Mine Ventilation

A training program for the ventilation operator.

  • airway sizing
  • ventilation planning
  • fan selection
  • duct ventilation
  • ventilation surveys

Mine ventilation


The mining industry consumes a large percentage of the energy grid in our country, with ventilation comprising 50% of a mine's energy consumption and 25 to 40% of the total mining costs. The effective management of mine air thus plays an important role in mine productivity, profit and safety. Unfortunately, a large number of ventilation systems experience high operational costs because mine operators often come to their jobs with little training or preparation in ventilation management. The purpose of the course is to provide the mine operator with the basic tools for the day-to-day planning and effective operation of a mine ventilation system.

Who Should Attend?

The course should be of direct interest to the professional mining engineer, technologists, mine operators and manufacturers who are involved in the design, management and day-to-day operation of mine ventilation systems.


This unique training program offers the following features:

  • the ventilation course is held at a mine site and comprises classroom lectures together with field demonstrations.
  • the course is of an applied nature and deals with such aspects as day to day measurements and more detailed ventilation planning and design.
  • the training course is designed to cover specific topics prescribed by the participating mines.
  • the course can be planned for 4 or 5 days, depending on the number of required technical areas of training.
  • the level of the training can be adapted to suit specific target audiences (technicians, engineers, managers, planners, etc.) from the participating companies.
  • participants are encouraged to bring problems experienced by their mine, to be solved during the progress of the course.
  • to maximize efficiency and minimize costs a number of local mines have participated in a single course offered at a mine camp.

During the course, the participants not only have an opportunity to review standard and innovative ventilation techniques practiced in the principal mining countries of the world but to develop skills which will assist them in their endeavor to provide an adequate ambient underground environment as economically as possible, while maintaining worker safety.


This intensive course is designed to provide comprehensive training on mine ventilation operation, planning and design as an integral part of mine production. The course is designed to familiarize the participant with standard techniques utilized in environmental health and ventilation studies, pertaining to the generalized areas of ventilation planning and design and air quality control. For each topic, experimental sessions are provided to develop detailed engineering evaluation of specific subject areas. Throughout the course, extensive reference to field histories is made to demonstrate examples of good practice.

The program is carefully designed to introduce ventilation concepts and criteria in day-to-day ventilation practice to allow participants to:

  • evaluate the efficiency of an existing ventilation system, determine and locate any problems in the system, understand the causes of each problem, and efficiently correct those problems;
  • modify an existing system in order to improve its efficiency and save on costs;
  • modify an existing system in order to accommodate to new environmental requirements;
  • modify an existing system in order to accommodate to new requirements due to mine expansion;
  • justify ones decisions based on a sound and scientific approach;
  • scientifically evaluate and criticize the ventilation designs proposed by others.

Participants are encouraged to bring along technical material from their mining operation. This material is used in informal discussions that invariably turn out to be one of the most interesting aspects of the course. Participants are also encouraged to bring any specific problems to be solved during ventilation design sessions.


The course is generally designed to suit the participating company's needs. A list of standard topics can be found below.

  • airflow in mine openings (head losses and shock resistances);
  • the sizing of raises and airways;
  • mine ventilation controls (doors and regulators);
  • field measurements and ventilation surveys;
  • natural ventilation pressure and fan performance;
  • fan sizing and fan design factors;
  • fan testing and fan surveys;
  • main surface fan system design;
  • auxiliary ventilation system sizing and design;
  • fan pressure determination in duct systems;
  • planning a mine ventilation system;
  • mine ventilation design criteria and ventilation design factors;
  • ventilation circuit design;
  • ventilation economics (fan selection, economic airway size);
  • psychrometry (air density, temperature and humidify control)
  • mine air conditioning design (mine air heating, mine air cooling);
  • mine gases, methods of control and dilution ventilation design;
  • mine dust control (design of dust settling chambers and dust exhaust systems);
  • noise exposure, monitoring and control.

