Sunday, 24 July 2016

Kal Sastry, 1942-2016

Kal Sastry, a University of California Berkeley Emeritus Professor died on July 15th, aged 74.
Known for his contributions to research in mining and mineral process engineering, particularly in iron ore processing, Sastry, who was raised in India, received his doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1970, supervised by Prof. Doug Fuerstenau, before moving to Minnesota to further his research in mining. He became a campus professor in 1975 and retired in 2000.
Prof. Sastry’s main interest was in the mathematical modeling of particulate processes and he taught a graduate course in this area. His undergraduate teaching in the Department of Materials Science and Mineral Engineering was a course on mineral and particulate materials processing and a lower division course on Fortran programming. Many persons in various parts of the world may have taken one of the numerous short courses that he taught concerned with modeling mineral processing operations. Starting from his doctoral research, he developed a worldwide reputation in the field of agglomeration and pelletizing.
After his retirement and until late last year, Kal Sastry continued to teach a campus freshman and sophomore seminar called “The Berkeley Experience,” which introduced new campus undergraduates to opportunities in both UC Berkeley and its surrounding area. Sastry would also encourage the students taking the seminar to write out plans for their future.
Prof. Sastry is survived by his wife Vizia Sastry, his children Jaya Sastry and Suresh Sastry, his daughter-in-law Anitha Sastry and his grandchildren Anjuli Sastry and Aakash Sastry.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

A flying visit to Namibia

by Amanda Wills

Last week I travelled to Windhoek in Namibia to look at possible venues for Biohydrometallurgy '18 and Sustainable Minerals '18. I'm pleased to say that I found more than one possibility and will be announcing the dates and venue for these events in the near future.

Whilst there, I met up with Associate Professor Harmony Musiyarira, Head of the Department of Mining and Process Engineering (DMPE) at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), and Professor Jonas Addai-Mensah, formerly a Professor and Associate Director at the WARK Institute, University of South Australia, now working at NUST.

Harmony Musiyarira, Amanda Wills & Jonas Addai-Mensah
After a splendid lunch at the Avani Hotel, Harmony and Jonas drove me to the new NUST campus, which we reported on back in May, for a guided tour of the new $200MNAM DMPE building which it shares with Civil Engineering. I was much impressed by the state of the art building, and the brand new equipment it is being stocked with, with more planned for 2017-18.

Geological Lapping Machine

Harmony and Jonas pose next to the
 new column flotation cell

The brand new, state-of the-art auditorium

There are plans to expand the academic and support staff too, and a new undergraduate strand in Chemical Engineering is to be introduced in 2017, incorporated within the Process Engineering of DMPE.

Once we decide on a venue for MEI Conferences in Namibia, I am looking forward to working together with the DMPE at NUST to bring the world to Namibia - a country with huge potential.

Recent comments update

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Momentous events between the June and July Mining Sundowners

It's hard to believe that it is only 4 weeks since the June Cornish Mining Sundowner, when we were joined at Falmouth's Chain Locker by delegates from the Sustainable Minerals '16 conference. Many of those were visiting the UK for the first time, while the Sundowner regulars had cast their votes during the day in the EU Referendum, hardly expecting that on the next day we would effectively no longer be a part of Europe.
And what has happened since has been unprecedented in British political history; the resignation of the Prime Minister, David Cameron, the political assassination of his expected successor, Boris Johnson (who did at least, controversially, make it to Foreign Secretary) by his fellow Brexit colleague Michael Gove, who by this act committed political suicide, and the challenge for the leadership of the UK leading to the appointment of Theresa May, only the 2nd female Prime Minister in our history. All this heralding the dawn of a new era and a very different UK, and maybe a free world run by three women, Hilary, Angela and Theresa.
For two of the past 4 weeks I have been following these incredible events in South America, where Barbara and I added three new countries, Peru, Brazil and Argentina to our long list of countries visited. Our last port of call before heading back to UK was Rio de Janeiro, superficially one of the world's most beautiful cities - providing you point your camera in the right direction:
Beautiful Ipanema Beach
Favela above Ipanema
Great views from Sugarloaf Mountain
A different Rio one block back from Copacabana
On our final night in Rio de Janeiro, it was good to catch up with Prof. Mauricio Torem and his wife Ana. Mauricio, Head of the Mineral Processing Research Group at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, and a former editor of International Journal of Mineral Processing, is a regular visitor to Falmouth for MEI Conferences, and was at the Chain Locker with us last month.
Relaxing in the home of Mauricio and Ana
So now we are back in beautiful Cornwall, and great to be drinking real Cornish Ale again at the Chain Locker, with around 20 of the regulars at tonight's Sundowner.
Sadly the usual CSM academics were not in attendance, so little talk about Brexit. Academics around the country are deeply concerned that Britain's position as the major scientific power in Europe may have been compromised by Brexit, as most institutions rely on EU funding and talent from abroad. Let's hope that their fears are ill-founded as we approach the uncertain months ahead.

