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sector_ico_Mining_trans Mining

Development of innovative tools for the environmental assessment of metal contaminated sites

  • Project Leaders: Chris Kennedy, May Quach
  • Institutions: Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • Budget: $97463
  • Program/Competition: User Partnership Program
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2014
  • Status: Closed

Casino Mining Corporation was looking for a way to recover as much of the gold and copper as possible and treat effluent that results from operations in a way that least impacts the environment.  This is challenging when complex geology and potential metal leaching is involved.

This project used genomic tools to identify local microbial communities that may be responsible for significant naturally observed reductions in copper in waterways. Industry aquatic toxicologists teamed up with genomic experts and sequenced biofilm samples and characterized the genes involved in tolerating acidic and metals-rich environments. This study paved the way for bioremediation as a mitigation strategy used to reduce metals concentrations in watercourses.