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Wasyl Kunda

Wasyl Kunda spent nearly three decades with Sherritt Gordon Mines Ltd. working on a variety of metallurgical processes that became standard practices in the industry.

Born in western Ukraine, Kunda obtained a graduate degree in chemistry from the University of Prague before immigrating to Canada in 1948.

Kunda began his career with Sherritt Gordon in 1951 at Ottawa, later moving to the newly opened nickel refinery in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Kunda was part of a concerted effort aimed at recovering nickel from sulphide based ores, and eventually named head of Sherritt Gordon’s research department in 1961.

His research focused on metals and ore processing and his name is included on a lengthy list of patents granted to Sherritt Gordon, including methods to produce a variety of nickel, cobalt and copper powders that are used in a variety of industrial applications.

Kunda received a number of professional honours in his career, including being named a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada.

After retiring from Sherritt Gordon, Kunda worked with Terra Mines on research to recover silver from arsenic-bearing ores. He also worked on other methods of silver recovery, working with Thomas Etsell at the University of Alberta. Etsell and Kunda patented their silver recovery from photographic waste method in the early 1990s.

Kunda died in 1997, at the age of 84.

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