Laurentian Mining Innovation and Technology

Laurentian University’s newly created Mining Innovation and Technology (LMIT) is your single-access pathway to this very expertise.

The newly formed umbrella organization coordinates and promotes all mining-related research conducted at the University through centres such as the Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC), the Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH), the Vale Living with Lakes Centre (VLWLC) and the Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO). 

This one-stop approach to mining research enhances opportunities through synergistic and intuitive project alignments, shared resources, and focused coordination. Under the LMIT umbrella, 235 researchers are currently working in more than 20 mining-related disciplines.

Key Messages:

  • Laurentian University is striving to become a global leader in mineral  exploration, education and mining research and innovation.

  • Goodman School of Mines is focused on mining related education.

  • LMIT will be focused on the mining related research. 

  • LMIT will provide a united front to industry and government partners and will co-ordinate external relationships related to mining. 

  • LMIT will create new excitement and momentum as well as generate new research opportunities within a stronger and better focused profile for Laurentian’s research activity.

  • Our goal is a safer, more productive, more sustainable mining industry.


LMIT Strategic Plan will be available soon.


The Sudbury Advantage

  • The Sudbury Basin structure is a famous geological feature that hosts one of the largest concentrations of nickel-copper sulphides in the (37 mi.) long and 15 km (10 mi.) deep, is believed to have been formed by a meteorite impact 1.8 billion years ago.

  • Sudbury is home to the largest integrated mining complex in the world. There are 5,000 km (3,107 mi.) of mining tunnels under the Sudbury area. Placed end-to-end, you could drive from Sudbury to Vancouver underground.

  • The largest mining cluster in the world, Sudbury is recognized worldwide as the largest producer of nickel. 

  • Sudbury has over a dozen active mines within its city limits including those operated by global giants Glencore and Vale. Forty other smaller mining and exploration companies are also part of the cluster. 

  • Approximately 300 mining supply and service companies in Sudbury provide support to local mining operations.

  • Of the 256,000 mining-related jobs in Ontario, it is estimated that 14,000 of those jobs are in Sudbury.

  • Sudbury has the largest population in Northern Ontario with over 160,000 residents.

  • Sudbury has the third largest Francophone population in Canada outside of Quebec.

  • Sudbury has received numerous awards for its regreening science and extensive land and watershed reclamation programs, including the United Nations Local Government Award and the United States Chevron Award.

  • There are a total of 330 freshwater lakes within the city - more lakes than any other municipality in Canada. 

  • Through technological innovations Sudbury’s smelters, once the largest sources of SO2 in the world, have reduced air pollution by more than 95% leading to remarkable improvements in air, land and water quality. 

  • In 2015, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Dr. Arthur B. McDonald for his research on neutrinos at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. The specialized lab, located two kilometers underground at Creighton Mine, was made possible through a collaboration with mining giant Vale and other partners. This international research project involved more than 270 scientists.

  • The province of Ontario, through its Northern Ontario Growth Plan, is committed to investing in research and innovation that improves the efficiency of industry operations. Extraction and exploration technologies, environmental technologies, mine closure and rehabilitation processes are just some of the areas of focus. 


Mining-related research is everyone’s business. Let us collaborate for a stronger mining sector, for a stronger Ontario, for global positioning of Canada as the leading nation for all mining expertise.

CROSH provides a formalized structure for industry, safe workplace associations, labour groups, government organizations and researchers to share workplace injury and disease problems and solutions.


Research expertise covers the following disciplines:
•    Human Factors and Ergonomics
•    Occupational Health and Safety
•    Occupational Physiology and Environment


Current projects include:
•    Vibration induced injury prevention research program
•    Prevention of traumatic injury research program
•    Musculoskeletal industry prevention research program
•    Occupational Epidemiology
•    Workplace Mental Health and Cognitive Factors
•    Workplace Well-being and the Quality of Worklife
•    Health Effects of Exposure to Airborne Chemicals in the Workplace
•    Workplace Hazards and Reproductive Health


Complement of active researchers:
61, including 23 M.Sc. and 15 undergraduate students

The Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC) is an exploration geoscience centre focused on Precambrian ore systems research, education, and exploration methodology and targeting.


Research expertise covers the following disciplines:
•    Geochemistry
•    Geology
•    Geophysics
•    Environmental and reclamation research
•    Mineralogy


Current projects include:
•    Abitibi Greenstone Belt Gold deposits in Ontario and Quebec
•    Sudbury Low Sulfide, PGM-rich deposits
•    Copper, Zinc and Gold deposits in Manitoba
•    PGM, Copper and Zinc deposits in southern Africa
•    Geophysical projects include airborne - and ground-based electromagnetic and magnetic interpretation and modelling


Complement of active researchers: 
66, including 6 post-doctoral fellows, 30 PhD and 30 M.Sc. students

MIRARCO (Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation) has been developing innovative solutions for the mining industry and its challenges since 1998. As a unique hybrid organization which combines academic and professional dynamics, it has helped advance innovation and applied research in the mining sector for nearly two decades. 


Research expertise covers the following disciplines:
•    Geohazard Assessment and Risk Mitigation
•    Mining Safety Research and Risk Management
•    Ventilation and Production Optimization
•    Energy, Renewables and Carbon Management
•    Climate Adaptation and Sustainable Communities


Current projects include:
•    Rock Characterization and Stress Testing
•    Climate Change Adaptation Community of Practice
•    Schedule Optimization Tool
•    Floating Photovoltaics
•    Safety and Risk Management Training


Complement of active researchers:
50, including 4 M.Sc. and 10 PhD students

The Vale Living with Lakes Centre is a multidisciplinary research and monitoring institute designed to assist in the protection and management of northern aquatic ecosystems. It is  a place of experimentation and innovation where top young scientists are trained. It is a true incubator for the advancement of environmental science. 


Research expertise covers the following disciplines:
•    Aquatic / Wetland /Microbial/ Terrestrial Ecology
•    Reclamation and Restoration of Mining Impacted Lands
•    Bioassessment and Monitoring of Mining Disturbances
•    Biomining and Bioremediation of Tailings and Mine Rock
•    Climate Change and Multiple Stressor Interactions
•    Trophic Ecology and Contaminant Assessment
•    Science Communication, Science for Public Policy, International Exchange
•    Science Engagement with Far North Communities
•    Environmental Chemistry, Microbiology, Soil Science and Genomics


Current projects include:
•    Canadian NSERC Network for Aquatic Ecosystem Services
•    Land/Water Linkages in Restoration of Industrially Damaged Watersheds
•    Development of Technosols for Mine Reclamation using Organic Residues
•    Development of Cold Adapted Microbes for Biomining and Bioremedation
•    Assessment of Ecosystem Recovery Following Smelter Emission Reductions
•    Impacts of Industrial Disturbance on Wetland Greenhouse Gases
•     Climate Change Effects on Lakes, Wetlands and Mercury in Fish


Complement of active researchers: 
75, including 35 in-residence PDF, PhD, M.Sc. and
Science Communication students

Vic Pakalnis
Associate Vice-President, LMIT
705-675-1151 ext. 5110


Wendi Punkkinen
Program Coordinator, LMIT
705-675-1151 ext. 5075


General Information:
Office of Research Services
933 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, Ontario Canada
P3E 2C6


LMIT Steering Committee:

•    Osman Abou-Rabia
•    Sandra Dorman, CROSH
•    John Gunn, VLWL
•    Harold Gibson, MERC
•    Al Douglas, MIRARCO
•    Daniel Archambault