The government of Ontario, Canada, said it will invest in an underground mine that is operated as a research and training facility.
Vic Fedeli, minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, on behalf of Greg Rickford, minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, announced the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT) will receive more than $1.1 million in additional funding support to upgrade underground infrastructure and construct a permanent, above-ground building at its NORCAT Underground Centre.
This brings Ontario’s investment in the project to more than $1.65 million.
“With this investment in our new above-ground facility at the NORCAT Underground Centre, the Government of Ontario is helping to shape the future of innovation and technology in the global mining industry,” said Don Duval, CEO, NORCAT. “As the only innovation center in the world with an operating mine, NORCAT is thrilled that Ontario’s investment in our expansion will help reinforce our reputation as the one-stop-shop global destination for all that is the future of mining technology, innovation and skills training.”
Located near Sudbury in Onaping, Ontario, the facility enables companies to develop, test and showcase innovative and emerging technologies in an operating mine environment. It also serves as a hands-on training and skills development center to help ensure mine workers are up-to-date on the most modern equipment and processes.
The above-ground structure will provide office, meeting and workshop space, which NORCAT said is key to attracting and retaining international mining companies who will use the services or expand their operations at the center. Upgrading underground infrastructure will provide companies with access to cutting-edge technology and create new training and education opportunities.
“With our government’s support, we are making it possible for mining companies to develop new technologies, invest and create good jobs in the North,” said Fedeli. “We are keen to show the world that Ontario and its mining sector are open for business and open for jobs, and that also means being open for research and training.”
The facility reportedly supports more than 150 full-time direct and indirect jobs.