Mine Dewatering, Ventilation and Power

Subject ENGR90016 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours (Lectures: 2 hours per week, Tutorial: 1 hour per week)
Total Time Commitment:

144 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Students undertaking this subject will be expected to be competent in the use of Microsoft Excel or alternative spreadsheet software
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Prof Ian Johnston


Prof Ian Johnston

Subject Overview:

The primary objectives of the subject are to familiarise students with the way in which mining environments are rendered safe and comfortable for people to work in, water to be removed and for machinery to be powered. Major aspects include:

1. Dewatering

  • Aquifers and flow of subsurface water
  • Effects of Water on slope stability and mine operations
  • Dewatering systems and pump types
  • Optimum pipe diameter of a pumping line
  • System curve of a pumping line
  • Pump selection in terms of the operating conditions of a pump
  • Design/plan a pumpstation (layout)
  • Pipeline design (incorporating all the components) and water hammer analysis
  • Electrical design
  • Instrumentation and control
  • Pump curves for parallel and series coupled pumps

2. Mine Power and Distribution

  • Mine power requirements and reticulation
  • Electrical power distribution in surface and underground operations
  • Mine cables and switch gear
  • Explosion-protected electrical devices
  • Fault protection and risk analysis
  • Design and operational characteristics of electric motors and drive systems
  • Speed and torque control
  • Signalling and communications
  • Types and designs of control systems

3. Ventilation Underground

  • Mine ventilation principles and design issues
  • Hazards from gases
  • Radiation and dusts
  • Mine fires and other emergencies
  • Psychrometric processes
  • Heat and climate
  • Thermodynamics
  • Pressure, resistance, flow and other properties related to fluid flow
  • Fan theory
  • Airway sizing based on practical and economic criteria
  • Primary ventilation design
  • Auxiliary (secondary) ventilation design
  • Measurement and testing of air properties and quantities
  • Mine refrigeration
  • Physiological effects of climate extremes
  • Analysis of mine ventilation networks
  • Airflow requirements based on practical, legal and good practice
  • Noise exposure
  • Mine heating and cooling processes


On completion of this subject students should have:

  • developed the skills and knowledge to understand the theoretical fundamentals of fluid mechanics and to apply them to practical applications
  • an understanding of the design principles related to electrical power distribution systems used in and about mine sites
  • an understanding of the design principles related to ventilation systems used underground
  • One 2 hour examination, end of semester (50%)
  • Three assignments during semester (50%)
Hurdle requirement: Students must pass the examination component to pass the subject

Prescribed Texts:
  • Introductory Mining Engineering (H. Hartman & J. Mutmansky), SME, 2002
  • Mine Health and Safety Management (M. Karmis), SME, 2001
Recommended Texts: Mining Engineering Handbook (SME), 1992.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Analytical, critical and creative thinking, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
  • Sense of intellectual curiosity
  • Sense of intellectual integrity and ethics of scholarship
  • Writing, problem-solving and communication skills
  • Ability to learn in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies
  • Capacity to confront unfamiliar problems
  • Ability to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature
  • Ability to develop models of practical applications and evaluate their performance by rigorous analytical means and by programming computer simulations
  • Capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work
Notes: Students will need access to PC/laptop.
Related Course(s): Master of Mining Engineering
Postgraduate Certificate in Engineering

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