Post-doc: Collaborative Research Study of Roof Geology for Safety- SK-029

Project type: Research
Desired discipline(s): Engineering - other, Engineering, Geography / Geology / Earth science, Natural Sciences
Company: International Minerals Innovation Institute
Project Length: Longer than 1 year
Preferred start date: As soon as possible.
Language requirement: English
Location(s): Saskatoon, SK, Canada; Canada
No. of positions: 2
Desired education level: Postdoctoral fellow
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About the company: 

The International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) is an unique innovation supporting network for Saskatchewan’s minerals industry. It is driven by the needs of its minerals company members.

Describe the project.: 

IMII’s minerals industry members seek to improve their ability to locate and understand roof stability issues during mining of a portion of the Prairie Evaporite Formation in Saskatchewan – the Lower Patience Lake member. The Prairie Evaporite Formation is the predominant source of potash in the world today.

Industry recognizes that understanding the nature of the clay seams located within and above the roof is extremely important to safety in underground potash operations as they fundamentally influence the stability of the salt layer above working areas in the short and long term. This project would focus on the Shadowband clay seam due to its close proximity to the mining roof, its variable nature, and its influence over the stability of the salt beam and potential contribution to unexpected ground falls.

Participating member companies will contribute past studies on the Shadowband clay seam and collaborate on this research study. As these companies and their operations are in Saskatchewan preference will be given to a research who is located in Western Canada to facilitate access to supporting personnel and sites.

The goal of the project is to develop a better geological understanding of the salt beam  geology/features to:

  • Provide a basis for evaluating and developing sensing technologies to detect and map these features; and
  • Provide a basis for understanding the rock-mechanics behaviour of the near salt-back.

The study will focus on the geological features of the immediate salt beam of the Lower Patience Lake (Lanigan B Zone) interval. Participating companies will provide relevant geological information and other studies, as well as financial support for analysis of samples and data, and subject matter experts. 

Collaborating academic group from western Canada is preferred.

Required expertise/skills: 

We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow (geological engineering, geophysics) for 2 years and a supporting masters level student for 4-6 months.

  • Geological interpretation of core logging data, borehole geophysical and geochemical data, and underground mapping.
  • Quantification of salt core samples, including rock mechanics and geochemical analysis data.
  • Analysis and synthesis different geological and other data types to produce a comprehensive report on reginal nature of Shadowband feature.
  • Familiarity with geology of bedded evaporiates or similar geology is prefered.