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Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan support development of new environmental technology

September 30, 2011

Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Support
Development of New Environmental Technology

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — The federal and provincial governments will support Genome Prairie in working with the University of Saskatchewan, Contango Strategies Ltd. and Cameco Corporation on an initiative to develop and commercialize innovative technology that will help minimize environmental impacts and associated reclamation costs in uranium mining and milling industries.

The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and the Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister of First Nations and Métis Relations, on behalf of the Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Enterprise and Minister Responsible for Trade, today announced a combined investment of almost $1.5 million towards the creation of new software for Microbial Assessment for Value-Added, Environmental, and Natural Resources (MAVEN).

“Our Government’s first priority is the economic recovery and we recognize that it will increasingly depend on knowledge and innovation, which are engines of economic growth and job creation,” said Minister Yelich. “This project will assist in the reduction of operational costs associated with mining reclamation, ultimately resulting in substantial productivity improvements in the mining industry.”

MAVEN software will allow full analysis and application of efficiencies to enable the effective employment of microbes to absorb contaminants and significantly reduce the costs of reclamation. This technology is expected to provide significant savings and strengthen competitiveness within the uranium mining and milling industry, and be transferrable to other resource extraction, environmental, human health and agricultural sectors.

“Our rich uranium deposits and considerable mining sector make Saskatchewan an ideal location to develop and commercialize this innovative assessment tool,” said Minister Cheveldayoff. “We live in a world that is increasingly focused on environmental responsibility and this tool has the potential to affect this area of
concern to the benefit of the mining sector, broader industry and the people of this province.”

In addition to economic benefits, the creation and commercialization of this software will help reduce the environmental impacts of uranium mining and milling by the efficient use of naturally-occurring micro-organisms to offset reclamation efforts.

“We are pleased to have the support of the federal and provincial governments for this important project,” said Dr. Reno Pontarollo, Chief Scientific Officer of Genome Prairie. “By using genomics as a tool, we hope to better understand how microscopic organisms can make uranium mining and milling operations more economically and environmentally efficient.”

Note: Backgrounder attached
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For additional information, contact:

Nicholas Insley
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification
Tel: (613) 954-1042

Joanne Johnson Director, Public Affairs Enterprise Saskatchewan, Regina, Saskatchewan Tel: (306) 787-7967

Carol Reynolds Director, Communications and Government Relations Genome Prairie, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Tel: (306) 241-9033

Toll-Free Number: 1 888 338-WEST (9378)
Web Site: WD is online at

A stronger West. A stronger Canada

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