Mining sites as incubators for green energy and other value added products

The mining industry is a key economic driver for Northern Ontario, and mine and associated support and processing facility closures result, therefore, in significant impacts on the local community direct and indirect employment and economy. Despite each mining operation representing a significant investment in preparation, transport, infrastructure and technology, much, if not all, is lost to the community after closure. A mine site also creates and occupies significant tracts of land that are essentially non‐productive assets. To address this issue, this is a multi‐disciplinary, multi‐company research program that involves both a school of process engineering and of medicine, and links energy recovery and greenhouse gas accounting with generation of biofuels and natural microbial sourced heath compounds. It is based around innovative uses of mine lands for achieving extractable energy value from sources of waste heat generated. In particular use of these sites as an “incubators” for the production from indigenous microalgae of renewable biofuels and therapeutic compounds. The intention is that systems identified will not just be viable during a mining operation’s active life, but also, at least in part, allow mine sites to have functional economic generating value post closure.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. John Ashley Scott


Zouleiksa Abdalla, Lisa Renaud, Andrew Hall, Bozhi Zhang, and Joe Eibl


Al Consultants Inc. ChemAdvance Drive and Xstrata Nickel




Mining and quarrying


Laurentian University



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