Mining continues to be a significant part of Greater Sudbury's economy. Sudbury has recently been the focus of international markets as corporate takeovers of both Falconbridge and INCO took place. Falconbridge was turned into a nickel division (called Xstrata Nickel) of Swiss-based Xstrata. INCO was bought by Brazil's CVRD. These takeovers signal what many believe is a "New Era In Mining".

Local Centres for Research and Development

As one of the world's most important mining centres, our expertise in the minerals sectors has produced a robust mining technologies sector. The following organizations specialize in research and innovation specific to the mining and minerals sector.

Housed at Cambrian College's Barrydowne Campus, the NORTHERN ONTARIO CENTRE FOR ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY (NORCAT) is a not-for-profit, non-share corporation that helps Northern Ontario companies and entrepreneurs in the mining, mineral, northern construction, environmental and forestry sectors. The organization's mission is to work with the private and public sectors as an economic development agent to create wealth through the intelligent deployment of appropriate technology, and as an agent supporting occupational health and safety in the workplace.


 Many of these organizations are based out of Laurentian University, including:


The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), located in Sudbury, Ontario, is continuing its research and development efforts to facilitate the delivery of step-change research initiatives which are deemed critically important to the mining industry. It strives to establish excellence in strategic areas of research: deep mining, mineral exploration, integrated mine engineering, environmental and sustainability.

Industry focused or driven strategic R&D projects now constitute the primary focus for CEMI. These projects embrace topics identified by industry as having top priority for further research and are consistent with CEMI's strategic objective to become a global leader in specific research niches.

Strategic Research Programs:

  • FindMine – Mineral Exploration Research and Geophysics
  • GeoRisk – Risk Mitigation for Mining Highly Stressed Ore Bodies at Depth
  • ValueMine – Mine Design to Extract Optimal Mining Value
  • ConstructMine – Underground Mine Construction
  • SustainMine – Environmental Studies and Sustainability
  • MineDeep – Cost Reduction and Productivity Enhancement
  • MineTech – Enabling Technologies Supporting Research and development


Housed at the Willet Green Miller Centre at Laurentian University, MIRARCO is comprised of several applied research centres geared to the mining industry. It specializes in environmental monitoring and ecosystem management, geomechanics and mine design, mineral exploration and ore extraction.


MERC is a semi-autonomous research centre affiliated with the Department of Earth Sciences at Laurentian University. It's objectives are to:

(1) Promote collaborative university-government-industry research on mineral deposits and Precambrian geology;

(2) Pursue a fundamental understanding of mineral deposits and their geological settings;

(3) Aid the Canadian mining industry in the discovery of ore deposits;

(4) Train geologists in mineral exploration research techniques.


GRIP, established by researchers at Laurentian University, has been conducting research related to health and safety involving the operation of mobile mining equipment since 1999. The primary research directions include line of sight evaluation, whole-body vibration exposure measurements and the development of training materials (using virtual reality technology). GRIP researchers have also been involved with the development of virtual reality training modules for mine rescue control groups. More recently GRIP researchers have started to conduct research in the areas of "knowledge-transfer", and "organizational readiness" for implementation of research findings.


Educational Objective: To enhance and support teaching in mining automation/robotics and in the application of new technologies in the mining sector.

Research Objective: To provide research expertise in mining automation and to develop strong industrial links with Canadian companies focusing in new mining technologies.