The Government of Canada, through FedNor, has agreed to invest C$1.4 million ($1.07 million) in a new “state-of-the art surface facility” at NORCAT’s Underground Centre in northern Ontario.
The government said this facility will provide innovative mining businesses and entrepreneurs in northern Ontario with “a new space to share ideas, build partnerships, conduct research, and bring new technologies to market”.
NORCAT’s Underground Centre already provides companies with a place to innovate and enhance the productivity, safety and competitiveness of the mining industry. The company, earlier this year, announced plans to expand the centre in response to the forecasted demand of the global innovation ecosystem.
This new facility will further bolster its industry offering.
“The new 12,000 sq.ft (1,115 sq.m) facility will be used by innovative mining technology companies to develop, test and demonstrate innovative and emerging technologies in an operating mine environment,” the government said. “It will offer shared spaces, offices, meeting rooms, on-site personal protective equipment, first aid rooms, workshop, lunch room, changing rooms, showers and personal storage amenities.”
The announcement was made today by Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor.
Lefebvre said: “Supporting Canadian innovation is a key priority of our government, which is why we made it a pillar of our Innovation and Skills Plan and Prosperity and Growth Strategy for northern Ontario. This strategic investment in NORCAT will help shape the future of innovation and technology in the mining industry, and further strengthen Canada’s reputation as a global leader in mining.”
Don Duval, CEO of NORCAT (pictured), said: “A longstanding supporter and partner, the Government of Canada continues to recognize the value of NORCAT and the work we do to spur innovation, support skills training and help businesses develop and adopt new technologies and processes.
“As northern Ontario’s largest innovation centre, we are thrilled to add this new above-ground facility to our Underground Centre that will help cement our reputation as a global destination for mining research and innovation.”
NORCAT is focused on developing and providing world-class programs, services, and resources to reduce injuries, save lives, and enhance productivity in the mining industry and beyond, the government said. In addition, it is the only non-profit regional innovation centre in the world that has an operating mine designed to enable start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, and international companies to develop, test, and showcase new and innovative technologies in an operating mine environment.