Monday, 16 January 2017

The Increasing Importance of Physical Separation Methods

Physical Separation '17 is building up to a must-attend event if you are involved with physical separation of minerals and coal. Physical separation features in almost every mineral processing circuit, encompassing a broad range of techniques and technologies including hydrocyclones, gravity concentration methods and thickeners, all of which make use of the inherent density difference between two mediums, as well as magnetic separation, and the increasingly important ore sorting technology.
One of the leading practitioners in the gravity concentration field is Sandy Lewis-Gray, Technical Director of Gekko Systems, Australia (see posting of 16 March 2015), one of the conference sponsors, who will present the first keynote at the conference, showing how opportunities for enhanced physical separation performance can now go beyond the common practice of optimising unit operation. Improved options exist for feed preparation ahead of the physical separation stage, enabling higher performance and lower cost outcomes for physical separation flowsheets and technologies.
Sandy and Elizabeth Lewis-Gray of Gekko Systems
Sandy will also co-author a paper with fellow Australian sponsor CRC Ore, who will describe the development of a new generation of comminution devices which can produce much steeper product size distributions than with conventional machines, and combined with precise classification will produce feeds which are well suited to gravity concentration and should also reduce flotation losses at both coarse and fine sizes. The use of such new applications in breakage technologies, combined with mineral liberation analysis to optimise liberation prior to the physical separation stage, provides options for pre-concentration and gangue rejection as well as better separation efficiency. The use of low cost gangue rejection and pre-concentration can be an intermediate step between mining and processing that allows lower cut-off grades in the mine whilst delivering higher grades to the mill, and conference sponsor Steinert Elektromagnetbau will assess the economic impact and viability of upgrading ores by pre- concentration using ore sorting.
Electronic ore sorting is becoming increasingly used, due to the development of rapid sensors in such sorters, but preconcentration prior to grinding is nothing new, and dense medium separation has long been an accepted method for treating coal and for early gangue rejection from certain metallic and non-metallic ores, including diamonds. Prof. Tim Napier-Munn (posting of 12 May 2014), former Director of Australia's JKMRC and a current CEEC Director, has many years of experience with dense medium cyclones, which were first patented in the 1940s, and will present the second keynote lecture at the conference, summarising the history of the process, considering its current status in mineral and coal processing, and suggesting ways in which the process might evolve. 
Tim (right) with fellow CEEC Director Mike Battersby at Comminution '14
So, there is much to look forward to in Falmouth in June. We will be putting the provisional programme together later this month, so it is not too late to submit an abstract for presentation at the conference, which immediately follows Computational Modelling '17 at the same venue.
Current Physical Separation '17 sponsors

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Light Rock in Tenerife

Tenerife, in Spain's Canary Islands archipelago, is the second largest ocean-island volcano on Earth after Mauna Loa in Hawaii. Only a 4 hour flight from the UK's provincial airports, and on the same time zone, it is a popular winter holiday destination due to its warm, sunny, sub-tropical climate.
Less than 200 miles from the African coast, Tenerife is dominated by the volcano Mount Teide, whose 3,718-metre (12,198 ft) summit is the highest point in Spain and the highest point above sea level in the islands of the Atlantic. If measured from its base on the ocean floor, it is at 7,500 m (24,600 ft) the third highest volcano on a volcanic ocean island in the world. It remains active, its most recent eruption being in 1909, and last October there were ill-informed scare stories that a major eruption was imminent.
Teide is the most visited national park in Spain and Europe and, by 2015, the eighth most visited in the world with some 3 million visitors yearly. If you can cope with the altitude the amazing lunar landscape is great hiking territory.  
Hiking in Teide National Park in 1997, under Mount Teide
The light coloured "lunar" rock in this area is ignimbrite, which is common in southern Tenerife. It has a characteristic pale yellow-orange colour and can be seen all around the southern coast, overlain with the later lava flows. 
Deposits of lava and ignimbrite above a typical basalt beach
A fine example of ignimbrite
Barbara and I returned yesterday from a week at Costa Adeje in southern Tenerife, topping up our vitamin D reserves, and it is evident in this area that just as a landscape is moulded by local geology, so is the local architecture. The UK 's beautiful Cotswolds area is famous for its buildings, made from the creamy Jurassic limestone, and southern Tenerife has ignimbrite, its Cotswold stone equivalent. As it is lightweight and easy to cut and shape, it is quarried and used locally as a building material.
A dry stone wall composed of ignimbrite
Tenerife's Ignimbrite is a pumice-dominated pyroclastic flow deposit formed from the cooling of pyroclastic material ejected from an explosive volcanic eruption around 600,000 years ago. As pyroclastic material settles it can build up thick layers, and if the temperature is sufficiently high (> 535°C) it can weld into rock, in a similar fashion to that which preserved the shapes of countless corpses after the 1st century eruption of Vesuvius. The pumice and basalt rocks that can be seen in many of the the outcrops were most likely picked up by the ground-hugging pyroclastic flow while it was cascading down the volcano's flanks.
All in all, Tenerife is a great escape from the winter blues and, if you are so inclined, also a great place to read the story of the island in the rocks.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

