Vale Inco

Research Areas
Collaborating Researchers
Collaborating Organizations

Recent Research Projects

Landscape carbon accumulation through reductions in emissions (L-CARE): developing brownfield management protocols for carbon sequestration and habitat use

2018/19-2019/20 • $555,497
Brownfield management represents an important opportunity for carbon (C) sequestration and storage to help*meet industrial climate change mitigation targets. C is four times more plentiful in the terrestrial biosphere than*in the atmosphere, but conventional ecosystem management for climate...

Imaging ore controlling structures through the integration of new geophysical and geological data from Sudbury, Cobalt, and Abitibi mining camps

2018/19-2019/20 • $397,568
This proposal, supported by 6 mining and exploration companies, will utilize novel geophysical methods combined with geologic investigations to create high resolution cross sections to illustrate the geologic architecture of the earth's crust. This methodology will be developed in three geologic...

Genesis and localization of Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization in the Sudbury structure

2018/19-2019/20 • $211,925
This project will study how the world's largest accumulation of nickel-copper sulfides formed and how they became localized at the base of an impact melt sheet and in associated projections into the surrounding rocks. It will focus on three particularly important problems: 1) the sources of...

Novel strategies for CO2 utilization and storage in mineral processing

2019/20 • $195,192
Mineral carbon storage (MCS) is a type of carbon sequestration where carbon dioxide is reacted with alkaline minerals to form solid carbonates. Although MCS has advantages compared to other carbon storage techniques, it requires large quantities of mineral feedstock. The acquisition of this...

NSERC/Vale/Agnico Eagle/Neo Materials Industrial Research Chair in Water and Sustainable Extractive Metallurgy

2019/20 • $137,498
Effluent treatment,Freeze concentration,Hydrometallurgy,Membrane processes,Mining influenced water,Osmotic processes,Separation,Tailings,Water recycling,Water reuse

Modelling and optimization of the sulphuric acid plant in an industrial smelter

2018/19-2019/20 • $75,000
In the smelting of copper, nickel or other metal ores, sulphur dioxide gas is generated, which, without treatment, can cause serious environmental damages and community health issues. An efficient sulphuric acid plant is vital for smelter operations as it converts harmful sulphur dioxide gas to...

Monitoring Land Reclamation and Ecosystem Sustainability in the Greater Sudbury Region

2019/20 • $45,000
Mining activities in the City of the Greater Sudbury (CGS) in Northern Ontario (Canada) have resulted over the last century in serious damage to its environment. Logging and ore smelting led to large scale sulphur dioxide emissions and metal contamination. These factors damaged soil quality and...

Development of level-set inversion methodology and software for radio imaging (RIM) data

2019/20 • $30,700
The radio imaging method (RIM) is a geophysical technique in which electromagnetic (EM) signals (similar to radio waves, but in the ground) are sent between boreholes. These EM signals are affected by the types of rocks, and whether or not there are zones of mineralization, between the...

Nano-reactive oily bubbles for enhancing fine particle flotation by agglomeration

2016/17-2018/19 • $445,800
Canada is one of the leading mining nations in the world, producing more than 60 vital minerals and metalsthat are used globally. Mining is a pillar of the Canadian economy, generating almost 3% of the national GDP.However, Canadian mining companies face a number of challenges in meeting the...

Remediation of Ni toxicity by liming - field validation

2018/19 • $216,000
Remediation of soils contaminated with metals may be achieved through application of agricultural lime, which is expected to reduce plant-available metal by increasing soil pH. However, raising the pH can potentially reduce the bioavailability of essential elements, which may negatively impact...

Novel strategies for CO2 utilization and storage in mineral processing**

2018/19 • $165,780
Mineral carbon storage (MCS) is a type of carbon sequestration where carbon dioxide is reacted with alkaline minerals to form solid carbonates. Although MCS has advantages compared to other carbon storage techniques, it requires large quantities of mineral feedstock. The acquisition of this...

Mineral processing: flotation, physical separations, environmental

2013/14-2017/18 • $766,963
Society has always needed mineral resources, both as commodities themselves, such as talc, and as sources of metals such as nickel. The extraction of minerals involves size reduction of mined rock (ore) and separation of minerals, together known as 'mineral processing'. Given Canada's abundant...

Fundamental study of in-situ gas nucleation by hydrodynamic cavitation for fine particle flotation

2015/16-2017/18 • $264,600
Canada is one of the leading mining nations in the world, producing more than 60 vital minerals and metals that are used globally. Mining is a pillar of the Canadian economy, generating almost 3% of the national GDP. However, Canadian mining companies face a number of challenges in meeting the...

Landscape carbon accumulation through reductions in emissions (L-CARE): developing brownfield managment protocols for carbon sequestration and habitat use

2017/18 • $242,583
Brownfield management represents an important opportunity for carbon (C) sequestration and storage to helpmeet industrial climate change mitigation targets. C is four times more plentiful in the terrestrial biosphere thanin the atmosphere, but conventional ecosystem management for climate change...

