The event will be hosted by Laurentian University’s Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO) in partnership with Natural Resources Canada’s CANMET Mining and Mineral Sciences Laboratories, and with sponsorship support from a variety of private sector and government sponsors, including the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) and Vale Inco.The symposium will feature approximately 85 to 90 papers on topics about and/or related to ventilation. Dale McKinnon, MIRARCO’s clean air engineering program manager and symposium co-ordinator, anticipates approximately 200 to 300 delegates.
The symposium provides a forum and networking opportunities for professionals, suppliers, academics and industry and government representatives to share knowledge about the underground mine environment and its challenges.
Some of the topics to be discussed are diesel emissions control, ventilation fan technology, mine ventilation design, mine fires, heat stress, computer modelling of ventilation systems, coal mine ventilation design and ventilation-on-demand.
Different ventilation challenges exist depending on the type of mine and how deep it is, explained McKinnon. Ventilation can represent up to 40 per cent of the energy costs of a mine, which makes the concept of ventilation-on-demand so appealing. Although a seemingly simple concept whereby air is supplied to areas as needed and minimized where it is not required, ventilation-on-demand is challenging technology still in its infancy.
More energy is required as mines extend deeper, which increases operational costs. Geothermal gradients vary throughout the world, yet must be considered. “There is always a cost to provide a safe environment to workers,” McKinnon said.
Keynote speakers include John Pollesel of Vale Inco, Greg Baiden of Penguin Automated Systems and Graham Spiers of MIRARCO. Dominic Giroux, president of Laurentian University, will provide some opening remarks at the Tuesday evening banquet.
The symposium will take place in the Fraser Auditorium at the university. Field trips have been scheduled to local mines and 32 exhibitors will display their wares in the Science Lunch Room in the Fraser building.