Investigation of techno-economic feasibility and environmental benefits of mine waste heat recovery systems for an underground mine in northern british columbia

Underground mining operations are very energy intensive and could require significant use of fossil fuel burning on site for electrification and heat provision, if situated in off-grid areas. Conventionally, these power plants employ diesel gen-sets that can convert only about 35% of the combustion energy to qualified work and discard about 65% of the energy generated as heat through cooling cycles and exhaust. On the other hand, due to harsh climates associated with Canadian winters, such mines require mine intake air heating (or referred as preconditioning in some literature) for preventing the mine shaft and stationary shaft units from freezing (i.e. liners, transportation equipment, ventilation fans and such). Conventionally, these mines employ large-scale fossil burning stations to generate heat at the mine intake. These systems are mostly natural gas and propane based. This project aims to investigate reutilization of the discarded heat from the power plant at the mine intake to save from fossil burning at the shaft intake burners. Earlier studies suggested that mine waste heat systems can save thousands of dollars from operational expenditures with comparably less carbon emissions.

Faculty Supervisor:

Seyed Ali Ghoreishi-Madiseh


Ali Fahrettin Kuyuk


Mineit Consulting




Professional, scientific and technical services


University of British Columbia



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