Mining sensors hub

Are you developing a state-of-the-art mining sensor? Would you like to test your technology in a large-scale, simulated environment?

At the NRC's mining sensors hub, you can work alongside our experts to develop new sensing technologies or validate existing ones. In this national, accessible facility, we integrate multiple sensors and deploy them in various settings, like our test track. This is the place to scan rolling stones!

Our services

Each orebody is unique, and so are its challenges. We work with mine operators to develop tailor-made sensors that enhance their orebody knowledge in real time and improve their operations performance, while reducing energy consumption and environmental footprint. With equipment suppliers, we test and validate their sensors in a relevant environment to accelerate their technology development and commercialization.

  • Sensor development, calibration, testing and validation
  • Integration of 2 or more sensing technologies, including hardware and data fusion
  • Real-time orebody elemental and mineralogical analysis, including cross-belt, in-pit, and bench-wall applications
  • Orebody knowledge (OREGEN): Custom sampling protocols, heterogeneity modelling and pre-concentration processes simulation
  • Sensor-based sorting
  • Technology roadmaps and project advice
  • Commercialization through licensing and technology transfer


Test bays 1 and 2: Large-scale sensing facility

  • Sensor test track:
    • Multiple sensor mounting stations for NRC or client sensors
    • Recirculating conveyor belt
    • Adjustable belt speed from 0 to 2 metres per second
    • Belt effective width of 30 cm
    • Compatible rock size: up to 75mm, up to 160 tons per hour
    • Control station with algorithms and software to view and analyse data from multiple sensors
  • Rock sample storage
  • Commercial-scale shipping and receiving dock accessible to trucks
  • Prototyping facility for engineering, assembly and support of new sensors
  • Mechanical and electrical engineering support
  • Industrial micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) facility
  • Molten metals facility up to 1200 °C for sensor development

Sensor technology platforms

  • Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)
  • Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF)
  • Laser ultrasonic technology (LUT) and ultrasonic transducer technology
  • Infrared spectroscopy (IR)
  • Hyperspectral imaging (HIS)
  • Micro–computed tomography (micro-CT)

Image gallery

Overview of the large-scale sensing facility with conveyor belt and sensing mount bays 1 and 2, garage door entry, sample storage and control desk

Bays 1 and 2 to mount NRC or client sensors above conveyor belt

Sensor mounting platforms (Bays 1 and 2)

NRC Lumine sensor in Bay 2 uses laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technology for real-time mineralogical analysis

Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) suite for minerology

Contact us

Daniel Gagnon, Facility Manager
Telephone: 450-641-5087

Yves Quenneville, Business Development Officer
Telephone: 514-496-8507


  • Boucherville, Québec

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