About Us

MVA is Australasia’s specialist, full-service mine and sub-surface ventilation engineering consultancy. We provide a highly professional, complete, one-stop service in:-

Sub-surface and mine ventilation

We offer a full range of services in the areas of ventilation design, airflow estimation, fan, duct and tunnel sizing; forcing, exhausting and overlap systems. This applies for both mining applications and civil projects.

Mine refrigeration and air-conditioning

Investigations of all cooling options for the workplace, ranging from the impact of increased airflow, through to the full range of refrigeration solutions, including bulk air cooling on surface or underground, “spot” self-contained refrigeration plants at the workplace, and chilled service water.

Working in heat protocols and heat illness

Development of appropriate working-in-heat protocols (heat management plans) designed to provide safe and healthy workplaces without necessarily introducing costly refrigeration.

Dusts and mine gases, diesel fumes and particulates

Estimates of airflows required to dilute contaminates to safe levels; ventilation design of dust or fume extraction and control systems.

Emergency escape (egress and entrapment) systems and planning

Risk assessments in the areas of emergency escape (egress), entrapment, survival times and planning.

Training courses and seminars

Conducting training seminars and workshops for managers, supervisors, technicians or the workforce in any of the above areas.
Besides underground mines, we also provide practical support for civil projects (tunnel construction ventilation etc) and above-ground work environments with related needs.

We adhere to the:

AusIMM Code of Ethics, and the
MICA/AusIMM Code for Consultants
Board of professional engineers (Qld) Code of Practice

NOTE: We do not sell ventilation plant or equipment (fans, duct, refuge chambers, ventilation controls, cooling equipment, etc). For a list of potential suppliers, see our links page.

Our Capability Statement

MVA Capability statement

Our Guarantee to our Clients

  • We will listen to you
  • We will explain things to you
  • We will be available, at worst returning your phone call or e-mail by the end of the following business day
  • We will keep our commitments to you
  • The advice we give will always be of an exceptional standard
  • You will receive the advice and help you need at reasonable rates
  • You will be kept up to date
  • We will always act with integrity, and your business affairs will remain confidential


Dr Rick Brake

Dr D. J. (Rick) Brake is a Chartered Practicing Mining Engineer with 30 years experience in underground and open cut operations in senior planning and operating roles in Australia and North America. He graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Queensland, completed a Master of Business Administration from Deakin University in Victoria in 1991 and a PhD in physiology at the School of Public Health at Curtin University in the area of human heat stress in 2002.
He has a First Class Mine Manager’s Certificate of Competency (Qld, metalliferous) and Statutory Ventilation Officer qualifications (Qld, Coal).

He has published extensively in the areas of mine ventilation, refrigeration and cooling, emergency egress and entrapment and human heat stress (refer separate list of papers). Rick is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a member of the Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa, and a Member of the Minerals Industry Consultants Association of Australia.

Rick was Ventilation Superintendent for the four Mount Isa underground mines in the mid 1980s. He was a member of the Editorial Committee for the Fourth International Mine Ventilation Congress in 1988, a member of the Editorial and Organising committees for the Eighth International Mine Ventilation Congress in 2005 and a member of the Editorial and/or Organising committees for the 12th and 13th US/North American Mine Ventilation Symposia in 2008 and 2010. From 1997 to 1999, Rick was project manager for the ventilation and refrigeration design for the new 3.5 Mtpa Enterprise mine at Isa, which was the deepest and hottest mine in Australia.

Here he led a project team that also developed new heat stress protocols (which subsequently won the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Innovation Award for 1999 and was runner-up for the MCA National Awards in 2000) and new egress and entrapment standards, both of which have become widely adopted in Australian mines. He left MIM in 1999 to form his own consulting company, Mine Ventilation Australia (MVA). In addition to mine ventilation, heat stress and egress consulting, Rick has been principal technical adviser in the area of mine refrigeration to a number of clients covering all styles of refrigeration including: bulk surface and underground air cooling, underground cooling towers, underground spot coolers and reticulated chilled water. He has also been involved as an Expert witness in Australia and the USA in several areas of mine ventilation, egress/entrapment, toxic gas poisoning and heat stress/stroke. Rick was recently honoured by the Society of Mining Engineers with the Howard Hartman award, the first time this prestigious award has been made to anyone outside North America.