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“We are a mining country, we are a mining jurisdiction here in British Columbia, so it is important to us that we have a good relationship with the – David Chen general public.”

Mining projects advance in Genome Canada competition Four proposals to improve the environmental impact of mining by capturing the enormous potential of biological processes have moved on to the next round of a $26-million Genome Canada funding competition. The next step for the teams – among a total of 21 from various industries – is preparing a final application and presenting it to Genome Canada’s review board. Between 10 and 12 projects will receive funding for up to four years. Final applications are due in mid-April, and Genome Canada will announce the funding recipients in late

June. The federally-funded organization’s task is to spark the creation of technologies based on the genetic information that modern science can now easily access. A team from Université Laval and COREM, including researchers Alain Garnier and Philippe Gagnon, wants to use proteomic tools to find, develop and test new protein-based flotation reagents to replace others that are toxic in water, including xanthate. The project’s total cost would be about $4 million. Shawn Mansfield and his team at the University of British Columbia, Natural Resources Canada’s forestry centre and Queen’s University want to sequence the genomes of 800 trees to determine what genetic signature might make certain trees particularly suited to rehabilitate mine sites – for example, by sequestering contaminants like heavy metals. Specialized tree breeders could use this information to grow trees

specifically to rehabilitate the soil around closed mine sites. “It’s like breeding show dogs,” Mansfield explained. The project, TerraTrees, could cost around $9 million. With a DNA amplification and detection technique, qPCR, and $10 million, a project called PROAQUA, led by the University of Victoria’s Caren Helbing, could better assess the impact of mine sites on local frog and fish populations. The project could also help companies detect endangered species in the environment by testing water for the species’ DNA, giving mining companies more certainty about their impact on local ecosystems. Lesley Warren from the University of Toronto would use $4 million to discover how bacteria act in a mine’s wastewater. “Mining sites are rich in terms of bacteria,” she said, but bacteria genetics are poorly understood. Learning more could lead to new treatments or even discovering helpful bacterial impacts.

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20 | CIM Magazine | Vol. 11, No. 3

Profile for CIM-ICM Publications

CIM Magazine May 2016  

2016 Names to Know: The personalities shaping the global mining industry | Underground mining: Successes below the surface | Technology: De...

CIM Magazine May 2016  

2016 Names to Know: The personalities shaping the global mining industry | Underground mining: Successes below the surface | Technology: De...