Sudbury company keeps miners safe using IoT sensors – by Staff (Sudbury Star – December 5, 2016)

Maestro Mine Ventilation, a Sudbury company, was recognized last week for its commercial success during the second Ultra Deep Mining Network symposium in the Nickel City. UDMN presented Maestro with its Outstanding Achievement in Commercialization award for a technical innovation which ensures the safety of underground miners.

“The rapid commercial sale of this product to some of the deepest mines in the world is a testament that Maestro’s efforts combined with UDMN funding and guidance can in fact bring technology faster to market which in turn benefits the mining industry and Canadians,” the network said in a press release.

The focus of the $35 million Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN), which has 76 member companies across Canada, is to help to solve the challenge of mining in ultra-deep environments.

UDMN, a Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation-hosted program, is working with some of the deepest mines in Canada to help the mining industry develop and adopt innovative technologies that are commercially viable.

Underground mines have challenging environmental conditions that include toxic gases from the drill and blast operation, as well as gases given off by the surrounding strata rock. Protecting miners from acute or chronic gas-related health conditions is paramount for any responsible mining company.

To achieve this, a variety of sensors are required to transmit real-time data from the underground workings to the surface control rooms. By using this technology, miners can return safely to their working areas more quickly, allowing significant productivity increases.

Sensors require frequent maintenance and calibration in order to maintain accurate measurements. The previous technology required underground calibrations at each individual location using test gases, however several physical and environmental challenges prevented an accurate and repeatable calibration.

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