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Natural Heat Exchange Engineering Technology for Mines (NHEET)

Strategic Area

Mining – Technology and Innovation
GHG & Air Emissions




Cambrian College
Ontario Centres of Excellence


Clean Growth Program



CGP Contribution

$ 1,500,000

Science & Technology Assistance for Cleantech (STAC) Contribution

$ 364,300

Project Total

$ 2,881,300



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Mining Innovation Rehabilitation & Applied Research Corporation

Lead Proponent

Mining Innovation Rehabilitation & Applied Research Corporation

Project Objectives

Air delivery to deep underground mines in Canada requires a refrigeration and heating system, and is a significant operational cost. The Natural Heat Exchange Engineering Technology for Mines (NHEET) concept is inspired by an existing mine that uses pre-existing fractured rock from historical operations as a heat exchanger, allowing mining at depth with reduced energy and no use of refrigerants.

The aim of this project is to engineer a fractured rock formation through which air can be pulled—a natural heat exchanger -  to cool warm air or warm cold air. The project will develop a methodology for the engineering of NHEET systems under a range of site scenarios, with validation through software models and physical models.

Expected Results

This project will reduce a reduction in heating and cooling requirements allowing Canadian mining operations to be more profitable with reduced environmental footprints.

Once the concept is proven, there may be opportunities to replicate it in other applications beyond mines.

Anticipated Environmental Benefits: Reduced GHG emissions, improved energy efficiency and reduced land use impact.

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