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Ultra Deep Mining Network - UDMN

$15 million for 2014-19
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Ultra Deep Mining Network

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$17.3 million

Sudbury, Ontario

Network Director
Douglas Morrison Douglas Morrison

Managing Director
Bora Ugurgel Bora Ugurgel

Board chair
Roger Emdin Roger Emdin

Building a safe and sustainable deep mining sector

The opportunity

Diminishing mineral resources in surface mines is driving the exploration of ultra-deep deposits (more than 2.5 km) of gold, nickel, copper and other specialized metals once thought inaccessible and uneconomical. With much of the global expertise that sustained the ultra-deep mining industry over the last 30 years heading towards retirement, educational institutions are struggling to meet even a 15% replacement rate. Today, the largest pool of strong mining expertise in the world is in Canada. A national network is now providing the training and research needed to help the resource extraction industry become a leader in deep mining expertise and attract more international investments in natural resources.

How UDMN is seizing the opportunity

The Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN) is funded by members of the mining, and oil and gas industries, and works with small- and medium-sized companies, industry agencies, research facilities and academia. UDMN aims to help the industry improve its ability to extract natural resources, including metals and hydrocarbons, from deep deposits over the next 5-10 years. The network provides services in commercialization evaluation, support and prototype trials at mine sites. Expert teams create tools and train the highly qualified people needed to help ultra-deep mines operate more effectively and safely, generate more value, improve the human environment and enhance productivity.

Among the results

  • With support from UDMN, Industrial Fabrication Inc. partnered with FVT Research Inc. to develop a new electric motor that can replace existing diesel engines in heavy-duty utility vehicles. This world first significantly reduces ventilation costs—which account for 30-50% of a deep mine’s (over 2.5 km) operating expenses—as well as fuel and maintenance costs.
  • UDMN held its second annual network symposium in December 2016, where 95 attendees, including project participants and mining industry representatives, learned from each other and identified synergies between themes and projects. The symposium also featured two panels on commercialization and industry innovations, as well as an awards ceremony to highlight significant accomplishments from the previous year.
  • In November 2016, UDMN hosted a lecture series with Steven Bluhm, CEO of the BBE Group of companies, a world leader in mine ventilation and cooling system design. More than 100 people attended, including industry representatives and students from Laurentian University and Cambrian College.
  • With support from UDMN, Maestro Mine Ventilation reached the commercialization stage of its project to design and develop a digital gas sensor to help protect miners from acute or chronic gas related to health conditions.

Connect with UDMN


Canada takes lead in replacing dirty diesel with electric vehicles in mines
June 22, 2016
Canada’s mining industry has tapped into the expertise of two small companies to solve two of the biggest challenges facing ultra-deep mining: the health and safety of workers and the high costs of ventilation. Read more