November 20, 2006

Research chair in mine waste management renewed with $3.25M budget

MONTREAL, QUE-The NSERC-Polytechnique-UQAT Industrial Chair in Environment and Mine Waste Management has been renewed with an operating budget of more than $3.25 million over five years. An investment of $1.62 million by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) has been matched by industrial partners, with Quebec's Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife contributing another $80,000. Subject to available budgets, the Ministry will provide the same amount annually for the next four years. The province previously contributed $900,000 toward the chair's first phase. The senior chairholder, Professor Michel Aubertin in the department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, and associate chairholder Professor Bruno Bussière at the University of Quebec-Abitibi-Temiscaming (UQAT) will use the funds to continue their research with their respective teams. Since the Chair was inaugurated in 2001, its research activities-conducted in partnership with a number of mining companies and consulting engineering firms-have led to major scientific advances. For instance, significant progress has been made in mine waste characterization, digital modelling of waste migration processes, and development of environmentally and technologically improved methods for managing solid and liquid waste that are also more cost-effective. Industry partners include seven companies: Agnico-Eagle Mines, Barrick Gold, Rio Algom-BHP Billiton, Xstrata (Falconbridge), and QIT-Rio Tinto. Each firm has each pledged a sum of $275,000 for five years. Specialized consulting firms Golder Associates (Canada) and SNC-Lavalin are also contributing $125,000 each over five years.

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