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Creation of a NSERC-UQAT Industrial Chair on Mine Site Rehabilitation

Press Release

Rouyn-Noranda, Wednesday, January 14, 2015 – Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) announces the creation of a NSERC-UQAT Industrial Chair on Mine Site Reclamation. The new chair, held by Professor Bruno Bussière, will receive a total funding of $2.5M over the next five years; this sum includes an annual $250,000 contribution from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and an equal amount from industrial partners of RIME UQAT-Polytechnique.

“The creation of a NSERC industrial chair is a tribute to the world-class standard of the research and training activities conducted at UQAT in environment and mine waste management. This chair will help UQAT remain a key actor and leader in this industry sector”, UQAT Principal Johanne Jean states. According to NSERC standards, senior industrial research Chairholders must be recognized as international leaders in their field and considered to be exceptional by their research peers.1

High-quality research for the benefit of society and communities
This research chair was created to develop efficient mine site reclamation strategies that limit environmental impacts and risks by using various innovative technologies. Its activities are part of the RIME UQAT-Polytechnique research program. The new chair will pursue the efforts undertaken by the former NSERC Polytechnique-UQAT Industrial Chair on the Environment and Mine Waste Management, from 2001 to 2012, in addressing environmental problems associated with mining operations. Despite the progress made in the past few years, there are still many challenges; these will be at the heart of the chair activities.

For the RIME UQAT-Polytechnique corporate partners in the mining sector, these investments are seen as essential in a context where protection of the environment is a key component of mining development. “We are convinced that the UQAT team is best suited to expand our knowledge, develop solutions, and ultimately make our industry more competitive and better equipped to meet the many challenges it faces in terms of mine site reclamation and mine waste management”, says Michel Julien, Chaiman of the Board of Directors of RIME UQAT-Polytechnique, and Corporate Manager (Environment) at Agnico Eagle.

In the current context of sustainable development and social accountability, all research activities related to mine site reclamation are instrumental in improving the environment of mining communities. Beyond the advantages for the mining industry, research advances benefit to society and communities. “The announcement of the creation of this chair will also reinforce the key role played by UQAT in developing highly qualified personnel. Our students will become tomorrow’s specialists and will be recruited by mining companies and government authorities”, explains Bruno Bussière, Professor, Chairholder and Scientific Director of the RIME (UQAT).

Northern Concern
While conducting research for the benefit of all mining regions, this new industrial chair will take a significant interest in northern issues. The needs for R&D activities in the North are constantly growing and mine site reclamation in northern climates poses major challenges. “We started being concerned about those issues few years ago. This new chair will allow us to go further in the acquisition of knowledge and in research of environmental solutions adapted to northern conditions”, continues Professor Bussière.

This element of the Chair on Mine Site Reclamation is an example of UQAT’s area of research interest related to northern environment. “Our research teams have achieved distinction through the expertise, experience and knowledge that UQAT has acquired on issues such as mining environment and mine waste management in the North, sustainable forest management, hydrogeology, Aboriginal culture and Aboriginal realities. This explains why our university is a key player in the development of Quebec’s North”, concludes Mrs. Jean.

Institut de recherche en mines et environnement UQAT-Polytechnique (IRME)

Building on a partnership of nearly three decades, UQAT and Polytechnique Montréal created the RIME UQAT-Polytechnique in 2013. Thanks to a financial contribution of nearly $10 M over seven years from Agnico Eagle, Canadian Malactic GP, IAMGOLD Corporation, Rio Tinto Fer et Titane inc., and Raglan Mine, a Glencore Company, RIME UQAT-Polytechnique support a research program that is unique in Quebec. This innovative partnership enables the RIME UQAT-Polytechnique to conduct an advanced research program and develop a highly skilled workforce. With an emphasis on the environment and mine waste management, the RIME UQAT-Polytechnique aims to develop environmental solutions for the entire life-cycle of mining operations.


Stéphanie Duchesne
Head Communication and Recruitment
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Tel.: 819 762-0971 ext. 2222


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