Research Institute of Mines and Environment

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

Mineral, chemical and environmental characterizations. Prediction of geochemical behaviours.

Areas of expertise

For over 20 years, the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue has contributed to the development of knowledge supporting the growth of the Quebec and Canada mining industry. In recent years, no other university in Quebec has explicitly identified the mining sector in its strategic plan as a distinct aspect of its contribution to science and technology, or provided as much support for the enhancement of mining industry knowledge. The creation of the Research Institute on Mines and Environment has made the university a leader in the field of mining environment research. The Institute’s laboratories are among the best equipped in Canada to perform mineral, chemical and environmental characterizations of mining waste.

Research services
  • Mineralogy (optical and electron microscopy/ X‑ray diffraction analysis)
  • Chemical analyses of solids and aqueous solutions
  • Static prediction tests for acid production potential
  • Kinetic geochemical prediction tests
  • Geotechnical tests
  • Development of cemented pastefill formulas
  • Hydrogeology
  • Mineral dressing
  • 3D geophysical modelling
Sectors of application
  • Education
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Mining, minerals and metals

Specialized lab



Open plan multifunctional lab

Shear box

Direct shear tests on samples of rock joints, backfill-rock joints and intact backfill


Mineral dressing facilities

Mineral dressing tests for environmental desulfurization and development of ways to process or recover economic minerals

Physicochemical characterizations

Helium pycnometer (GS)

Measuring of granular material density


Malvern laser particle-size analyser

Laser diffraction determination of particle size distribution


Thermogravimetric unit (TGA/DSC)

Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis


Gas chromatograph (GC)

Analysis of atmospheric gases and certain pollutant gases

Microscopy lab

Optical microscopes (2)

Polarized light microscopy (transmitted light and reflected light)


Hitachi S-3500N scanning electron microscope (SEM)


Very high-precision topographic imaging by electron microscope and elemental chemical analyses of mineral phases using a latest-generation energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) (Oxford 20 mm2 X-Max Silicon Drift Detector (SDD))

Geophysics lab

Handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) unit

Handheld X-ray fluorescence unit


FEMLAB modelling tools

Computer modelling tools to simulate physical phenomena such as electric current distribution, heat flow, electromagnetic fields and mechanical structures.


MAG-Conductance meter

Portable tool for measuring electrical conductivity and magnetic susceptibility of soil and rock


Gamma spectrometer

Portable measurement tool for characterizing radioactive element radiation intensity



Analysis of the zeta potential and mobility of the particles or colloids in suspension

Analytical chemistry lab

S and C analyser using an induction/resistance furnace

Analysis of carbon and total sulphur after combustion in an induction or resistance furnace. Also enables carbon speciation following chemical pretreatments


Microwave digester

Microwave/high-pressure assisted chemical digestion of solid samples, for inductively coupled plasma (ICP) analyses


Jar testers

Testings of active and passive treatment for acid mine drainage and contaminated neutral drainage


Infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometer

Diffuse reflectance (DRIFTS) and horizontal (HATR) analyses of substances absorbed on mineral surfaces

Analytical chemistry lab – cleanroom

Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES)

Elemental analyses of solutions for major and trace elements


Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

Elemental analyses of solutions for trace and ultra-trace elements


Ion chromatography system

Analysis of anions in aqueous solution


Volt-ampere meter

Cyclical voltammetry device for studying reactional mechanisms and ion speciation

Geotechnics (hydrogeology)


Analysis of viscosity of a wide array of fluids, particularly cemented pastefill


WP4T 100 bar membrane extraction system

Measuring of water retention curve for deformable and non-deformable fine-grained materials (determination of shrinkage curve) under suction


Rigid-wall and flexible-wall permeameters

Measuring of saturated hydraulic conductivity of granular materials


Consolidation bench

Measuring of consolidation of fine-grained materials  


Triaxial consolidation bench

Evaluation of shear resistance of granular materials

XRD lab

X-ray diffraction (XRD)

Qualitative and semi-quantitative determination of mineral phases in solid samples

2D/3D visualization

3D projection system

Projection of 2D/3D geoscience renderings

Geographical information systems (GIS) lab


Viewing of stereoscopic aerial photographs


Map reading table

Map viewing


GIS equipment (server, computer workstations, video projector, colour map printer)

Computer tools required for the production and visualization of geographical information tools

Mini mobile flotation plant

Mini mobile flotation plant

Mobile flotation facility with a capacity of approximately 50 kg solid/h


In situ environmental desulfurization


In situ ore processing tests

Mobile lab

Mobile lab for mining site characterization

Trailer with a lab section and a living section.

Fully equipped for the collection and in situ preparation of soil and water samples.

Multiparameter probes of land (pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP), temperature, depth, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, etc.).

Satellite communication equipment.

Microtrac granulometer.


  • The Canadian Malartic Partnership
  • IAMGOLD Corporation
  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
  • Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium Inc.
  • Glencore Raglan Mine