The Yukon Research Centre (YRC) has been awarded $150,000 from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to support mine remediation research in the Yukon.
The funding will be used to build pilot-scale bioreactors at various mine sites around the Yukon and to purchase new lab equipment that will further support research in the removal of heavy metals.
Bioreactors contain natural materials like wood, gravel and peat moss that encourage bacteria to grow and eat heavy metals from soil and water. This technique is being tested by YRC researchers and local mines as a form of water treatment in the North.
“Our goal is to develop environmentally sound techniques for Yukon mines and to create scientific evidence that will be accepted by regulators in the mine closure plans”, said Dr. Amelie Janin, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mine Life Cycle, Yukon Research Centre.
This funding will also be used to purchase a machine that will measure nutrients and chemicals in soil and water that will enhance current research capacity at the YRC. This instrument expands the ever-increasing number of analytical instruments that will put the YRC laboratory on the map for environmental research in the North.
“YRC is leading the North in mine site remediation while transferring this knowledge to Yukon College students through training and employment opportunities in research and innovation”, said Dr. Karen Barnes, President, Yukon College.