New Gold contributes to creation of research chair position

Mining company the latest to put funding towards national chair position

Lauchlan Fraser (left) is a candidate for a NSERC research chair position in ecosystem reclamation. (Thompson Rivers University)

Lauchlan Fraser (left) is a candidate for a NSERC research chair position in ecosystem reclamation. (Thompson Rivers University)

New Gold, the company that operates the New Afton copper and gold mine just outside of Kamloops, has pledged $200,000 towards the creation of a research chair position in ecosystem reclamation at TRU.

New Gold’s pledge is the third towards the position, following contributions from Genome BC of $250,000 in December 2015 and the Real Estate Foundation of BC of $150,000 in April.

To qualify for matched funding from the federal government, the position must first receive $1.5 million.

The research chair position would likely be filled by TRU’s Lauchlan Fraser, who has been researching how land impacted by mining, forestry and ranching can be repaired and reclaimed.

TRU has bigger plans beyond the position, as well, with hopes to one day create a Centre for Ecosystem Reclamation, which would be the first of its kind in Canada.

“These investments speak to the value of the research being undertaken at TRU. This research will not only solve local challenges, but it will also have an impact at an international level,” said TRU President Alan Shaver.

New Gold has supported research at TRU before, including Ann Cheeptham’s research into White Nose Syndrome, a disease caused by fungus that has killed bats all across North America. The company is allowing TRU researchers to use the bat hibernaculum (cave) on its property.