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MIRARCO, Canadian Light Source agreement lights way to greener mining

VANCOUVER Shining synchrotron light on environmental questions facing the mining industry is the goal of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today at the GLOBE 2008 conference between the Canadian Light Source (CLS) and MIRARCO Mining Innovation.

MIRARCO prides itself in building bridges between researchers from a variety of institutions and industry, says Steve Hall, president of MIRARCO. This collaboration will undoubtedly be of tremendous benefit, not only to us, but to the entire resource sector.

The Canadian Light Source is excited about the research opportunities that will come from this agreement, says Jeffrey Cutler, CLS Associate Director of Research for Industrial Science. The CLS is known internationally for the pioneering work weve done in applying synchrotron techniques to environmental issues in the natural resources sector that cant be answered any other way. We look forward to partnering our capabilities with MIRARCOs expertise and experience.

The agreement between the CLS and MIRARCOs Centre for Environmental Monitoring aims to develop collaborative research projects with partners from the minerals industry, using synchrotron-based X-ray analytical techniques to identify the chemical forms of potentially toxic elements encountered by industry in resource extraction, processing and waste management. Knowledge gained from such research can be used by industry to validate safety standards, satisfy regulatory requirements and develop remediation strategies.

The first project being conducted under the agreement is already underway with Vale Inco Ltd., using the CLS to determine the amounts and chemical forms of nickel and other heavy metals that are encountered in air filter particulates during mineral processing. MIRARCO researchers are providing detailed mineralogical, chemical and electron optical information to assist in the interpretation of the synchrotron data.

Mike Dutton, Director, Environmental and Health Science with Vale Inco says: This project is a really good example of how the CLS synchrotron and MIRARCO support industry. I think a lot of eyes in the mining industry will be opened by this work.


Contact: Matthew Dalzell
Canadian Light Source, Inc.

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