BBE Consulting Canada with offices in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, is part of the BBE (Bluhm Burton Engineering) group of companies. BBE Consulting is recognized as a world leader in the design of mine ventilation and cooling systems. Our services include ventilation modelling, feasibility studies, detailed engineering and EPCM. We are ideally positioned to support underground mining projects from concept through to implementation.
BBE Consulting’s team of experienced engineers and professionals, spanning Africa, Australasia and North America, specialize in mine ventilation, specification and design of mine cooling and refrigeration, contaminant management, energy optimization and mine fire simulation. BBE offers a comprehensive suite of mine ventilation services including: ventilation network simulation, conceptual and feasibility studies, due diligence, competent person’s reports, detailed engineering specifications, tender support, site ventilation surveys, ventilation audits and ventilation training/mentoring.
Our experience, with projects worldwide, covers a broad range of mining methods across various commodity types including gold, platinum, copper, lead, nickel, coal, diamond, uranium and potash.
Stephen Hardcastle is the Managing Director of BBE Consulting Canada and is involved at both technical and strategic levels in the company. He has over thirty-five years of professional and practical experience in mine ventilation optimization, mine environment studies, mine ventilation surveys, mine network modelling, mine heat stress, research and development.
Stephen previously headed various high-level programs as Lead Researcher and as Project Manager for studies commissioned by mines and/or industry focused consortia. Mining clients have included: Agnico Eagle, Aur Resources, Barrick Gold, Battle Mountain, Breakwater Resources, Cambior, Cameco, Compass Minerals, Cigar Lake Mining Corporation, Cogema Resources, Dickenson Mines, Glencore (Xstrata/Falconbridge), Goldcorp, Grande Cache Coal, Hemlo Gold, Iamgold, Meston Resources, MSV, Outukumpu, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Placer Dome, Sifto Salt, St. Lawrence Fluorspar and Vale (Inco). Industry group based involvements and studies have been through: CAMIRO, CEMI, the Deep Mining Research Consortia, the Hydrogen Mine Introduction Initiative and the Mine Automation (tele-mining) Program. He was technically involved and/or headed: the design, study and analysis of several ventilation systems and technologies; ventilation automation and optimization applications, including Ventilation-on-Demand [VOD], developing the first 3D graphics ventilation simulation software plus combining production and ventilation simulators; current and emerging technologies evaluation and advisement; and the associated assessment of health & safety impacts, environmental and energy reduction benefits.
Stephen is also an authority in heat stress through physiological research studies, reviewing current health and safety regulations and guidelines; the examination of heat sources and heat exposure; plus, the evaluation of heat stress monitoring instrumentation and a cooling strategy such as a modular thermal transfer unit for the natural generation of heat in winter and cooling in summer.
He has been a Technical Advisor to Ultra Deep Mining Network [UDMN], Workplace Safety North [WSN] Workplace Environment Committee and Ontario Ministry of Labour Mine Legislative Review Committee’s Diesel Sub-Committee, and is a Technical Committee Member of Management of Work in Extreme Conditions, Canadian Standards Association. Stephen was an Invited Expert for the Occupational Disease and Ventilation Hazards, Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review by Ontario Ministry of Labour and to mining industry forums, the expert reviewer of NIOSH mining research programs and funding submissions to Federal and Provincial agencies.
Stephen has also published over 130 book chapters, scientific and technical papers covering a broad range of on mine environmental, ventilation and associated engineering issues.
Morné Beukes is the Director of Operations of BBE Consulting Canada. Over the past 25 years Morné has fulfilled various Ventilation, Refrigeration and Safety roles within the mining industry. He started his mining career as learner official ventilation at Goldfields Field Training Services in 1994, and during the course of his career moved up the ranks to Group Environmental (Ventilation) Engineer of AngloGold Ashanti in 2008 where he remained until 2018.
As head of discipline for AngloGold Ashanti his key performance area’s included: To promote, engineer and manage a working environment that is conducive to health and safety; oversee the occupational hygiene management plan; review the utilisation of ventilation and refrigeration resources and then optimize; life of mine ventilation and refrigeration planning; ventilation and refrigeration project planning; emergency response and disaster management; coach, develop and manage, safety & health staff in ventilation, health and hygiene matters. Morné also served on Mine Rescue Services Board of directors as alternate representative for AngloGold Ashanti for 5 year and as director for an additional 5 years.