The company's ventilation group normally selects critical topics where training is required. The course can be run at a great level of detail or as a more general course, depending on the background of the participants and the company's needs. The course can accommodate the needs of a mixed audience consisting of designers, engineers and technicians. To facilitate the transfer of information, each topic is generally discussed using detailed examples based on industrial experience.

Who Teaches the Course?

The instructor, Euler De Souza, has over the past twenty three years, provided a series of mine ventilation training courses in mining camps throughout Canada and overseas. Dr. De Souza is a registered professional engineer in the Province of Ontario. He is a ventilation consultant for a number of mining companies and provides ventilation services to several mines in Canada. He is an Associate Professor teaching in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen's University. He has been involved in a diversity of mine ventilation projects including ventilation audits; air quality control; solving critical ventilation problems; ventilation de-bottle necking; ventilation designs for new mines; ventilation upgrade for existing mines; the design of ventilation raises; the design of surface intake and exhaust fan installations; analysis of the performance of main fan installations; booster fan selection and design; ventilation design for new orebodies; auxiliary ventilation design for long headings; the design of ore pass dust control systems; ventilation surveys; network modeling.

Course Fee

If you are interested in having a ventilation training course held at your mine site and would like to receive a detailed quotation, please contact the instructor. The sponsoring company is to provide the lecture room, lunch and refreshment services and to cover the travel expenses of the instructor.


The course is normally limited to 12 participants, depending on the number of company sponsors. This maximizes one-to-one interactions and facilitates the ventilation design sessions and field demonstrations.


The agenda depends on the course length. Courses are normally scheduled for 4 days, depending on the technical content to be covered and training requirements prescribed by the participating company. Classes normally follow the company's shift period (e.g. 8:00 am to 4:30 pm) with breaks for lunch and refreshments. One half-day session is used for conducting underground ventilation surveys and for field demonstrations and one half-day session is dedicated to solving specific ventilation problems which the participating mines may be experiencing.

Past Participants

Participating corporations in the most recently offered courses include:

  • ABC Manufactures of Canada
  • Agnico Eagle Mines
  • Agrium Inc. (Vanscoy Potash Operations)
  • Armistice Resources Corp.
  • Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation
  • Barrick (David Bell Mine, Williams Mine)
  • Battle Mountain Canada Ltd.
  • BBE Consulting South Africa
  • Brigus Gold
  • Cameco Corporation (Cigar Lake, McArthur River Operation, Rabbit Lake Operation)
  • Canadian Gypsum Company
  • Cementation Canada
  • Dumas Contracting
  • Echo Bay Mines (Lupin Operation)
  • EDC Mining Ltd
  • First Nickel Inc.
  • FNX Mining Company
  • GE Global Research
  • Glencore Canada
  • Goldcorp Inc. (Musselwhite Mine, Porcupine Mine, Red Lake Gold Mine)
  • Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting
  • Kirkland Lake Gold Inc.
  • KGHM International
  • Lac des Iles Mines Ltd
  • Lake Shore Gold Corp.
  • Ministry of Labour (Ontario and Saskatchewan
  • Mirarco Mining Innovation
  • Mosaic (Esterhazy Mine, Colonsay Mine)
  • Newmont Canada Limited (Golden Giant Mine)
  • Northgate Minerals Corporation
  • Nuclear Waste Management Organization
  • Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (Allan Division, Cory Division, Lanigan Division, Rocanville Division, Sussex Division)
  • Quadra FNX Mining
  • Richmont Mines Inc.
  • Sifto Canada Corp.
  • St. Andrew Goldfields
  • Vale (Thompson Division, Sudbury Division)
  • Wardrop
  • Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd
  • Workplace Safety North
  • Xstrata (Kidd Mine)
  • Xstrata Nickel Sudbury


If you have any questions concerning this ventilation training program or if you are interested in having a ventilation training course held at your mine site, please contact Dr. De Souza directly at:

The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6 CANADA

T. 1 (613) 533-2199