The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has granted the Yukon Research Centre (YRC) its third award in the last two years. Over the next two years, YRC will use this $200,000 grant to focus on building capacity for mine closure and site remediation in the Yukon through the College and Community Innovation Program of NSERC. This program aims to build collaboration between community colleges, researchers and the private sector, while benefiting Canadians.
“Yukon College is expanding northern innovation and research opportunities through collaboration, and our continued success with NSERC funding is a testament to how strong the Yukon Research Centre has become”, said Chris Hawkins, vice-president research, Yukon College.
Partnering with a host of local and national partners, YRC will focus on three different experiments relating to mine reclamation. These three focus areas include the revegetation and reclamation of mine tailings using biochar; exploring waste water treatments using various amendments; and using mushrooms, compost, and willow to clean up contaminated soils.
“This funding gives us an opportunity to advance our knowledge and capacity in the field of mine site bioremediation,” says Ken Nordin, Laberge Environmental Services. “We have always been keen to find ways to use local materials to solve local environmental problems and this project allows us to explore just that.”
In addition to Laberge Environmental Services, YRC has partnered with the University of Montreal, the City of Whitehorse, Boreal Composting Enterprises, Rising Sun Innovations, and Arctic Backhoe. Researchers have begun their studies, hired Yukon College summer students, and field work has begun.