Mine tailings and waste rock are produced as metals and minerals are mined. Legacy and active sites may contain concentrations of critical minerals and metals that were not technically recoverable or economically viable at the time of extraction. In some cases, tailings and waste rock may also present an opportunity to address environmental liabilities.
The program aims to:
- Assess suitable mine tailings and waste rock facilities in BC to undertake lab and field-scale studies for recovering and/or processing critical minerals and metals;
- Attract investment to BC by demonstrating an innovative approach to critical minerals and metals research and collaboration of researchers, governments, industry, academia, communities and Indigenous groups;
- Foster co-operation, expand research expertise and build capacity and training opportunities across mineral systems and the mining lifecycle; and
- Engage the broader minerals industry, from geoscience and exploration to mine development, mine reclamation and mineral processing.
As a trusted not-for-profit research organization that delivers independent geoscience to support Canada’s net-zero emissions economy, Geoscience BC is well-positioned to lead this important research program.