Saskatoon, SK – The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) officially opened its new mineral processing pilot plant in Saskatoon today. The pilot plant, announced in the fall of 2012, is now fully operational and has been well-received by the mining industry, already taking requests from clients in Saskatchewan and across Canada.
The minerals industry in Western Canada has grown quickly over the past decade and is expected to keep increasing in size and scope into the foreseeable future. SRC continues to help develop the minerals industry through its work with the addition of new facilities, equipment and services. This pilot plant, coupled with SRC’s existing mineral processing expertise, laboratory and testing facilities, including a new Quantitative Evaluation of Minerals by SCANning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN®) service, will allow mining companies to access a full range of mineral processing services making it more efficient, convenient and economical to do business.
“The mining industry continues to be a pillar of the Western Canadian economy,” said Brad Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon – Humboldt. “Our investment in SRC’s pilot plant facility will help improve productivity and lead to the creation of more jobs and opportunities for growth.”
The pilot plant will specifically support the development and demonstration of new and improved methods for processing minerals such as potash, uranium, gold, base metals, coal, oil sands and oil shale, along with being one of the few centres in Canada with an emphasis on rare earth minerals. By enabling the pilot-scale demonstration of new technologies, it will be able to assist companies increase mining yields and decrease associated costs.
“This pilot plant showcases not only the latest evolution SRC has made in support of the mining industry, but also how they continue to be a leader in this very important sector,” said Minister of the Economy and Minister responsible for SRC Bill Boyd. “The fact that this facility is gaining worldwide attention goes to show that Saskatchewan’s talents are recognized around the globe and we are a hub for providing some of the very best services in the world.”
The pilot plant adjoins SRC’s diamond facilities and Pipe Flow Technology Centre™. Operating at a throughput capacity of about two metric tonnes per day, the plant can process 400-500 metric tonnes per year for multiple clients and projects.
“The response we have received to this pilot plant has been encouraging and we are pleased to be able to offer these much-needed services to the mining industry not only here in Saskatchewan but in Canada and internationally,” said SRC President and CEO Dr. Laurier Schramm. “The addition of this pilot plant is just another example of the many ways SRC is contributing to the continued economic growth of the Saskatchewan economy.”
Funding of $1.27-million was provided through the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement, with SRC providing $930,000 to the project. The plant is complemented by a new QEMSCAN® service that was announced by SRC earlier this spring. QEMSCAN® provides quantitative mineralogy as critical preliminary information for mineral processing.
SRC is one of Canada’s leading providers of applied research, development and demonstration (RD&D), and technology commercialization. With more than 400 employees, $67 million in annual revenue and 66 years of RD&D experience, SRC provides services and products to its 1,800 clients in 24 countries around the world.