New gold standard: Memorial international students bring research expertise to Baie Verte mining project

St. John’s, NL — A group of international graduate students from around the world are bringing their research expertise to a local mining project between Memorial University’s Drilling Technology Lab and Anaconda Mining. Working under the supervision of Professor Stephen Butt, the students, from countries, including Ghana, Ukraine, and Venezuela, are taking part in research that will enhance Anaconda’s mining procedures to mine gold with more accuracy.

Splitting their time between Memorial’s Drilling Technology Lab and Anaconda’s Pine Cove mining site on the Baie Verte Peninsula, the researchers, who are part of a collaborative two-year project, are conducting research to stabilize blast holes and analyze data from drilling rigs to find changes in rock formation that will help miners recover higher grade gold ore and less waste rock. Their work is validating several technologies that will improve blasting procedures and ore recovery at Anaconda’s mine sites.

The students’ research is part of an ongoing program coordinated by Mitacs and funded locally by Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mitacs is a national not-for-profit organization working to bridge the gap between academic research and industry. Interns transfer their skills from theory to business application, while companies gain a competitive advantage by accessing high-quality research expertise. The project marks the 300th Mitacs internship in Newfoundland and Labrador.


Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Through Mitacs internships, university researchers are playing vital roles in helping local companies like Anaconda Mining solve R&D challenges that contribute to Newfoundland and Labrador’s economic growth. Strong collaboration between businesses and post-secondary institutions will improve performance in learning and training, and place Newfoundland at the forefront of innovation.”

The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation

“Business innovation plays a critical role in building a stronger economy in Newfoundland and Labrador, a key objective of our government’s vision in The Way Forward. By fostering the enthusiasm and ideas of our province’s youth and immersing them in local businesses, we are building the R&D capacity required to advance business innovation and drive long-term economic growth.”  

Mark Ploughman, Acting CEO, Research & Development Corporation

“The Mitacs-RDC internships encourage industry innovation and competitiveness and provide interns with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and research expertise to real-world challenges with companies like Anaconda Mining. Together we are bridging collaboration between academia and industry, and as a result enhancing industry R&D capacity and developing highly-qualified personnel.”

Allan Cramm, VP Operations, Anaconda Mining

“Anaconda continues to facilitate an atmosphere of innovation at our worksite. We believe that innovation is a vital tool in achieving success in the mining industry. Our partnership with the Academic community through Mitacs continues to help us solve challenges while achieving efficiencies.”

Igor Kyzym, Mitacs intern, Memorial University

“Working with Anaconda Mining through Mitacs Accelerate has been eye-opening. As an international student, this internship is giving me the opportunity to mobilize the skills I have as an academic researcher within an industry context, and is making me see first-hand the value of partnering with industry to advance my career in the province.”

Quick facts about Mitacs:

  • Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 17 years.
  • Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and federal and provincial governments, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.
  • Mitacs connects graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with partner organizations for research internships supervised by faculty.
  • Open to all disciplines and all industry sectors, projects can span a wide range of areas, including manufacturing, business processes, IT, social sciences, design and more.
  • Mitacs internships are supported financially by the Government of Canada, Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, and industry, in partnership with Canadian universities.

Quick facts about Anaconda Mining:

  • Anaconda is a growth-oriented, gold mining and exploration company with a producing project called the Point Rousse Project and three exploration/development projects called the Viking and Great Northern Projects and the Tilt Cove Property in Newfoundland.
  • As the only pure play gold producer in Atlantic Canada, Anaconda Mining is turning the rock we live on into a growing and profitable resource. With a young and motivated workforce, innovative technology and the support of local suppliers, Anaconda is investing in the people of Newfoundland & Labrador and giving back to the communities in which we operate – building a better future for all our stakeholders, from the ground up.