NBIF investment creates new opportunity for mining in New Brunswick

NBIF investment creates new opportunity for mining in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON (NB)—The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation today announced an investment of $165,000 to help build a new, high-powered laser ablation laboratory for Dr. Chris McFarlane at the University of New Brunswick. The new technology will allow Dr. McFarlane and his colleagues to help locate undiscovered deposits of precious metals and other ores in New Brunswick bedrock.

“There are significant gold and silver resources contained in the Bathurst ores that were previously overlooked, or shelved, due to the difficulty in measuring their abundance using traditional analysis techniques,” McFarlane says, “this new instrumentation will allow us to turn a painstaking process that took several days into to one that takes just a few minutes.”

The laboratory will use a deep UV laser connected to a mass spectrometer to probe the chemistry of rocks and minerals at quantities as small as one part per billion. The facility will be used to analyze and measure metals found in ore deposits all over the province and beyond, and will also support materials science research associated with a new solar cell manufacturing facility in Miramichi.

“This facility has the potential to breathe new life into New Brunswick’s mining industry,” says NBIF president and CEO Calvin Milbury, “the innovative processes that doctor McFarlane is developing and his ability to attract industry partners could make a difference when it comes to uncovering new opportunities for the province’s mining resources.”

Other financial contributors to the new laboratory include five major industry partners and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

“Having the most advanced facilities is imperative for all of our researchers at the University,” says UNB Vice-president of research Dr. Gregory Kealey, “the NBIF’s role in providing the matching funds that national granting agencies require is critical to our success as a research and teaching institution, not to mention developing partnerships with those industries that will employ many of our graduates here, in New Brunswick.”

Dr. McFarlane’s funding was awarded under the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation’s Innovation Capacity Development Initiative. For more information about that initiative visit http://nbif.ca/eng/research/rif/capacity/

The New Brunswick Innovaiton Foundation is an independent corporation that supports the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in New Brunswick.  The Foundation’s mandate is to strengthen the innovation capacity of New Brunswick by making investments in applied research and in new, growth-oriented businesses.

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