Using Functional Genomics to Manage Mine Wastewater and Improve Water Quality

Functional Genomics

Results are encouraging

EcoReg Solutions is proud to be part of an international team conducting a cutting-edge research project led by Dr. Lesley A. Warren of the University of Toronto and Dr. Jillian Banfield of the University of California, Berkeley). The project is funded in part by Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Large Scale Applied Research Projects (LSARP) program and by the Ontario Research Fund (Research Excellence Program).

The project applies functional metagenomics, geochemistry, biochemistry and modeling to mining wastewaters to develop innovative biological monitoring, management and treatment tools. The integration of genomics will provide understanding of the cycling of sulphur by bacteria. The overall applied goal is to improve discharge water quality and receiving water outcomes and, provide better wastewater management and treatment decision making options, while at the same time learning new information about microbes and their role in mine wastewater, particularly with respect to thiosalts.

EcoReg Solutions is working with the research team and supporting Hudbay Minerals on this project. Providing input into study design, conducting site sampling, historical knowledge, data interpretation and input into the overall direction through the Industry Advisory Board (IAB).

The diverse, collaborative project team that includes:


  • Dr. Lesley Warren, Team Lead, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Jill Banfield, trailblazer in environmental DNA, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Christian Baron, microbiologist, Université de Montréal
  • Drs. Simon Apte and Jason Kirby, analytical chemists, Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Land and Water

Industry Partners

  • Glencore Sudbury INO
  • Hudbay Minerals
  • Rambler Metals and Mining

Consulting Partners

  • Advisian
  • Ecometrix
  • EcoReg Solutions


  • Mining Association of Canada
  • Ontario Mining Association

EcoReg Solutions will be providing updates to this exciting project as they unfold.

Source: Canadian Mining Journal

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