Some of the projects completed during Morné’s 25-year mining career include: Planning, implementation and review of various deep and ultra-deep gold mining projects up to 4500 meters in depth; Radiation walk through risk assessment and implementation of radiation protection function for Driefontein Gold Mine; Safety transformation project for AngloGold Ashanti – Global; Implementation and certification of the ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Standard for Mponeng mine.
Jeff Shaw, Ventilation Engineer P.Eng., has been practicing engineering for industrial and mining clients since graduating from Laurentian university. Before joining BBE, he previously worked for Bestech and his clients included Vale’s Totten and Copper Cliff Mines, Mines/Mills Support, and General Engineering. Glencore clients included Nickel Rim South, Fraser Mine, Falconbridge Smelter, and Strathcona Mill. Jeff has worked closely with the IESO and their Class A consumers including Vale, Glencore, Alamos Gold, and KGHM.
Jeff’s skillset includes: business improvement and process optimization, compressible fluid flows, heat transfer and thermodynamic analysis, energy management, systems engineering, project management, statistical analysis, and the design, programming, and commissioning of industrial ventilation automation systems. Jeff has experience authoring, reviewing, and interpreting NI-43101 reports as well as the FEL engineering studies. Special interest areas revolve around ventilation-on-demand, signaling and semaphore systems, and industrial processes that use remote sensing and control – such as assembly lines, mills and mine management systems.
Jeff speaks English and French.
Duran Durieux, Duran joined BBE Consulting Canada in early 2020 and has been with the BBE Group since 2009. Duran’s role has evolved from discipline engineer to leading overall project delivery for both feasibility studies and construction of mine ventilation and cooling systems.
Technically, Duran is proficient in mechanical engineering aspects related to ventilating and cooling mines which mainly involves the fundamentals of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics with applications including refrigeration, heat transfer, heat exchangers, heat load analysis, psychrometry, piping and pump systems, and duct and fan systems. His project involvement includes South Africa, Ghana, Australia, the USA, Canada, Portugal, Brazil, and Mexico. Duran is currently responsible for overall project delivery for the design and construction of a mine cooling system in Mexico which requires fast-tracked implementation. He holds a BSc in aeronautical engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, a BTech in mechanical engineering from the University of Johannesburg, and an advanced certificate in mine environmental control from the South African Chamber of Mines.
Duran is currently working towards P.Eng. accreditation through Professionals Engineers Ontario.
José Llanca Ventilation Specialist, has over 10 years experience in the field of mine ventilation and mine environmental control. Most of this experience has been obtained on massive underground mines, that use the block/panel caving exploitation method in Chile. He was in charge of the design, engineering and commissioning of the Ventilation On Demand systems implementation for Chuquicamata and Andina mines. Previously, Mr. Jose performed managing maintenance and energy savings related contracts for underground mine ventilation assets. In its early stage, Mr. Jose carry out ventilation/pollution measures campaigns and software modeling to improve and ensure the proper environmental conditions for underground activities. Nowadays, He is forming himself in electromobility applications and effects into mining industry, to face the upcoming challenges associated to this generational change.
He has written a few papers with the results of the projects that he had participated, such as "CFD Analysis of the Main Fan Parallel Installation for the 2012-2014 Underground Developments of the New Level Mine Project", "Economic evaluation to implementation of Ventilation On Demand system for CODELCO Division Andina" and "Development of the Control Philosophy for Ventilation On Demand system, Chuquicamata Underground Mine Project".
He is currently working as Ventilation Specialist with BBE Group Canada, providing mine ventilation consulting, engineering and site assistance to several clients located in countries like Canada, United States, Mexico, Peru and Chile.
Myriam Francoeur (M.Sc. Physics, University of Montreal) Ventilation Consultant, has over 5 years of experience in mine ventilation working for a Canadian mine ventilation duct supplier before joining the BBE Group Canada team. She specialized in complex underground mine duct-fan system design, installation, and performance assessment. Through her work with both consulting firms and operators, Myriam has detailed how such systems, vital to mine development and operations, have increasingly become energy intensive and require more comprehensive design strategies. She has also authored several mining-magazine and peer-reviewed articles and participated to mine ventilation events in the US, Australia, and South America, whether as a speaker or technical representative; she has also created a workshop on auxiliary ventilation.
Myriam is fluent in French and English and a proficient technical writer with an additional background in communications, business development, and marketing.
Heather Peters Administration/Financial Assistant, joined the BBE Group Canada team in 2020. She has her Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Guelph, with a focus on Marketing . Through her previous work at multiple non-profit organizations she has experience in a wide range of different administrative, financial, and marketing roles.