From left: Thomas Coleman, branch president ex-officio; Pierre Laroche, branch president; Jean-François Dorion, teacher, Thetford Cégep and speaker; François Jacques, branch vice-présiden; Richard Rodrigue, branch secretary-treasurer
On March 13, 2008, about 30 members of the CIM Thetford Mines Branch greeted Jean-François Dorion, a professor in the Department of Mineral Technology at the Cégep de Thetford Mines and a doctoral student at Laval University. His presentation covered corrosion of underground support systems. He received scholarships from the CIM Thetford Mines Branch, first for his master’s studies and then for his doctoral studies in mining engineering at Laval University in Quebec City.
Dorion studied the impact of various factors on the corrosion of anchor bolts and other steel devices used to support rock masses, on site, at the Niobec, Mouska, Géant Dormant, Doyon and Laronde mines, all located in the Abititi and the Saguenay regions. Very high corrosion rates were observed in the latter two sulphide mines; they contain base and precious metals.
Dorion brought several samples of very corroded grids and plaques; some had only been installed a few months. Given the huge economic impacts of support corrosion and the risks for worker safety, Dorion’s work will prove to be most useful in improving the economic viability and the safety of underground mines in Quebec.