The nonlinear network optimization algorithm developed in this paper finds the location and size of all fans and regulators which minimize the overall system power consumption while satisfying all physical, legal, and operational constraints. This work includes the formulation of the problem within the framework of mathematical optimization, development of the computational theory, and creation of an efficient solution methodology. The algorithm has been implemented on a microcomputer. The algorithm has four limitations. First, the optimization process is for a single point in time: the dynamic nature of a mine ventilation system in an evolving mine is not directly addressed. Second, the topology of the ventilation network is required input information. The mathematical algorithm does not optimize the size or location of the mine ventilation airways; however, the post optimality analysis techniques can be used to aid in topological decisions. Third, the problem is formulated using volumetric flow; thus, heat and moisture transfer are ignored. Fourth, the capital cost of ventilation equipment is not included in the formulation.