ST. JOHN'S, NL, May 13 /CNW/ - Newfoundland and Labrador's iron ore
industry is about to be seen in a whole new light thanks to a more than
$1 million infrastructure investment announced today by the Research &
Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) and the Iron
Ore Company of Canada (IOC).
New state-of-the-art mineral analysis equipment, known as a Field
Emission Gun Scanning Electron Microscope with automated Mineral
Liberation Analyses (MLA) software, will be purchased by Memorial
University of Newfoundland. The improved resolution and imaging
capabilities of this instrument will allow researchers to distinguish
between intergrown minerals on a very fine scale. RDC's $996,178
investment leverages an IOC investment of $250,000. RDC funding is
provided under the Research Tools and Equipment element of its April
2010 $10 million competitive call for R&D infrastructure proposals.
"Collaboration is the key to future success and growth of Newfoundland
and Labrador's mineral industry," said the Honourable Susan Sullivan,
Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. "This province has
a diversified minerals industry that provides a wide variety of
commodities to the world market. The forecasted gross value of mineral
shipments for 2011 is $4.7 billion and exploration expenditures for
this year are expected to be $122 million. Today's funding will allow
industry and our academic communities to work together ensuring our
mineral resources can be developed in a sustainable manner."
The mineral industry is one of Newfoundland and Labrador's largest
industries, noted Glenn Janes, Chief Executive Officer, RDC.
"Today's investment marks an important milestone in mineral research and
will ensure researchers have the technical and industrial equipment
they need to bolster this province's mineral research strengths and
contribute to mineral industry exploration and development," he said.
With this new equipment, researchers can estimate and optimize the iron
recovered in rock during the mining process for the province's largest
mineral export, iron ore. Memorial has developed advanced methods to
distinguish between the different minerals in test samples. The new
equipment will employ these advanced methods to optimize iron recovery
and feed throughput during the concentrating process. Providing a
better understanding of ore concentrate characterization can lead to
efficiencies in processing as well as increased product quality and
subsequent value of the province's mineral assets.
"IOC is proud to partner with Memorial University in this research
utilizing the MLA technology," said Robert Branton, General Manager of
Product Manufacturing with IOC. "Our expectation is through
collaboration with Memorial University we will be able to advance our
knowledge of the impact of ore quality characteristics on our
processing facilities. This will ultimately allow for optimization of
the overall mine to mill production chain."
"This highly-specialized equipment enhances our capacity for mineral
analysis and is critical to our research collaborations with the IOC,"
added Dr. Christopher Loomis, Vice-President (Research) of Memorial
University. "Our expectation is that the research potential of the new
instrument, coupled with the collaboration with IOC, will transform the
way that iron ore is mined in Labrador."
The new equipment will be a part of Memorial's Core Research Equipment
And Instrument Training (CREAIT) Network and will be housed in the
Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation on its St. John's campus.
About the Research & Development Corporation
The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is a provincial Crown
corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's R&D
performance. RDC works with R&D stakeholders including industry,
academia and government agencies and departments. In April 2010, RDC
issued a $10 million competitive call for R&D infrastructure proposals,
focusing on research tools and equipment and R&D platforms (i.e.,
dedicated research facilities) that encourage collaboration with
industry. For more information about RDC, go to www.researchnl.com.
About Iron Ore Company of Canada
The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) is the largest manufacturer of iron
ore pellets in Canada and its customer base covers North American,
European and Asian steel producers. The Company operates a mine,
concentrator and a pelletizing plant in Labrador City, Newfoundland and
Labrador, as well as port facilities located in Sept-Îles, Quebec. It
also operates a 418-kilometre railroad that links the mine to the port.
IOC has approximately 1,900 employees and its major shareholder and
operator is the international mining group Rio Tinto, which has
activities in more than 40 countries throughout the world.
About Memorial University
Founded in 1925 as a memorial to Newfoundland's war dead, Memorial
University College was elevated to degree-granting status in 1949 as
Memorial University of Newfoundland. Today, the university is the
largest in Atlantic Canada, with about 18,000 students. Memorial
provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in
virtually all disciplines. With locations in St. John's and Corner
Brook in Newfoundland, Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador, the
French-owned island of Saint-Pierre, and Harlow in England, Memorial is
committed to experiential learning. The university's many
interdisciplinary programs abound with opportunities for experiential
learning, ranging from on-campus employment to work terms around the
world. Outstanding research and scholarship, extraordinary teaching and
a focus on community service are the university's hallmarks. Many
teaching and research activities reflect our mid-North Atlantic
locations; these unique settings and our cultural heritage have led to
the creation of highly-regarded academic programs and specialized
facilities in areas such as music, linguistics, folklore and human
genetics, as well as earth sciences, cold-ocean engineering, rural
health care and archaeology. For more information about Memorial
University of Newfoundland, go to www.mun.ca.
For further information:
Manager, Communications & Marketing
Research & Development Corporation
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
Director, External Relations
Iron Ore Company of Canada
Office of the Vice-President (Research)
Memorial University of Newfoundland