemistry technology program studied the potential for using biochar, or ash, for remediation of mining lands.

The Symbot, a product of Sudbury-based Symboticare, is a ruggedized device that collects, formats, stores and forwards real-time data on machine performance, material movement and productivity.

The biochar research is funded by the federal government’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. It will probe the potential for wood ash from the EACOM Timber Corp. sawmill in nearby Nairn Centre to supply nutrients and reduce the acidity of soil adversely affected by mining operations. The research will be conducted at the college’s Xstrata Nickel Biodiversity Applied Research Centre, a greenhouse complex.

The two projects “are an unbelievable opportunity to give experience to our students,” said College Boréal dean of trades and applied technology Brian Vaillancourt.

“It’s also great professional development for our faculty because it pushes the limits of what they’re doing in terms of the most modern mining technology.”

 

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