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Underground Mine Ventilation Innovations
Mine Ventilation

Insights & Innovations

After years of COVID-19, online seminars and virtual conferences, the in-person Mine Ventilation Conference organised by AusIMM came as a welcome change and demonstrated an engaged and growing market. There was an above-average turn-out of Mining managers, underground ventilation specialists, engineers, consultants, and ventilation solution providers at this Australian Mine Ventilation Conference. Key personnel from twelve countries, met for five days to discuss the latest in underground ventilation innovation and safety.  

Covering both coal and metalliferous underground operations, speakers covered many topics with a focus on innovation and technology, examining the past, and looking to the future. Key themes explored technology with discussions around how it can be implemented in underground mining for safer and more efficient ventilation. Ideas like Minetek’s POD (Power on Demand) system were examined, as POD automated systems have been shown to drastically reduce operating costs for ventilation fans, by decreasing or increasing output to meet the needs of the mine site.  

Mine Ventilation Conference

These themes demonstrate that a characteristically risk-adverse industry is growing, evolving, and adapting to utilise innovative technology, as the need for operational savings, safety, and for efficient, automation processes increase. The market has identified a growing need for quality airflow and optimisation of technology to deliver reliable air. This adaption to technology is encouraged by changes in Government Legislation like the recent changes in Western Australia. On 31 March 2022, the Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws replaced the health and safety elements of the Mines Safety and Inspection laws.

“Minetek has been excited to meet with industry experts and highlight our fans. We pride ourselves on not only performance and innovative technology, but our ability to understand unique project needs. We deliver a premium service, customised solutions, and responsive delivery that only a small, passionate, and incredibly hardworking team can deliver.”  – Matt Ryan, Minetek Air 

Mine ventilation solutions

Minetek is internationally recognised as an innovative mining solutions provider. Facilitating commercially and environmentally sustainable outcomes for mining companies, whilst enabling safe, compliant, and profitable operations. 

  • Word class engineering capabilities  
  • Leaders in automation, technology, and customised solutions 
  • Servicing underground mines world-wide  
  • Control targeted air supply with no VSD (Variable Speed Drive) required  
  • Power, performance and pressure on demand  
  • Fan power range from zero load to full load  
  • Savings in ventilation power consumption, up to 60%  
  • Automated or manual ventilation configuration 

Minetek’s POD device offers a new level of control over primary & secondary vent fans that has only previously been partially available with expensive and high maintenance variable speed drives. The POD system allows the fan operation to be altered as the demand or resistance is changed within the underground mine. This ensures all working areas receive the required air flow, at the lowest cost. 

Underground ventilation

The future of underground ventilation

With projections estimating the global mine ventilation market is set to reach USD $401 million by 2024, combined with the recent announcement of Sydney hosting the International Mining Ventilation Conference in 2024, the ventilation community of Australia is in a prime position for future growth and innovation [1].  

Industry surveys suggest that Australia has the highest penetration of innovative technologies across mine sites; with drones, mine management software, autonomous and remotely controlled vehicles at the forefront [2]. More than 77% of jobs within Australia’s mining sector will be improved by innovative technological advancements, increasing productivity by up to 23% [3]. Our adoption and innovation of smart technology assists with mine planning, collision avoidance and predictive maintenance for equipment and technology. 

Mine site technologies at the forefront of investment; 

  • Mine planning software 
  • Mine communication systems 
  • Predictive maintenance for mobile equipment 
  • Battery / electric vehicles 
  • Fatigue detection  
  • Drones 
  • Predictive maintenance for plants 
  • Fully autonomous vehicles 
  • Wearable technology  
  • 3D printing 
  • Automation 
  • Robotics  

This positions Australia as the leading adopter of modern technology aiding future growth and innovation within the mining industry.  

Mine ventilation insights

At MINETEK we understand that unique scenarios require customised solutions. We manage your project from end to end, including the initial consultation, design and engineering, development, removal of old equipment, installation, commission, training, maintenance, and ongoing servicing. 

Talk to our team about your next air ventilation project, leave your details below. 

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