The federal government has invested $3.5 million in funding for applied mining research. The announcement was made at Cambrian College Tuesday by Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre, parliamentary secretary to the federal Minister of Natural Resources.
The funding includes $2 million to FVT Research for retrofitting an LHD (load haul dump scooptram) from diesel power to battery electric. The work is being carried out in the heavy-duty equipment shops at Cambrian.
An additional $1.5 million is being provided to MIRARCO (Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation) in Sudbury for its project to develop and test models for Natural Heat Exchange Engineering Technology (NHEET). The system is being studied at Vale’s Creighton Mine. Part of the work involves creating scale models of a natural heat exchanger that would provide cooling air during the summer and warmer air during the winter.
Both projects are funded through the federal Clean Growth Program, which invests in clean technology research for Canada’s energy, mining and forestry sectors.
Lefebvre told the audience that this is a time of innovative change in Canada, not just in mining, but throughout the industrial sector. He said he has been travelling across the country in recent months witnessing significant change in the automotive sector, the forestry sector, the clean energy sector and mineral exploration.
“I am always happy to come back here and to see what is going on in our own back yard. There is tonnes of talent in Sudbury. The innovators, the risk takers, the entrepreneurs using the wealth of the land and the wisdom of our people to create a better future,” said Lefebvre.
He said the research being done by FVT and MIRARCO were great examples. He said electric vehicle technologies are seen everywhere from high performance automobiles to cleaner transit buses.
Lefebvre said this is also true in the mining industry where battery electric vehicles are not only reducing greenhouse gases but they’re also saving money on the cost of mine ventilation. Lefebvre said he was also impressed with the MIRARCO research to use broken mine muck as a heat exchange medium for bringing cool air into the mine during the summer and bringing warmer air into the mine during the winter.
He said this would lower their overall ventilation costs, improve their competitiveness and reduce their environmental footprint.
“A classic win-win for the economy and the environment,” said Lefebvre. “We are creating prosperity that we all want while protecting the planet that we cherish.”