Funding for minerals research

John Efford signs the agreement that will help increase minerals and metals research at the university while Dr. Axel Meisen looked on.

Natural Resources Canada Minister John Efford signed an agreement with Memorial University of Newfoundland on May 21 to help increase minerals and metals research at the university. The agreement, which involves the Government of Canada lending specialized equipment to the university, is expected to strengthen research in mining innovation and facilitate new mineral developments in Newfoundland and Labrador, and across Canada.

NRCan's CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory (CANMET-MTL) is the owner of the equipment, known as a Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer. For CANMET-MTL, the loan of this equipment represents an important opportunity for materials researchers to build stronger ties with the Canadian academic community. Under the terms of the agreement, the university will upgrade the system, which engineers, earth sciences researchers and graduate students will use for approximately 10 years. In return, the Government of Canada will be able to share the results of Memorial's analyses for use in NRCan's programs in mining and metal processing research.

“This important piece of equipment from CANMET-MTL will greatly enhance Memorial University's capacity in the area of minerals, metals and materials research and typifies our strong relationship with NRCan,” said Dr. Axel Meisen, President, Memorial University of Newfoundland. “Our success is, in part, the result of collaboration with researchers from both the public and private sectors. They have contributed to the birth, growth and development of our university. I thank the Government of Canada and Minister Efford for their steadfast support of Memorial.”

“This agreement is the realization of a long negotiation that will have benefits for all involved,” said Minister Efford. “Together, we are building a partnership that will increase our knowledge of mining and metals, and eventually lead to bringing new technology to the marketplace and economic opportunities for this region and all of Canada .”

The equipment will be housed at the university's new Inco Innovation Centre, which is partially funded by the Government of Canada. Funding to the Centre will result in the hiring of 40 new researchers at Memorial. The other partner in the Centre, Inco Ltd., will use half of the area for mining and processing research related to its nickel project at Voisey's Bay in Labrador, including a scale-model processing plant.

The agreement will benefit metallurgical and materials initiatives at Memorial — areas which are attracting strong interest and growing at the university.