Canada injects C$5m into Goldcorp’s Borden mine as prize for innovation

Goldcorp (TSX:G) (NYSE:GG) received Monday C$5 million (about $3.8m) from the Canadian government for its Borden gold project, as part of the country's efforts to boost innovation in cleaner, more sustainable mining practices.

Located near Chapleau, Ontario, about 160 km west of the company’s Porcupine mine, Borden will be Canada’s first fully-electric operation. By replacing all diesel mobile equipment with battery electric vehicles, Goldcorp expects to eliminate all greenhouse gases (GHGs) associated with the movement of ore and waste rock, equal to roughly 50% of the total GHGs on site, or 5,000 tons of CO2 per year.

By moving away from diesel at its Borden mine, Goldcorp will avoid more than 7,500 tonnes of CO2 and cut 3 million litres of fuel.

“We believe the days of diesel use for underground mining equipment are numbered and electrification of our mobile fleet is a logical way to significantly reduce the mine’s environmental footprint,” said the company's President and CEO, David Garofalo in an emailed statement.

“We are partnering with like-minded technology suppliers like Maclean Engineering and Sandvik, provincial and federal governments and First Nations to commercialize clean technologies, improve health and safety performance, and reduce GHG emissions with the aim of improving the viability, sustainability and profitability of our mines,” Garofalo noted.

Funding for the project, announced Monday by Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, Amarjeet Sohi, together with Parliamentary Secretary Paul Lefebvre, will be provided through the fast track stream of Natural Resources Canada's Clean Growth Program (CGP) — a $155-million investment fund for clean technology research, development and demonstration projects in the energy, mining and forest sectors.

"Improved environmental performance in Canada's mining sector is one of the key paths to a low-carbon economy," said minister Sohi. "This project helps advance clean technologies to commercial readiness, creates good, middle-class jobs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions."

Borden, scheduled to open late next year, hosts proven and probable reserves of 950,000 oz. gold in 4.1 million tonnes grading 7.14 g/t gold.

The operation will rely on digital and smart controls, including tele-remote technology to maximize equipment use for continuous mining, and will also consider renewable energy such as biomass for heating.