Based in Vancouver, Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster has launched the Mining Microbiome Analysis Platform (MMAP), the largest investment in natural resource genomic sequencing in the history of the sector.
With MMAP as the catalyst, Canada can lead the way in replacing energy and chemical-intense resource extraction and mine site remediation methods.
The research was led by Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.A; TSX: TECK.B; NYSE: TECK) in partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC), BGC Engineering, Koonkie Canada, Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO; LSE: RIO), Genome BC, Allonnia, Microsoft and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI). The consortium is creating the first integrated online platform to extract DNA from more than 15,000 mining site samples over the next two years. The goal is to identify microbes that can be used to replace chemical and other legacy extraction methods for minerals and metals. Ultimately, this will lead to safer, fore effective remediation of mining properties both active and closed.
"At Teck, we're continually looking for the most effective ways to protect the environment while we produce the metals and minerals needed to build a better quality of life for people around the world," said president and CEO Don Lindsay. "We're pleased to partner on the MMAP project which stands to advance the mining industry's collective commitment to responsible resource development."
The unique combination of technology companies, researchers and mining companies give MMAP both the critical mass to develop viable solutions and a pathway to commercial adoption.
The project is supported by the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation as well as the Tahltan central government, and Illumina, a global genomics sequencing company.
Investment in MMAP totals about $16.6 million with $12.6 million from industry and $4 million co-invested through the Digital Supercluster’s Technology Leadership Program.
"Changing how the mining industry interacts with the natural world requires broad collaboration so that together, we can create a more sustainable future,” says Digital Technology Supercluster CEO Sue Paish.
More information on the Mining Microbiome Analysis Platform project can be found here.