The Network

The Network

UDMN aims to become the leading expert in Ultra-Deep (below 2.5km) research and innovation and to solve the challenges that impact resource extraction in these environments. By supporting solution providers capable of creating the industry-needed tools and technologies in the short term, it will lead the way in helping ultra-deep mines to operate more effectively and safely, generate more value, improve the human environment and enhance mine productivity.

UDMN Factsheet

UDMN Project Booklet

UDMN is hosted at CEMI – Visit Us


The Canadian hardrock metal mining community is poised to be the primary source of innovation for the underground mining industry worldwide because it currently has the competitive advantage in terms of geographical location and resident expertise. However, the window of opportunity is short. Recognizing this, the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), with a track record of innovations and collaborative networks in mine productivity, mine construction and high- stress conditions, led the way in establishing Canada’s first Ultra-Deep Mining Network (UDMN).


To create a business-led consortium focused on being the leading source of innovation and accelerating improvements of high commercial value for both the ultra-deep mining and natural resource extraction industry.



This $46 million business-driven network is supported by members of the mining and oil & gas industries, and with the active participation of small-to-medium sized enterprises, industry agencies, research facilities and academia. The goal of the UDMN is to help the mining industry develop and adopt commercially viable research and development projects that result in the deployment of proven innovative technologies.


Deep underground metal mines are the source of the specialized metals including nickel, chrome, molybdenum, lead, zinc, platinum and palladium – that are essential for the modern industrial economy. While the supply of commodity metals such as iron, aluminum and copper generally come from very large open pit mines, the specialized metals are largely produced by deep underground mines (> 2km below surface).

The need to fundamentally shift the design, development and operation of underground metal mines is driven by three converging factors: 1) The need for many of the large open-pit copper mines in the world to go underground while sustaining unchanged production levels; 2) The need to pursue specialized industrial metals to ever greater depths; and 3) The need to attract a new generation of well educated, socially diverse employees.


To develop the network solution teams capable of creating the tools and the highly qualified personnel that will help ultra-deep mines to operate more effectively and safely, generate more value, improve the human environment and enhance the productivity of a new generation of well educated and trained employees.


The Network will lever collaborative and dedicated networked solution teams of leading experts in achieving innovations for the global mining industry within the ultra-deep mining environment. The approach is that of a joint business model where all members contribute to the cost, and benefit from the Network’s successes, with the goal for driving innovative solutions and making deep mining fiscally viable for the future.

The Network will help close the commercialization gap by providing members with access to commercialization evaluation services and a chance to carry out prototyping and testing at actual mine sites. The private sector will further benefit from the validation of research findings and sharing of knowledge through collaboration with the SME and research teams, further increasing the relevance of research projects and the potential for project outputs to be implemented. This will increase industry’s capacity and capability to advance innovations to market. Ultimately, the UDMN will lead the way for innovations to be commercially viable and build capacity to deliver new technologies to the Canadian and global mining industry.


NCE Funding