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Large mining company partners with UNBC for student research

Rio Tinto is giving UNBC $450,000 over three years
UNBC's Prince George campus in the winter (via UNBC)

Student research and co-ops involving the Nechako Watershed region at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) just got a big boost.

Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest metal and mining corporations, is forming a partnership with the post-secondary school.

The company is providing $450,000 over the next three years towards programs that focus on research and analysis of the socio-economic state of the Nechako Watershed region.

This partnership is expected to include involving UNBC students in hands-on research programs, as well as internships and co-operative placements with Rio Tinto.

The partnership was announced at the B.C. Natural Resources Forum in Prince George today (Jan. 23).

“We share UNBC’s commitment to advancing education and research in the region, which plays an important role in ensuring Rio Tinto BC Works stays at the forefront of the aluminum industry with a highly skilled workforce and the latest technologies,” says Rio Tinto BC Works operation director for power and services Andrew Czornohalan, in a news release.  

“By developing relationships between researchers, educators and businesses like ours, we are encouraging a culture of innovation in our organizations and communities across the region.”

Rio Tinto has also supported UNBC as one of the initial funders of the Northern Medical Program Trust which supports medical students in the north.

“As one of Canada’s leading small universities, UNBC brings our research, teaching and learning expertise to a wide range of issues that communities are grappling with around the world,” said Dr. Geoff Payne, UNBC’s Vice-President Research and Graduate Programs, in the release.

“From water security, climate change and health care, to resource management, food security, and ecosystem management, all of these issues can be studied in depth in a unique environment right at our doorstep in northern B.C., providing an opportunity for this partnership to create local solutions that will have a global impact.”