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Feds drop $3.5M to green underground mining

Announcement supports electric vehicles, improved air delivery
FVT Research, which manufactures battery-electric drive systems, is developing a 14-ton battery-electric vehicle. (Supplied photo/FVT Research)

FVT Research is developing a 14-ton battery-electric vehicle for use in underground mining, and a Feb. 11 infusion of $2 million in federal cash should help in that endeavour.

FVT, which has offices in British Columbia and Sudbury, manufactures battery-electric drive systems. 

It’s received $2 million from Natural Resources Canada's Clean Growth Program, which invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada's energy, mining and forest sectors.

The company will use the funds to design, development and test a 14-ton battery-electric vehicle for underground mining, converting the equipment from diesel power. 

"FVT Research look (sic) forward to bringing our Canadian technologies to the underground mining industry and improving the world's environment, the work environment, and the profitability of the industry,” said Todd Pratt, FVT’s CEO, in a news release.

A second recipient, the Sudbury-based Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corp. (MIRARCO), received $1.5 million from the fund.

The non-profit research organization is working to develop natural heat exchange engineering technology (NHEET), which is a method for the engineering of natural heat exchangers using fractured rocks to improve air delivery in deep underground mines.

MIRARCO is partnering with Laurentian University, CanmetMINING and Cambrian College on the project.

“With a successful project outcome, NHEET systems will contribute to safer working environments in deep mines, exploiting a natural heat exchange mechanism that displaces costly artificial refrigeration and heating,” Jennifer Abols, MIRARCO’s president and CEO, said in the release.

“Mining companies that would like to participate in this project are warmly invited to contact us."