The Canadian hardrock metal mining community is poised to be the primary source of innovation for the underground mining industry worldwide because it currently has the competitive advantage in terms of geographical location and resident expertise. However, the window of opportunity is short. Recognizing this, CEMI, with a track record of innovations and collaborative networks in mine productivity, mine construction and high-stress conditions, led the way in establishing Canada’s first Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN).
This $46 million business-driven network is supported by members of the mining and oil & gas industries, and with the active participation of small to medium sized enterprises, industry agencies, research facilities and academia. The goal of the UDMN is to help the mining industry develop and adopt commercially viable research and development projects that result in the deployment of proven innovative technologies.
Managed through CEMI, UDMN aims become the leading expert in Ultra Deep (below 2.5km) research and innovation and to solve the challenges that impact resource extraction in these environments. By supporting solution providers capable of creating the industry-needed tools and technologies in the short term, it will lead the way in helping ultra-deep mines to operate more effectively and safely, generate more value, improve the human environment and enhance mine productivity.
The Network will tackle industry challenges under the following Strategic Research Themes:
1 Rock Stress Risk Reduction: To improve the control of stability in deep underground excavations
2 Energy reduction: The 40% Mine; improve the energy consumption profile and cooling of deep mines
3 Novel methods of material transport and productivity: To increase the rates of development and production in mines
4 Improved human health: To enhance the human environment in deep mines
The Network will lever collaborative and dedicated networked solution teams of leading experts in achieving innovations for the global mining industry within the ultra-deep mining environment. The approach is that of a joint business model where all members contribute to the cost, and benefit from the Network’s successes, with the goal for driving innovative solutions and making deep mining fiscally viable for the future.
The Network will help close the commercialization gap by providing members with access to commercialization evaluation services and a chance to carry out prototyping and testing at actual mine sites. The private sector will further benefit from the validation of research findings and sharing of knowledge through collaboration with the SME and research teams, further increasing the relevance of research projects and the potential for project outputs to be implemented. This will increase industry’s capacity and capability to advance innovations to market. Ultimately, the UDMN will lead the way for innovations to be commercially viable and build capacity to deliver the new technologies to the Canadian and global mining industry.