Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Support Mining Industry Research Lab

SASKATOON, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister of Enterprise Saskatchewan and Brad Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon - Humboldt, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced a joint investment to establish the Advanced Microanalysis Centre at the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) in Saskatoon.

"Saskatchewan's resource sector is very important to the prosperity of our economy. We need to provide cutting-edge technology to advance resource exploration while building our knowledge economy," Cheveldayoff said. "The successful use of this technology by the mining industry will create jobs and generate more revenue for the province and the mining industry."

"The Advanced Microanalysis Centre will assist small business, attract new investment, and strengthen Saskatchewan's mining sector," said MP Trost. "Through investments in science and technology, our Government is creating new opportunities and building a more competitive Canada."

Featuring state-of-the-art equipment and lab facilities, research scientists at the SRC Advanced Microanalysis Centre will use an electron microprobe that uses test samples measured in grains, to identify and analyze the chemical composition of solid materials. The microprobe will be a key piece in the Centre's suite of new analytical equipment. The increased analytical capacity means Saskatchewan firms can have testing done locally-saving both time and expense. Smaller, junior mining firms will now have better access to data interpretation results, thereby increasing their business competitiveness.

"The Advanced Microanalysis Centre's high-tech equipment and expert scientists are going to make SRC a one-stop-shop for mineral processing and analysis that meets our mining companies' needs," said SRC President and CEO Dr. Laurier Schramm. "By establishing Canada's best-equipped mineral analysis laboratories, SRC is attracting more business into Saskatchewan by allowing companies to access the assay and characterization tests that they need in a single, independent facility that provides technical excellence, integrity, confidentiality and timely delivery."

The Centre will be the only ISO-certified electron microprobe facility in Canada and the only national, commercially-licensed facility that can safely prepare and test thin sections of radioactive materials, which form the most basic and essential analysis done by geologists in every type of mining exploration. Geologists working for Saskatchewan mining firms are eager to make use of the new microanalysis facilities at SRC.

Funding is provided through the renewed Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA). A shared federal-provincial investment of $1.3 million will enable SRC to purchase the specialized equipment, including the electron microprobe, to outfit the lab.

The objective of the Canada-Saskatchewan WEPA is to develop Saskatchewan's small and medium-sized businesses, support economic and technological innovation, assist in economic diversification, and increase Aboriginal participation in the workforce.

The Government of Canada is also taking timely action to provide support for workers and communities hardest hit by the current economic downturn through Canada's Economic Action Plan. The Plan is providing an economic stimulus through initiatives such as the two-year, $1 billion Community Adjustment Fund and the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) Program, which is providing $500 million nationally over two years to upgrade or repair existing recreational facilities. Visit Canada's Economic Action Plan for more information.

Western Economic Diversification 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 represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

    
    *A photo is available by contacting Cameron Zimmer, SRC
    at 306-933-6367.
    

SOURCE Saskatchewan Research Council

For further information: For further information: Cameron Zimmer, Communications Specialist, Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Tel: (306) 933-6367; Jean Collins, Communications Officer, Western Economic Diversification Canada, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Tel: (306) 975-5965; Joanne Johnson, Director, Public Affairs, Enterprise Saskatchewan, Regina, Saskatchewan, Tel: (306) 787-7967

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