Research Institute of Mines and Environment

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec
What the facility does

Mineralogical, chemical, and environmental characterizations of mine wastes as well as prediction of their geochemical behaviours, mechanical and metallurgical testing; minesite restoration technologies development and testing. 

Areas of expertise

Since 1985, the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue has contributed to the development of knowledge supporting the growth of the mining industry in Quebec and Canada. In recent years, no other university in Quebec has explicitly made the mining sector a distinctive element of its contribution to science and technology in its strategic plan, and consequently, supported the development of knowledge in the mining sector to the same extent. The establishment of the Research Institute of Mines and Environment in 2011 has positioned UQAT as a leader in the field of mining environmental research. RIME's laboratories are among the best equipped in Canada to perform mineralogical, chemical, and environmental characterizations of mining wastes.

Research services
  • Mineralogy (optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X‑ray diffraction)
  • Chemical analyses of both solid materials and aqueous solutions
  • Static acid generation potential testing (acid-base accounting / ABA)
  • Revegetation
  • Kinetic testing to predict environmental behaviour (humidity cells, columns, large scale models)
  • Geotechnical testing
  • Cemented paste backfill (CPB) recipe development and testing
  • Hydrogeology measurement
  • Metallurgical testing
  • Construction of in situ test parcels
  • Environmental mine site monitoring
Sectors of application
  • Education
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Mining, minerals and metals
Specialized labEquipmentFunction
Open plan multifunctional labGCTS Testing Systems RDS-200 Direct Shear Testing SystemDirect shear tests on samples of rock joints, backfill rock joints and intact backfill.
 Mineral dressing equipment including flotation column, Denver cells, shaking table, magnetic separatorMineral dressing tests for environmental desulfurization and development of ways for processing or recovering minerals with commercial value.
Physicochemical characterizationsQuantachrome ULTRAPYC 1200e Helium pycnometer (GS)Determining the density of granular material.
 Malvern Mastersizer 3000 and Microtrac S3500 particle-size analyzersLaser diffraction determination of particle size distribution (0,01 to 3500 µm).
 Micrometrics Gemini Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area analyzerDetermination of surface area per unit of weight (m2/g).
Microscopy labZeiss Axio Imager.M2m light microscopePolarized light microscopy used with transmitted light and reflected light.
 Hitachi TM4000 II scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled with an Oxford 20 mm2 X-Max Silicon Drift Detector (SDD)
Precision topographic imaging by electron microscope and elemental chemical analyses of mineral phases using a latest-generation energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS).
Analytical chemistry labELTRA CS-2000 carbon and sulphur analyzer using an induction / resistance furnaceTotal carbon and sulphur analysis.
 SCP Science NovaWAVE microwave digestion systemMicrowave/high-pressure assisted chemical digestion of solid samples, for inductively coupled plasma (ICP) analyses.
 Claisse TheOx Advanced fusion instrumentPreparation of fused borate beads (FRX) or flux (ICP) by borate fusion.
Analytical chemistry lab – cleanroomAgilent 5800 inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) systemElemental analysis of solutions for major and trace elements.
 Agilent 7700x inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) systemElemental analyses of solutions for trace and ultra-trace elements.
 Metrohm 940 Professional IC Vario ion chromatography systemAnalysis of anions in aqueous solution.
 Shimadzu carbon and nitrogen analyzer (TOC-L and TNM-L)Nitrogen and Total Organic Carbon analysis in aqueous solutions.
 Perkin Elmer Flexar High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC)Analysis of organic compounds (e.g. hydrocarbons) in aqueous solutions.
 Agilent 3000A gas chromatograph (GC)Analysis of atmospheric gases and of certain pollutant gases.
Geotechnics and hydrogeologyTA Instruments AR 2000 RheometerViscosity analysis of a wide array of fluids, particularly cemented pastefill.
 WP4T 100 bar membrane extraction systemMeasure water retention curve of fine-grained materials.
 Rigid-wall (RWP) and flexible-wall (FWP) permeametersMeasure saturated hydraulic conductivity of granular materials.
 GDS Instruments Consolidation test bench (Rowe cell)Measure consolidation of fine-grained materials.
 GDS Instruments triaxial consolidation benchEvaluate shear resistance of granular materials.
XRD labBruker Advance D8 X-ray diffraction (XRD) systemQualitative and semi-quantitative determination of mineral phases in solid samples.
Mobile labMobile lab for mining site characterizationTrailer with a lab section and a living section. Fully equipped for collection and in situ preparation of soil and water samples. Multiparameter field probes (pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP), temperature, depth, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, etc.). Satellite communication equipment. Microtrac particle analyzer.


Research Institute of Mines and Environment at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.