Twitter @barrywills

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Good news from Australia and sad news from Chile

Good news from Australia that Prof. Alban Lynch (see In conversation, 11 August 2014) is to be inaugurated into the Australian Prospectors & Miners’ Hall of Fame, in the category of Technologist and Scientists. The induction ceremony will be held in Melbourne in November. Congratulations from all at MEI.
Alban Lynch (left) receiving the IMPC Lifetime Achievement Award
from Eric Forssberg, Brisbane 2010

And some sad news from Chile, of the death on July 17th of Roger Kelley at his home in Santiago. I worked with Roger at Nchanga in the early 1970s and until his illness he worked as an independent metallurgical consultant, travelling enthusiastically around the world. Our thoughts are with his wife Elizabeth, and son Steven.
With Roger Kelley (left) and Cyril O'Connor, in Santiago, 2013
Twitter @barrywills

Monday, 18 July 2016

Call for Abstracts Process Mineralogy '17

MEI's next conference is Process Mineralogy '17, the 4th conference in this series, to be held at the Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, from March 20-22 2017. As always the conference is attracting major corporate support from the leading players in this field
Current sponsors
Process Mineralogy '14 had a fine technical programme, and we are hoping for a similar high calibre programme in 2017, and are now calling for abstracts dealing with the following topics:
•Quantitative mineralogy, including both X-ray and Electron Beam Techniques
•Ore characterisation
•Mineral Liberation and Textural Analysis
•Application of process mineralogy on site
•Sampling and Statistics
•Advanced Process Control
High quality papers in the oral and poster sessions will supplement the two keynote lectures, the first  Reflections on the benefits and tasks ahead for Geometallurgy – from Metallurgist to Junior Miner at Pasinex Resources will be given by Steve Williams of Pasinex Resources Ltd, Canada (posting of 24th February). The second keynote lecture Process Mineralogy: An essential booster of the Circular Economy will be given by Eric Pirard of the University of Liege, Belgium (posting of 7th March).
If you would like to present a paper, short abstracts should be submitted by the end of September, and, if accepted, draft papers will be required for the unrefereed Proceedings, which will be available to delegates on a USB stick at the conference. Final papers should be submitted no later than one month after the end of the conference. These will be refereed, and, if accepted, published in a special Process Mineralogy issue of Minerals Engineering journal.
As with all MEI Conferences, networking is considered of great importance, so the technical programme will be supplemented by informal social events, including a welcoming wine reception, 'happy hours' in the Vineyard gardens and a very informal conference dinner (venue to be announced).
If you have not attended an MEI Conference in Cape Town, this 7 minute video, taken at Process Mineralogy '14, will give you some idea of what to expect.
As ores become leaner and more and more difficult to treat, process mineralogy is becoming increasingly important to meet the current technical challenges, so we hope to see as many mineral processors, both from academia and operating plants, in Cape Town next March.
Twitter @barrywills