THETFORD MINES, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 15, 2013) - Today, Nichromet Extraction ("Nichromet") announced a $5 million grant from the Government of Canada through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) for the development of an innovative patented technology that will increase efficiency in processing gold while reducing the environmental impact. The $5 million grant is part of a $61.8 million investment by the Government of Canada to support 23 clean technology projects across Canada.
Cyanidation, a commonly used energy-intensive way of processing gold, produces a large amount of highly-contaminated tailings. Nichromet's technology uses an innovative approach, chlorination, to extract precious metals. In addition to the benefits to the environment, the process allows the exploitation of gold deposits that are not extractable using conventional methods. The primary benefits of this new technology are: (i) shorter processing time; (ii) reduced emissions due to lower energy consumption; (iii) increased mining productivity by reclaiming process waste and remediating tailings, all of which increase the life expectancy of the mining operation.
"Our Government is doing its part to encourage innovation and the next wave of clean technologies to help protect our environment and create high-quality jobs," said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. "Investment in projects such as these demonstrates our leadership in driving a vibrant clean technology industry in Canada."
"Nichromet Extraction is pleased to receive this grant from SDTC and the Government of Canada for the development of a new technology that will enable us to process gold while being respectful of the environment," said Jean-Marc Lalancette, Vice President Technology and Development of Nichromet. "With this support from the Government of Canada, Nichromet and other Canadian cleantech companies will contribute to a greener more sustainable Canada by creating more efficient clean technologies."
"SDTC is proud to add this project to its portfolio, now valued at more than $2 billion. When purchased and used by Canadian industry, the clean technologies developed by portfolio companies will enable a variety of sectors to increase their share of global markets," said Dr. Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC. "As Canada works to diversify its export markets, working with new trading partners in emerging countries, these innovative technologies will help make Canadian natural resources and products more globally attractive and competitive."
About Nichromet Extraction
Nichromet Extraction Inc. is a private Canadian company controlled by Dundee Corporation that has developed patented precious and base metal extraction processes that are environmentally friendly in that the residues of mining operations are totally void of contaminants such as sulfur, arsenic, etc. These new processes are based on chlorination and are particularly efficient for the treatment of polymetallic ores either in the form of sulfides, oxides, or arsenides. These chloride based patented processes are in fact a substitute to cyanidation which is commonly used in the mining industry.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada helps commercialize Canadian clean technologies, readying them for growth and export markets. With a portfolio of companies under management valued at more than $2 billion, SDTC is positioning cleantech as a driver of jobs, productivity and economic prosperity.
SDTC operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions. The $590 million SD Tech Fund™ supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil. The $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund™ supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.
SDTC works with the private sector, the financial sector and all levels of government to meet the Government of Canada's commitment to create a healthy environment and a high quality of life for all Canadians. SDTC operates as a not-for-profit corporation.