Canadian Mining Journal


ENVIRONMENT: NRCan invests in greener mining innovation

Image: Natural Resources Canada, Clean Growth Program

MONTREAL – Natural Resources Canada wants to see Canada’s mining industry become leaders in green technology. To that end, the federal government is investing over $1.5 million in the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning at McGill University.

The funds will support a project to test a more efficient approach to fragmenting underground rock. In these tests, soundless chemical demolition agents similar to a powdery cement, expand and exert pressure causing rocks to break apart. The new method should improve worker safety and significantly reduce the cost of blasting as there is no need to ventilate the workings after the rocks are shattered.

“This technology will revolutionize mining and tunneling by achieving a more efficient, far safer, and more environmentally friendly technique for rock fragmentation,” said Hani Mitri, professor in the Department of Mining and Materials Engineering at McGill University (

The funding is provided by NRCan’s Clean Growth Program.

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