Mineralogist Dr. Paula Piilonen poses with Serandite, left, and Catapleiite minerals, two of a thousand mineral specimens the Canadian Museum of Nature recently acquired from a private collection, at the museum’s research and collections facility in Gatineau, Que. on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. The museum acquired the minerals from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Que. collector Gilles Haineault. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canadian Museum of Nature acquires mineral collection backed by new foundation

OTTAWA — The Canadian Museum of Nature says it’s acquired a world-class collection of minerals from Quebec that could hold new clues about the Earth’s structure.

The Ottawa museum says the specimens from Mont Saint-Hilaire, about 30 kilometres east of Montreal, could deepen research into rare elements and possibly reveal new mineral species.

The federal institution says the acquisition was assisted by the newly announced Nature Foundation, an independent charitable organization to support the museum’s collections, research and education.

It says Quebec mineral collector Gilles Haineault, who amassed the specimens over decades, donated more than $1 million in-kind to the foundation to support the museum’s purchase of the collection, which is appraised to be worth $4.5 million.

The museum says the Nature Foundation has received more than $4 million in gifts as of its launch on Wednesday.

Mississauga, Ont.-based consulting engineering firm Hatch is backing a $1 million fund to support training in the mineral sciences. Brookfield has invested $500,000 towards initiatives to foster undergraduate researchers and advance the museum’s fieldwork in the Arctic.

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