Feb 12, 2020
Feds invest in clean tech for Sudbury mines
[rt_reading_time] MIN READ
Two projects to get $3.5 million
Local MPPs have announced a $3.5-million investment in two projects that are helping to green the mining industry.
FVT Research, a manufacturer of battery-electric drive systems, will receive $2 million for “the design, development and testing of a 14-ton battery-electric vehicle for underground mining activities,” according to a release.
“This project will convert one of the largest pieces of underground mining equipment from diesel to battery power.”
The Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation, meanwhile, is getting $1.5 million to develop a natural heat exchange system, using fractured rocks, which would improve air delivery in deep underground mines.
Both projects are funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, which invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada’s energy, mining and forest sectors.
“The program is a $155-million investment fund that helps emerging clean technologies further reduce their impacts on air, land and water while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs,” the government said.
Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre made a funding announcement for the mining industry at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ont. on Tuesday February 11, 2020. John Lappa/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network JOHN LAPPA / JOHN LAPPA/SUDBURY STAR
The Clean Growth Program also provides federal laboratory support for innovators under the Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech initiative, intended to help bring Canadian clean technologies to market by providing federal research expertise, facilities and equipment.
“Our government continues to invest in projects that are positioning Canada’s mining industry to lead the clean energy future,” said Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre, parliamentary secretary to the natural resources minister. “Through ingenious ideas and dedicated partners, we are promoting competitiveness and helping ensure good mining jobs in Sudbury for years to come.”
Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre said the investment helps keep the local mining industry “at the forefront” by developing and adopting “innovative and green technologies for a cleaner future.”
FVT Research, which is based in B.C. but has a local office, looks forward to “bringing our Canadian technologies to the underground mining industry and improving the world’s environment, the work environment and the profitability of the industry,” said CEO Todd Pratt.
Jennifer Abols, president of MIRARCO, said the research organization welcomes the opportunity to partner with Laurentian University, CanmetMINING and Cambrian College.
Natural heat exchange systems will “contribute to safer working environments in deep mines, exploiting a natural heat exchange mechanism that displaces costly artificial refrigeration and heating,” she said. “Mining companies that would like to participate in this project are warmly invited to contact us.”
Cambrian president Bill Best noted his college consistently ranks among the best in the country for applied research.
“These two projects are the latest example of how we are being sought out by industry partners to use research to find solutions to real-world, real-time challenges,” he said. “Applied research is great for our community partners, our faculty and research staff, and especially our students.”