Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

March 17, 2011 14:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in New Technology and Commercialization Initiative for Mining Industry

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 17, 2011) - Canadian mining companies are on the road to uncovering new mineral ore deposits, thanks to $1.8 million in federal funding announced today by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. Funding for Advanced Applied Physics Solutions (AAPS) will demonstrate new technology that will enable high precision mineral exploration of dense ore deposits. This technology will identify new underground mineral reserves early on in the mine development or exploration process, while reducing exploration drilling costs.

"Mining is a major contributor to our resource-based economy. By investing in this project, our Government is ensuring that our key sectors develop the tools necessary to grow and provide highly-skilled jobs for Canadians," said Minister Yelich. "Our Government will continue to do its part to help build a more globally competitive and productive mining sector."

With this investment, AAPS will develop and field test specialized equipment needed to demonstrate and help industry adopt muon geotomography – a leading-edge new technology for mineral exploration.

Muon geotomography addresses many of the current challenges and limitations in mineral exploration. It relies on the detection of cosmic ray muon particles that infiltrate the earth's surface. Similar to medical imaging machines, muon sensor systems are able to detect and differentiate regions of high density, from which 3D images can be created of potentially valuable ore. The results for Canada's mining industry are substantial cost savings and increased international competitiveness, as well as a reduced impact on the environment.

"This funding helps us advance technology that can bring breakthrough value to a key sector of Canada's and particularly western Canada's economy. It also validates our initiatives and mandate to bring Canada's innovative research to market," says Jack Scott, president and chief executive officer of AAPS, a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research funded under the Networks of Centres of Excellence program. "AAPS is currently completing first round proof-of-principle tests at an industry partner's mine site in British Columbia, within a multisector collaboration that includes university partners, AAPS' host - TRIUMF, the Geological Survey of Canada, BC Ministry of Energy and Mines, and NVI-Breakwater." 

Canada's mining industry is a major driver of Canada's economy, contributing $32 billion to the GDP in 2009 and employing an estimated 306,000 workers in mineral exploration, processing and manufacturing. (www.mining.ca)

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

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Contact Information

  • Western Economic Diversification
    Jerra Byrne
    Office of the Minister
    Advanced Applied Physics Solutions (AAPS)
    Catherine Ducharme
    Media Representative