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
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 Gordons
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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