The Saskatoon-based non-profit International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) has announced a research initiative that could benefit miners in the province.
The Mining Materials Research Cluster “will examine the corrosion of materials used in mineral processing and mining equipment and its supporting infrastructure, used in Saskatchewan’s potash industry,” IMII stated in a press release.
“The high chloride conditions that exist in the industry can cause corrosion and wear to production and related equipment and infrastructure, and lead to hazards to personnel and reduced asset life.”
The cluster will comprise of a handful of researchers from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina who will look into four related projects: slurry erosion corrosion, stress corrosion cracking, concrete corrosion and corrosion inhibitors.
“The IMII is pleased that four research and development projects are poised to start up the new research cluster,” IMII executive director Al Shpyth said.
The cluster’s budget totals $2.6 million over four years. IMII will provide $1.2 million and the federal government will kick in $915,000 through Western Economic Diversification Canada. The remaining funds are expected to come from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Mitacs, an industrial research institute.
“The government of Canada proudly supports further development of the mining industry in Saskatchewan. Innovations in mining will help support sustainability in our natural resource sectors, while maintaining jobs, prosperity and opportunities within the industry,” Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains said.
Formed in 2012, IMII is driven by the industry’s priorities and funded by both industry and government partners. The institute focuses on developing and executing “innovative education, training, research and development partnerships” in support of the minerals industry.