Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources is investing C$2 million (about $1.5m) in an initiative to develop an energy-efficient mining technology expected to reduce energy consumption at mine sites, cut costs and make remote operations more productive.
The Canada Mining Innovation Council’s project seeks to replace conventional crushers with technology that can reduce the crushing and grinding component of a mining site’s energy consumption by up to 40%.
Crushing and grinding rocks into smaller pieces is the most energy-consuming activity in a mining operation.
The project, funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, lowers costs for that part of the mining process by 30%.
The program is a C$155-million investment fund that helps emerging clean technologies further reduce their impacts on air, land and water, while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs.
The Canadian government is also funding two electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure projects in Quebec, run by Mogile Technologies.
One of them is testing a method to allow utilities to “dynamically adjust power output and pricing” at charging stations, based on predicted load use.
The second project will develop a single account for EV drivers to pay for the use of any charging station. That could improve the business model for charging infrastructure operators and make payment easier for drivers, Natural Resources Canada said.
“Getting more electric vehicles on the road is a practical and effective way for Canadians to reduce pollution and fight climate change,” minister Amarjeet Sohi said.
EV adoption in Canada currently sits at around 3% of the total number of vehicles, but as battery-fuelled cars get better, cheaper and more suited for the country’s climate, market analysts expect to see that number climb quickly.
Canada has also committed $25.4 million (C$33.7m) in northwestern Alberta’s first commercial-scale geothermal facility.
The project’s goal is to demonstrate that geothermal power is a viable and reliable power source. Complemented with existing energy sources, it can play a major role in phasing out coal, Sohi noted.
The facility will generate 5 MW of electricity annually, enough to power 6,800 homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 20,000 tpy.