Monitoring land reclamation and ecosystem sustainability in the Greater Sudbury Region

2014/15-2017/18 • $127,750
A collaborative research project was initiated in 2005 with funding from NSERC, Vale - Limited and Glencore. Key results from the initial two phases that focused on assessing the sustainability of reclaimed lands in the Greater Sudbury Region (GSR) can be summarized as follows: 1) the...

Data driven seismic hazard evaluation in Canadian mines

2016/17-2017/18 • $113,000
Large seismic events are regular occurrences in deep Canadian mines. In Ontario and Quebec, statistics show that large events (magnitude = +2) are recorded almost 3 times per month. This is a common industry problem, occurring in many mines. There are at least 20 seismic monitoring systems in...

Pipeline wear in minefill distribution systems

2012/13-2016/17 • $599,023
The Canadian mining industry is faced with international competition and diminishing mineral reserves. To remain competitive, the industry must reduce the cost of mining and increase productivity while maintaining a high standard of safety. Sustainability must be an integral part of the mining...

Bioaccessibility, bioavailability and mineralogy of soil metal contaminants for application to site specific risk assessment

2012/13-2016/17 • $472,500
Metal contaminants in soil can pose a risk to human health through exposure via ingestion or inhalation of soil particles and absorption of the contaminant by the gut or lung. Regulations governing the cleanup of contaminated sites mostly calculate the potential dose by measuring the total...

Development of a marine biotic ligand model for nickel

2015/16-2016/17 • $128,786
The Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) is a computational tool used in a range of risk-based regulatory approaches for metals, including the establishment of bioavailability-based environmental quality guidelines and chemical safety registrations. In freshwater (FW) environments the BLM approach has been...

Metal mixtures - Is 'concentration addition' the correct model for terrestrial ecological risk assessment?

2013/14-2015/16 • $653,812
Canada's mining industry an important economic driver - it employs over 300,000 Canadians and is the largest private employer of aboriginal Canadians, contributing 3.5% of Canada's GDP. In Canada, the risk assessment for a site with multiple contaminants is based on the concentration of each...

Development of dynamic operational risk management tool for processing system

2013/14-2015/16 • $284,150
Built upon the analysis of the frequency and consequences of potential accidents, risk assessment is an important tool for safety assessment in process, nuclear and aerospace industries. Although the frequency of events with consequences of high severity is often very low, one might hope but...

Nanoparticle flotation collectors

2013/14-2015/16 • $225,000
High-grade nickel ores in the Thompson Nickel Belt are being depleted, threatening Canadian jobs. Although the Nickel Belt also contains large amounts of ultramafic ore these deposits have been considered too low-grade for economical operation using conventional processing techniques. Pelton's...

Dynamic modelling and simulation of a sulphuric acid plant in an industrial copper-nickel smelter

2012/13-2015/16 • $155,200
With increasingly strict regulatory requirements, the operation of a sulphuric acid plant is vital for stable smelter performance. Despite its importance, very few examples on modelling the process can be found in the literature. This project proposes to develop a detailed transient model of a...

Evaluation of fault-slip potential in underground mines

2014/15-2015/16 • $96,000
It is not uncommon that geological structures such as faults and shear zones are found in underground hard rock mines in Canada. In the case that faults are located close to active mining areas, the extraction of ore could cause the fault to suddenly move thus creating strong seismic waves...

Preparation of an adsorbent matrix modified with nanomaterials for the removal and recovery of metals and selected anions from mine waters

2015/16 • $41,150
The main objective of this research is the development of a technology that would allow the capture by adsorption of metals on a filtration support modified with nanomaterials. The adsorbing support would be made of wastes such as ashes coming from the combustion of coal in thermoelectric power...

Reliability and availability modeling and failure prediction of Kruna Electric Haul Trucks and improvement of current maintenance policies

2015/16 • $25,000
Vale's operations in Sudbury are among the largest on the planet, employing approximately 4,000 people. An underground copper/nickel mine located in Sudbury operates aggressively with an annual output of 100 million pounds of copper and 50 million pounds of nickel, in addition to other precious...

Hematite recovery from HPAL residue

2015/16 • $25,000
The proposed project investigates the opportunities to recover hematite, which is an iron feed suitable for steelmaking, from the residue of High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) process generated during the extraction of nickel and cobalt from low grade laterite ores. Finding scientifically sound and...

Role of terrestrial carbon and base cations in the recovery of damaged aquatic systems

2010/11-2014/15 • $500,000
Clean water and diverse communities of aquatic biota are so dependent on watershed processes that they can be considered "products" of healthy forests in the Boreal Shield Ecozone. Carbon inputs from the terrestrial watershed are key determinants of productivity of dilute lakes, with both...

