In deep terrestrial underground layers (100m to 3km below our feet), microbes can live buried inside compact rock matrices. The composition of the species living within distinct layers is unique and indicative of its surrounding. In Québec, a region rich in minerals and gas, the mining industry is booming, and searching for innovative methods to explore new sites rapidly, efficiently and at low cost.
In this project, Cassandre Lazar and her collaborators aim to use genomic patterns of microbial communities living inside rock cores provided by these companies, to use as a representative of the conditions found within the rocks, including minerology, age, and layer succession. The team will build an extensive microbial genomic database, using molecular tools such as DNA extraction and microbial gene sequencing.
The implementation of this database will allow users such as mining and drilling companies to identify areas of interest without repeating exploratory drillings, using environment friendly technology. The expansion of this project will not only create a new job market in the field of genomic methods applied to the mining and drilling industry but will also help protect the underground native biotopes who are involved in crucial recycling of elements on Earth.
Genome Centre: Génome Québec
Mine Raglan (Glencore)
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Ressources Utica Forages inc.