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NORCAT secures $1.1M for mine test centre

Addition to Onaping facility will provide offices, meeting rooms
NORCAT front
An artist's rendering depicts what the new NORCAT above-ground facility will look like when complete. (Supplied image)

The above-ground expansion at NORCAT’s underground test facility in Sudbury is getting another round of provincial funding.

On Aug. 5, the province announced it would provide $1.1 million to the facility, which brings the province’s total contribution to $1.65 million.

"With our government's support, we are making it possible for mining companies to develop new technologies, invest and create good jobs in the North," Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli said in a news release.

"We are keen to show the world that Ontario and its mining sector are open for business and open for jobs – and that also means being open for research and training."

NORCAT announced the $4-million expansion last spring. It will add 12,000 square feet of space to the complex, including new offices for technology companies, demonstration space, and meeting rooms for buyers and sellers to conduct business.

Situated northwest of the city in the community of Onaping, the underground facility was established in 1997 at the former operating Fecunis Adit Mine, previously owned by Falconbridge (now Glencore).

There, clients can develop, test and commercialize new mining technologies. Mine workers also undergo hands-on training and skills development, ensuring they’re up to date on the most modern equipment and processes.

"With this investment in our new above-ground facility at the NORCAT Underground Centre, the Government of Ontario is helping to shape the future of innovation and technology in the global mining industry," NORCAT CEO Don Duval said in the release.

"As the only innovation centre in the world with an operating mine, NORCAT is thrilled that Ontario's investment in our expansion will help reinforce our reputation as the one-stop-shop global destination for all that is the future of mining technology, innovation, and skills training."

In June, the federal government provided $1.4 million for the facility.