The head of the world’s leading gold-streaming company is making a $10-million donation to Laurentian University’s Department of Earth Sciences and its Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC).
David Harquail was in Sudbury on Sept. 6 to announce the donation through his family foundation, the Midas Touch Foundation which supports charities, hospitals, education and the arts.
It’s the largest commitment by the foundation to date.
The university’s board of governors decided to rename the department as the Harquail School of Earth Sciences and associate ongoing MERC efforts with the Harquail name.
“Laurentian University is already a global leader in mineral exploration research,” said Harquail in a news release. “This is a step towards making Laurentian the leading centre for mineral exploration research in the world. Laurentian has mining in its DNA with its location next to mines and a cluster of mining related government departments and research agencies on campus. Success will come from the development of new concepts and tools to find the next generation of ore deposits.”
An $8.4-million endowment will be created to support new research chairs, lab equipment and supplies, technical support and scholarships for international PhD students. The balance of $1.6 million will allow for the immediate recruitment of a research chair in exploration targeting.
Franco-Nevada has royalty interests on over 260 mineral properties globally, including Northern Ontario. The company’s sponsors Laurentian’s Goodman School of Mines and Harquail serves on its global advisory board.
“This research is fundamental because the discovery of ore bodies creates value for all of society,” said Harquail. “Mining companies deliver that value by building and operating the mines. And that value is shared with all levels of government, the First Nations and the overall economy through the multiplier effect. None of this can happen without that initial discovery.”
“Canada disproportionately benefits from its entrepreneurial strength in global mineral exploration. Even discoveries outside of Canada contribute to the well-being of Canadians. Canada’s resource entrepreneurs have been among the most generous philanthropists in this country benefiting many universities, hospitals and other institutions,” added Harquail.
“The mining industry’s exploration efforts are at a low ebb and are focused on the near term,” said Dr. Douglas Tinkham, director of the Harquail School of Earth Sciences. “The university is committed to the longer term science that could lead to new discoveries. This investment helps us to build the capacity to do that science.”