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Feds announce funding for 'greener' blasting research

Research funding announced for new methods of mine blasting
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As global demand for cleaner technologies in the natural resource sectors continues to increase, Canada's mining industry is at the forefront in developing efficient, game-changing solutions to processing minerals, said a FedNor news release. The Government of Canada recognizes the opportunity presented by the global shift toward clean growth and is committed to investing in innovative and environmentally friendly ways to sustainably mine Canada's natural resources.

Parliamentary Secretary Paul Lefebvre, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced an investment of over $1.5 million to the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning at McGill University. The project will test and validate a better, more efficient approach to fragmenting underground rock deposits, improving mining and tunneling practices, while reducing blast-induced fumes from traditional explosives.

This project will use chemicals similar to a powdery cement that expand and exert pressure in rocks, causing them to break apart. In addition to avoiding the noise, vibrations and flying rocks associated with traditional blasting methods, this new method will improve worker safety and also significantly reduce the cost of demolition projects in the mining industry, as there is no need to ventilate after operations.

This project is funded through Natural Resources Canada's Clean Growth Program, which invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada's energy, mining and forestry sectors. The Clean Growth Program also aims to reduce greenhouse gas and air-polluting emissions, while minimizing landscape disturbances and improving waste management practices.

Canada's investments in our energy future are guided by the work of the Generation Energy Council, which proposed pathways for the Government of Canada on how to move forward toward a strong, clean energy economy.

"Today's announcement is a great example of how we can use intelligent, targeted investments to ensure Canadaremains at the forefront of mining practices. By investing in projects like rock fragmentation research, we will ensure that Canada remains a leader in environmental stewardship, while creating a more prosperous mining industry." -Paul Lefebvre , Parliamentary Secretary to Canada's Minister of Natural Resources.

"On behalf of McGill University, I thank the Government of Canada for supporting McGill's researchers in their quest to enhance the Canadian clean technology ecosystem. These investments ensure we develop our resources in a way that is environmentally sound and sustainable." - Nancy Ross, Associate Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation, McGill University.

"The goal of this project is to create, test and validate a revolutionary method for rock fragmentation for underground mining and tunneling projects. The method uses newly modified soundless chemical demolition agents and innovative rock drilling patterns that together facilitate rock breakage for excavation work without the use of explosives. This technology will revolutionize mining and tunneling by achieving a more efficient, far safer, and more environmentally friendly technique for rock fragmentation." - Hani Mitri, Professor, Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University.




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