Experimental and theoretical studies of the carbonylation and decarbonylation reactions involving nickel

2012/13-2014/15 • $428,279
One of the leading industrial processes used for the extraction of nickel from processed ores is via the formation and subsequent decomposition of Ni(CO)4, as discovered by Mond, Langer and Quincke in 1890. Exposure of the oxidized ore to pure CO at 80-100 oC produces the volatile and toxic...

Spatial distribution and genetic models of Cu-Ni-PGE systems associated with the Sudbury structure

2010/11-2014/15 • $369,539
Sudbury is a unique place on Earth. The Sudbury basin is a deformed meteoritic impact crater (now filled with sedimentary rocks) that was created 1,850 million years ago. The impact of the meteor produced a crater estimated at 200 km diameter and the energy released on impact melted a large...

Validation of microwave rock conditioning for mechanical excavation

2012/13-2014/15 • $332,095
Hard rocks were and they still are a big challenge for most of both civil and mining projects, such as tunneling and underground excavations. The assistance of microwave energy on a conventional mechanical rock breakage system, as a novel technique, will be extensively investigated. Microwave...

Advanced engineering of rock support for rockburst-prone mines

2011/12-2014/15 • $313,350
As mining progresses to deeper grounds, mining-induced rock failure, seismicity and rockburst problems increase significantly. As an important line of defense, ground control measures and burst-resistant rock support are used to prevent or minimize damage to excavations and therefore enhance...

Drift destressing in deep mines.

2013/14-2014/15 • $127,761
Strainbursting is the unpredictable and often violent ejection of rock from the face or sidewalls of advancing drifts in deep mines in hard rock. With the increasing depth of many mines in Ontario, the incidence of these events is increasing, which is leading to increasing risk of injury to mine...

Preparation of an absorbent matrix modified with nanomaterials for the removal and recovery of metals and selected anions from mine waters

2013/14-2014/15 • $93,850
The main objective of this research is the development of a technology that would allow the capture by adsorption of metals on a filtration support modified with nanomaterials. The adsorbing support would be made of wastes such as ashes coming from the combustion of coal in thermoelectric power...

Impact assessment and development of strategies for restoring reptile and amphibian biodiversity in mining-disturbed environments

2013/14-2014/15 • $47,700
Sudbury, Ontario has the dubious distinction of being historically known for its "lunar landscape" resulting from mining operations. Today, Sudbury is a different place, a green place. Through extensive collaborations among the mining industry (Vale, Xstrata), the city, and the local community,...

The origin of Sudbury Breccia: A microanalytical approach

2014/15 • $25,000
Impact cratering is one of the most important geological processes in the Solar System. It has played animportant role in Earth's history, shaping the geological landscape, affecting the evolution of life, andgenerating economic resources. The approximately 200 km diameter, 1.8 billion year old...

NSERC Hydrogen Canada (H2CAN) Strategic Research Network

2010/11-2013/14 • $3,923,325
No summary

Research towards biotic ligand models for metals in saltwater environments: chemical and biological perspectives

2010/11-2013/14 • $493,640
The Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) is a computational approach for the generation of Water Quality Criteria. In freshwater (FW) environments the BLM approach has been a success for the metals industries, regulatory bodies, & the environment. Using BLM methodologies, appropriate & protective...

Fundamental study of sulfide mineral flotation in high saline water

2011/12-2013/14 • $480,000
Water is a process medium in many industrial applications, including mineral processing, oil sands extraction, and coal washing. Fresh water is also a limited resource essential to life. Industrial use of potable water is being viewed with increasing scrutiny around the world. Recycling/reuse of...

Colloidal solvent extraction

2011/12-2013/14 • $186,500
No summary

Monitoring land reclamation and plant conservation of metal-contaminated and uncontaminated areas in the Sudbury region: application of molecular, cytological, and soil analyses

2010/11-2013/14 • $156,000
A collaborative research project was initiated in November 2005 with funding from NSERC, Vale - INCO and Xstrata - Nickel. During the first phase of the project (2005 - 2009), seven M.Sc. theses and three undergraduate projects were completed. In addition, data collected and analyzed during the...

Development of a yellow perch microarray for the detection of metal stress

2010/11-2012/13 • $279,845
Cell proteins serve a vast number of essential functions. Examples of protein functions include enzymes, membrane transporters and channels, intracellular ligands and hormone receptors. Living organisms produce proteins from genetic codes recorded in genes stored as DNA, which are transcribed...

Selective sulfation roasting of Ni concentrate to minimize off-gas pollution

2010/11-2012/13 • $260,600
This project aims at developing a new and more environmental friendlyprocess to treat nickel sulphide concentrate. Today, concentrate is sent to nickel smelters where it is oxidized with air to release SO2 and form a solid nickel calcine. This calcine is then sent to electric furnaces for...

