Canada to lead the way in replacing energy and chemical-intense resource extraction and mining site remediation methods with first integrative platform for microbiome analysis
[February 1, 2022] Vancouver, BC – Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster is pleased to announce the launch of the Mining Microbiome Analysis Platform (MMAP) project, the largest investment in planned natural resource genomic sequencing in the history of the sector. With breakthrough biomining solutions, the MMAP project will be the catalyst for sustainable mining practices on a global scale by replacing energy and chemical-intense resource extraction methods and improving mining site cleanup techniques.
“As we transition towards our net-zero future, the mining sector can and will play a crucial role in our green recovery. We are proud to see Canadian mining leaders such as Teck Resources driving innovation and accelerating sustainable mining practices. Through Digital Technology Supercluster projects such as this one, we are creating well-paying jobs and breakthroughs in biomining that are important to Canada, and those advances will contribute to achieving environmental sustainability not just here but also on a global scale,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
Minerals and metals are the building blocks to building a better quality of life for communities around the world. While the industry provides these required products, it is also continually looking for ways to enhance environmental performance.
Led by Teck Resources Limited (TSX: TECK.A and TECK.B, NYSE: TECK) (“Teck”), and in partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC), BGC Engineering, Koonkie Canada, Rio Tinto, Genome BC, Allonnia, Microsoft and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), this consortium is creating the first integrated online platform to extract the DNA from more than 15,000 mining site samples over the next two years to identify microbes that can be used to replace chemical and other legacy extraction methods for minerals and metals, and to perform safer, more effective remediation of legacy and operational mine sites. UBC’s Bradshaw Research Initiative for Minerals and Mining (BRIMM) in particular, has played a formative role in bringing together the private industry partners, non-profit genomics and mining sector organizations, and academic researchers crucial to this unique partnership.
The combination of technology companies, researchers, and mining sector companies provides MMAP both the critical mass to develop viable solutions and a direct pathway to commercial adoption.
“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 Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck. “We’re pleased to partner on the MMAP project which stands to advance the mining industry’s collective commitment to responsible resource development.”
“As an early mining user of the platform, we see the transformative potential for this microbiome-based technology to promote environmental stewardship and help us achieve net zero emissions by 2050. By providing samples from our mines for genome sequencing, we are contributing to the potential development of breakthrough biological solutions to decarbonize the extraction and processing of metals and minerals, and to support the remediation of mine sites,” said Mark Davies, Chief Technical Officer at Rio Tinto.
This project is also supported by the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation as well as the Tahltan Central Government, and Illumina, a global genomics sequencing company. The Mining Microbiome Analysis Platform project has a total investment of $16,627,189 with $12,636,695 invested by industry and $3,990,494 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. The Digital Supercluster is proud to see Canadian companies and organizations such as Teck, BGC Engineering, Koonkie Canada, Rio Tinto, UBC, Genome BC, Allonnia, Microsoft and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation lead the way in cleaner natural resource extraction and more responsible site management”, said Sue Paish, CEO of the Digital Supercluster.
More information on the Mining Microbiome Analysis Platform project can be found here.
About Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster
Ahead of the curve starts here. The Digital Technology Supercluster is building a better Canada by growing Canadian businesses, creating a digitally skilled workforce and positively impacting lives across our country. We accelerate the development and adoption of digital technologies that keep Canadians healthy, address climate change and drive economic productivity. Through a powerful combination of co-investment, cross-sector collaboration, IP creation and digital talent development, we unlock the potential of Canadians to lead and succeed in the Digital world. For more information, visit: https://www.digitalsupercluster.ca/
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