CEMI awarded $15 million for Ultra-Deep Mining Network
By Shannon Katary, Director of Marketing and Community Relations, CEMI
Deep underground metal mines are the source of the specialised metals including nickel, chrome, molybdenum, lead, zinc, platinum and palladium—that are essential for the modern industrial economy. While the supply of commodity metals such as iron, aluminum and copper come from very large open pit mines, the specialised metals are largely produced by deep underground mines (>2km below surface).
Recognizing the importance of deep mining, the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology,) was in Sudbury, Ontario on January 22, 2014 to announce winners of the Business‐led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL‐NCE) program. The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) was selected as one of four recipients for its Ultra‐Deep Mining Network (UDMN or “the Network”) proposal and awarded $15 million, the largest grant recipient of the 2014 competition.
In conjunction with $15 million received from the BL-NCE, the UDMN has also received significant partnership commitments of $31 million in leveraged cash and in-kind contributions. The UDMN is a $46-million business-driven network, founded and funded by members of the mining and oil and gas industries, with the active participation of small- to medium-sized enterprises, industry agencies, research facilities and academia.
Managed through CEMI, the UDMN will lever collaborative, networked solution teams to solve critical private-sector research and development challenges that impact resource extraction in ultra-deep mining environments, as well as in deep, tight shale-hosted hydrocarbon reservoirs. Addressing these development and operational challenges in some of the deepest mines in the world will result in increased productivity, decreased risk to workers, lower energy utilization, as well as lower capital and operating costs achieved through performance and efficiency improvements.
- Rock stress risk reduction; improve the control of stability in deep underground excavations;
- Energy reduction: the 40 per cent mine; improve the energy consumption profile of deep mines;
- Novel methods of material transport and productivity; increase the rates of development and production in mines;
- Improved human health; enhance the human environment in deep mines.
Through its potential to produce solutions of high commercial value, the UDMN will increase industry capacity and private-sector investments in Canadian R&D. It will increase commercial uptake of R&D through the support and development of SMEs in the supply and service sectors and by providing industrial “living laboratories” for beta testing of new products. Through strong industry and academic connections, the UDMN is poised to help train the next generation of deep-mining experts; help innovators invent new and better technologies for ultra-deep mining; and bridge the knowledge and technology transfer gap.
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 edification and validation of research findings through collaboration with the SME community 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.
The UDMN continue to position Canada in a leadership role as the global deep-mining knowledge centre, thereby ensuring that this nation will remain the premier natural resource investment destination of choice.
For more information, visit: www.miningexcellence.ca