Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

May 21, 2015 12:30 ET

Harper Government Supports Responsible Resource Development

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - May 21, 2015) - Western Economic Diversification Canada

The Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS) at the University of Saskatchewan will be establishing a research and testing facility to develop and commercialize innovative mine cover systems for mine closures, thanks to a $1.85 million investment from the Government of Canada announced today by Brad Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Humboldt, on behalf of the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

Mine covers are designed to return a site to its natural condition and isolate waste material so that it does not damage the environment. The Mine Overlay Site Testing (MOST) facility will address a critical gap in the current mine cover design process by enabling mining companies and researchers to design and test soil cover systems under varying climatic conditions and assess performance prior to mine the site closure. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed by the fall 2015.

This investment in reclamation research will allow companies to adjust cover designs before building onsite mine covers, saving companies both time and money in the design and testing phases, and increasing their ability to meet environmental regulations.

Quick Facts

  • The MOST facility will be the only facility of its kind in the world for conducting applied mine reclamation research and development, providing testing services to industry, and focusing on designs for cold weather climates.
  • There are over 100 mine sites in Western Canada, roughly 50 of which will require mine covers.
  • The MOST facility will bring cost savings to industry through reduced short-term design and development costs by accelerating the testing timeframe from years to months by using partially climate-controlled test slopes.
  • The MOST facility program is a joint research initiative and supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada, University of Saskatchewan, O'Kane Consultants, Syncrude Canada Limited, and Saskatchewan Research Council.

Quotes

"Our Government is proud to support this unique facility which will reduce costs and ensure resources are responsibly developed. Through investment such as this, our Government is helping to grow our economy while strengthening environmental protection."

  • Brad Trost, Member of Parliament, Saskatoon-Humboldt

"This unique new Global Institute for Water Security research and testing facility will help ensure the safe closure of mines so that local surface and groundwater are protected. It's an example of how the University of Saskatchewan works with government and industry to help protect our water resources and provide sustainable solutions to mine reclamation challenges."

  • Karen Chad, Vice-President Research, University of Saskatchewan

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Contact Information

  • Rhonda Shymko
    A/Manager, Communications
    Western Economic Diversification Canada
    306-975-6980
    rhonda.shymko@wd-deo.gc.ca

    Meagan Hinther
    Communications Specialist
    Global Institute for Water Security
    University of Saskatchewan
    306-966-1019
    meagan.hinther@usask.ca

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