The RIME’s research program focuses on several major themes related to mining and the environment. Our program currently includes several research chairs and a dozen major research projects. In addition to the financial support provided by our industrial partners, funding for research is provided by both provincial and federal funding agencies from Quebec and Canada.

Research Themes

Mine site reclamation

Circular economy applied to mines: valorization and integrated management of wastes

Geotechnical and geoenvironmental stability of mine waste storage facilities

Water quality prediction

Treatment and management of mine waters

Transport of contaminants in the environment

Influence of climatic conditions

Knowledge sharing and exchanges with local communities

Research Chairs

NSERC-UQAT industrial chair on mine reclamation

Chairholder : Bruno Bussière

The long-term goal of this Research Chair is to develop reclamation strategies that limit the environmental impacts and risks of mining. This industrial chair has enabled the development of innovative new technologies, as well as the improvement of existing technologies, for the reclamation of tailings storage facilities and waste rock piles.

Research projects

Reclamation of tailings storage facilities in the context of climate change: Development of adaptation tools and their applications

Principal Investigator : Bruno Bussière

The completion of this project will help the mining industry and governments to better adapt to climate change by adjusting the design of reclamation methods and taking into account long-term evolution of vegetation at mine sites.

Optimization of the production of desulfurized tailings in order to use them in the reclamation of mine sites

Principal Investigator : Isabelle Demers

The main objective of this project is to valorize desulfurized tailings as cover materials and to ensure the long-term effectiveness of covers made from desulfurized tailings.

Valuation of sludge for the control of dust dispersion by wind erosion and for the reclamation of mine sites

Principal Investigator : Mamert Mbonimpa

This project aims to develop tools for the valorization of sludge for the control of dust raised by wind in tailings storage facilities, as well as for the reclamation of tailings storage facilities.

Reduction of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and Contaminated Neutral Drainage (CND) produced from mine wastes

Principal Investigator : Isabelle Demers

This research project will provide new approaches for mine waste management, both for tailings and wastes rocks, that are applicable during mining operations and that will reduce long-term environmental risks.

Optimization of rheological properties to minimize the hydraulic segregation of tailings from hard rock mines

Principal Investigator : Mamert Mbonimpa

Given that the susceptibility for hydraulic segregation of mine tailings is governed by their rheological properties for a given hydrodynamic flow, this project aims at controlling the rheological properties of mine tailings to minimize their segregation during their deposition.

Characterization and treatment of emerging contaminants in mine effluents

Principal Investigator : Carmen Mihaela Neculita

This project seeks to improve characterizations of mine effluents and as well as the performance of treatment techniques for emerging contaminants.

Influence of revegetation on the water balance of covers used in mine site reclamation

Principal Investigator : Marie Guittonny

The main objective of this multidisciplinary project is to better calibrate numerical models of the water balance of covers used for mine site reclamation and determine the impacts of vegetation on their long-term performance.

Research projects completed

  • Treatment of mine waters contaminated with cyanides and their derivatives (C. Neculita)
  • NSERC’s Toward Environmentally Responsible Resource Extraction Network (TERRE-NET) (B. Bussière, I. Demers)
  • Cemented mine backfill used in permafrost (M. Mbonimpa)
  • Prediction of mine drainage quality in northern climates and its treatment (C. Neculita)
  • Influence of vegetation on the performance of oxygen barriers to control acid mine drainage (B. Bussière)
  • Development of a methodological approach to integrate climate change into the design of tailings impoundments and reclamation infrastructures (B. Bussière)
  • Thickening of tailings pulps for surface deposition or the production of cemented mine backfills using superabsorbent polymers (T. Belem)
  • Treatment of salinity and associated toxicity in mining effluents (C. Neculita)
  • Passive treatment of highly contaminated acid mine drainage (G. Zagury)
  • Development of a waste rock pile management method to limit the production of contaminated drainage by controlling water infiltration (B. Bussière)
  • Reforestation and revegetation of mine sites (M. Guittonny)
  • Disposal of waste rocks to minimize their environmental impact: Optimal design of waste rock piles and innovative use of waste rocks at mine sites (M. Aubertin)
  • Backfilling and disposal of solid wastes for safer and more sustainable mine development: Studies on the interactions between embankments and deep mining structures (L. Li)
  • Integrated management of mine wastes for open pit mines: Evaluation of a disposal approach for tailings and reactive waste rocks in pits (L. Li)
  • Valorization of waste rocks directly at mine sites (L. Li)
  • Optimization of the use of waste rock inclusions in tailings impoundments to improve their short- and long-term performance (M. Aubertin)