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Sub-program 2.2.2

Green Mining


Mining and processing have impacts on land, water and air. Technology development and commercialization entail significant financial, market, and technical risk, because uptake is dependent upon regulatory requirements, business investment priorities and availability of funding. This Sub-program reduces business risks by developing and demonstrating innovative mining technologies and practices that eliminate or reduce environmental impacts and risks. Business needs, technology gaps and priorities are identified with input from the Canada Mining Innovation Council and an advisory committee. Applied research aims to a) reduce land disturbance; water, energy and hazardous chemical use; waste volumes; and releases to the environment and b) accelerate site restoration. By responding to business needs and seeking out synergies, the Sub-program focuses development efforts on technologies with the most potential to reduce environmental impacts and risks and to expand domestic and international business opportunities for mining companies, technology developers and consultants. Findings also a) contribute to the scientific, technological and socioeconomic basis for updating federal, provincial and territorial mining and environmental regulations and policies, and b) inform policy priorities in other countries that drive demand for technologies and services.

Non-Financial Performance Information
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets
Technology developers increase demonstration of environmental technologies Number of demonstration projects 2 over 5 years by March 31, 2017
Industry partners increase financial and in-kind contributions Value of financial and in-kind contributions by industry partners collaborating with NRCan 10% increase over 3-year  of $3.6 million by March 31, 2015
Academic, government and other non-industry partners increase financial and in-kind contributions Value of financial and in-kind contributions by academic, government and other non-industry partners collaborating with NRCan 10% increase over 3-year baseline of $1.0 million by March 31, 2015
Financial Performance Information ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Main Estimates
7,052 7,052


FSDS Theme I – Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

FSDS Goal 1 – Climate Change

Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change.

FSDS Target 1.1 – Climate Change Mitigation

Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.

FSDS Implementation Strategy – Clean Energy

1.1.22 Continue to work with industry stakeholders to encourage and promote the adoption and adaptation of new technologies such as information and communications technologies, biotechnology and clean energy technology. (IC, NRCan) 

How Activity Supports FSDS Target

Green Mining research aims to find alternative means for waste disposal, reduced water use and protection of air quality at all stages of the mining cycle. An example of how it achieves this is through an NRCan collaboration with Canadian mining equipment manufacturer Mining Technologies International to develop the world’s first hybrid mining vehicle – a diesel-electric scoop tram, which has a significant positive impact on the economic viability and competitiveness of underground mining operations, the energy costs associated with ventilation, as well as the health of mine workers. In the next three years, activities will be aimed at transitioning from the first world-wide prototype to a pre-commercial scoop tram model.

Performance Expectations Beyond NRCan’s Performance Measurement Framework

Number of underground hybrid equipment used in Canada.

Extending the life of a mine often means extracting from greater depths. Ventilation is one of the most significant operating costs and uses of energy in deep as well as shallow mines. Because it always burns fuel in optimal engine conditions and that its peak power demand is supplied by batteries, the hybrid scoop tram can achieve greater efficiency and much lower emissions compared to similarly sized conventional equipment performing the same tasks. As a result, it uses less carbon-based fuel and requires less energy-intensive ventilation and air heating / air conditioning to maintain the same air quality for miners. Thus, promotion of adoption of the scoop tram, under this Sub-program, indirectly contributes to FSDS Target 1.1 – Climate Change Mitigation.

FSDS Goal 2 – Air Pollution

Minimize the threats to air quality so that the air Canadians breathe is clean and supports healthy ecosystems.

FSDS Target 2.1 – Air Pollutants

Reduce air pollutants in order to maintain or improve air quality across the country and achieve the emission targets, which are currently under development in consultation with the provinces and stakeholders.

FSDS Implementation Strategy – Clean Transportation

2.1.23 Undertake research, development and deployment of new technologies to reduce GHG and other air-pollutant emissions. (NRCan)

How Activity Supports FSDS Target

The Green Mining Initiative is an effective vehicle for advancing FSDS objectives. In 2013-14, CanmetMINING will contribute to defining smart indicators for this multi-faceted program in areas such as reduction of pollutants in air and water, and energy consumption. Thus, Sub-program, Green Mining, contributes indirectly to FSDS Target 2.1 – Air Pollutants.

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