Smart Underground Monitoring and Integrated Technologies for deep mines (SUMIT)

With the approval of the SUMIT program in 2011, we have further demonstrated our capability for the development, execution and management of major strategic research programs. CEMI successfully obtained $6.7 million in financial support to develop and advance smart engineering methods, technologies and tools to facilitate step-change advances in underground mining at depth. Field work is proceeding at Creighton, Coleman and Nickel Rim South mines in Sudbury. As well, datasets from other international mines are forming the basis of ongoing work. Through collaborative research and development, SUMIT is currently supporting 18 core projects focusing on three major challenges associated with deep underground mining:

1. GEO-RISK: Evaluation and mitigation of risks associated with mining in high stress, structurally complex ore zones to enable safer, smarter and more efficient mining at depth

2. Rapid Underground Development: innovations to accelerate mine construction for faster mine construction to increase economic returns

3. Mine Sustainability: Footprint reduction in deep mines through energy optimization with underground environmental controls

A Rich Partnership of Academic and Private Sector Research Teams

Laurentian University is leading SUMIT in partnership with Queen’s University and University of Toronto bringing leading academics to the forefront of the 18 core projects. In addition, significant contributions are being made by researchers from Carleton University, University of
Waterloo, University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia. Collectively, CEMI has engaged 15 researchers and 20 students (1 PDF, 18 PhD, 8 MSc and 10 undergraduates) to collaborate with industry sponsors and partners at specific mine sites. Currently, 4 research engineers are working with students to produce outputs that generate significant knowledge transfer for the benefit of project sponsors and the mining industry as a whole. These collaborative interdisciplinary research teams are addressing many of the barriers currently delaying the establishment of new mines and the deepening of existing mines. These outstanding teams are helping to develop new ways to mitigate and manage risks, accelerate mine development and reduce energy consumption by:

• Capturing and sharing data in innovative ways from underground environments to optimize deep underground mine design and construction techniques

• Developing communications hardware/software, data storage, security and sharing control systems and related technologies

• Advancing knowledge and techniques to better calculate, calibrate and communicate information for the adoption of step-change technologies to optimize energy usage and reduce mine footprints


SUMIT: Investing in Knowledge Transfer and Building Human Capital for deep underground mining

The SUMIT program significantly contributes to the development of graduate students, with 1 PhD; 7 MSc and 5 undergraduate students having received their degrees since commencement of the program. To date 34 conference presentations have been made by SUMIT researchers, 14 refereed conference papers accepted and 12 peer reviewed journal articles published. A further 13 articles are currently in the review process. SUMIT related peer reviewed publications have been cited 15 times in scientific and engineering literature.

SUMIT Students: Youth Outreach Video Series

As part of its youth outreach mandate, CEMI developed a video series with its SUMIT students to foster interest in the research being undertaken as part of the SUMIT program, in addition to encouraging interest for youth in the sciences and the mining industry. A collection of videos from this series can be found by click the here.

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SUMIT is developing and advancing smart engineering techniques, technologies and tools to facilitate step-change advances in productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of underground mining at depth in an economic and safe manner.

Research Projects


Damien Duff, CEMI
1-705-673-6568 x 3