Fundamental study of diethylenetriamine (DETA) as pyrrhotite depressant for selective flotation of pentlandite

2010/11-2012/13 • $150,000
One of the key operations at Vale Inco's Clarabelle mill is to reject pyrrhotite in order to reduce SO2 emission in Sudbury area. The improvement in operation efficiency in selective separation of pentlandite from pyrrhotite using froth flotation has been a tough challenge at both Vale Inco and...

Enhancement of cemented rockfill design and practice

2012/13 • $122,000
Ore dilution is defined as the accidental contamination of the blasted mineralized rock (ore) with waste material such as mine backfill or waste rock. As a result, the economic value of the blasted (diluted) ore is reduced. Thus, it is important for a mining operation to take all possible...

Interactions between plant acclimation and adaptation to heavy metal and drought stresses, and their importance for remediation of metal-contaminated environments

2010/11-2012/13 • $64,769
Elevated levels of heavy metals close to mines, smelters and refineries, such as found around Sudbury, Ontario, reduce the growth of plants and can even be lethal for them. The resulting soil exposure leads to erosion and emissions of metal-containing dust in the surroundings. Phytoremediation,...

Influence of Time on Stope Stability and Dilution

2011/12-2012/13 • $60,397
Open stope mining is one of the most commonly practiced mining methods in Canada. The stability of the open stope excavations is important to the overall effectiveness of this mining method. Some of the costs caused by stope instability are as follows: 1. ) Instability in the ore walls of...

Impact assessment and development of strategies for restoring reptile and amphibian biodiversity in mining-disturbed environments

2012/13 • $25,000
Sudbury, Ontario has the dubious distinction of being historically known for its "lunar landscape" resulting from mining operations. Today, Sudbury is a different place, a green place. Through extensive collaborations among the mining industry (Vale, Xstrata), the city, and the local community,...

Partnership with Vale to characterize microbial community of acid mine drainage

2012/13 • $25,000
Vale and the Gauthier research group will work together to characterize the sediment microbial community at a Vale acid mine drainage (AMD) site in Copper Cliff, Ontario as a step toward harnessing naturally occurring microbial organisms for improved environmental remediation practices. Recent...

Development of advance geophysical techniques for minerals exploration, ore delineation and mine planning

2010/11-2011/12 • $266,350
The mining and minerals processing industries annually contribute $40 billion (3.6% of the GDP) to the Canadian economy through both direct expenditures in the industry and associated communities and through commodity exports. While significant mineral reserves remain to be discovered in Canada...

Geotechnical risk assessment of haulage drifts during the life of a mine plan

2011/12 • $87,420
In a globally competitive minerals market, Canadian mines continue to face the pressure to reduce costs. One approach to reducing mining costs is by the reduction of unplanned interruptions to production for the rehabilitation of haulage drifts. These drifts are the principal roadways for...

Synchrotron characterization of carbonyl Ni

2011/12 • $25,000
This project aims to characterize the trace impurities present in nickel pellets produced by Vale-Canada using the carbonyl extraction process. Understanding what impurities are present, and their distribution through the nickel samples, is vitally important to Vale-Canada to ensure the...

Application of molten salt hydrates to laterite upgrading

2010/11 • $61,000
Molten Salt Hydrates (MSHs) are promising media for chemical metallurgical processes. These are highly concentrated salt solutions, for example, molten FeSO4-7H2O or CaCl2-4H2O where the polar water molecule is bound to the salt. This gives MSHs a number of unusual properties that put them in a...

Examination of the effects of mixtures, metals, and toxicity modifying factors on fathead minnow at Vale Inco, Junction Creek, Sudbury, ON

2010/11 • $54,490
The mining industry is of great importance to Canada, employing close to 400,000 Canadians and contributing $40.8 billion to the economy (2003 statistics). The benefits of mining however, come with environmental consequences. Mines discharge significant amounts of treated effluents to...

Thiosalts in mining and metals processing

2010/11 • $53,500
Thiosalts are sulphur oxides produced in the processing of sulphide ores. During the milling, grinding, and floatation of the ore or in the hydrometallurgical processing of the mineral to recover metals, partial oxidation occurs forming thiosalts. Thiosalts can pass through traditional effluent...

Emily Flynn

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Gavin Mercer

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Adam Wicks

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Nicole Williams

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Kevin Bell

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Thomas Crummell

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JeanLuc Deveau

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Tyler Evans

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Cody Hynes

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Brett Kelly

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Benjamin Mesh

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Laura Roche

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James White

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Ashley Viscount

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Ashley Mercer

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Corinne Smith

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Ryan Gillespie

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Chris Budgell

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Adrian Cuomo

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Jeffrey Wall

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Joshua Grouchy

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Lauren Moir

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