New Book: Gold Ore Processing 2nd Edition

This new edition of Gold Ore Processing: Project Development and Operations, edited by Dr. Mike Adams, brings together all the technical aspects relevant to modern gold ore processing, offering a practical perspective that is vital to the successful and responsible development, operation, and closure of any gold ore processing operation.
This completely updated edition features coverage of established, newly implemented, and emerging technologies; updated case studies; and additional topics, including automated mineralogy and geometallurgy, cyanide code compliance, recovery of gold from e-waste, handling of gaseous emissions, mercury and arsenic, emerging non-cyanide leaching systems, hydro re-mining, water management, solid–liquid separation, and treatment of challenging ores such as double refractory carbonaceous sulfides.
Outlining best practices in gold processing from a variety of perspectives this is a must-have reference for anyone working in the gold industry, including metallurgists, geologists, chemists, mining engineers, and many others.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Important new appointments in Australia

Joe Pease and Alison Keogh
In its first five years, the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC) has established itself as a trusted, impartial facilitator of all companies interested in promoting practical energy efficiency and productivity improvements in mineral processing operations, with a focus on the typically most energy-hungry activities of comminution. CEEC is a unique organisation and is an impartial facilitator of improvement, innovation and collaboration, strongly supported by CEEC’s sponsors who are mining and METS companies. MEI is proud to have CEEC as an industry advocate for our comminution conferences, including the upcoming Comminution '18.
CEEC Chairman Joe Pease was a keynote speaker at Comminution '16, and he has just announced the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive to lead the next phase of CEEC, Alison Keogh. Alison is a highly regarded mining professional with 25 years of experience in the mining and METS sector, and the MEI team greatly look forward to working with her. Full details of her appointment can be found on MEI Online.
And congratulations to Joe Pease, who in April will be presented with the AusIMM's most prestigious award, The Institute Medal (MEI Online).  Joe is one of the team of consultants at Mineralis, a group of nine minerals practitioners (which includes Flotation '17 keynote speaker Dr. Bill Johnson) whose experience covers management of mineral processing and smelting/refining operations, technical development and commercialisation, professional formation, commodities marketing, project design and due diligence, and operations turn-around. Mineralis announced a few days ago the appointment of Michael Young, who has 28 years’ experience in operating and technical roles treating complex mineral ores. Full details on MEI Online.
And another important appointment in Australia is that of Dr. Chu Yong Cheng of CSIRO, who starts as an Associate Editor of Hydrometallurgy on 1st January. Full details on MEI Online.
Twitter @barrywills

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Woodgrove Technologies, the latest sponsor of Flotation '17

I am pleased to welcome a new sponsor to Flotation '17, and a fairly new company, Woodgrove Technologies of Canada, established only in 2009, but continuing the mandate of their previous company, Minnovex, in providing innovative, technologically advanced products for the mineral processing industry.
Prior to selling to SGS Canada in 2005, Minnovex carried out work in over 30 countries, with offices in five countries. The company specialised in research, development and implementation of technological advances in the mining industry for froth flotation, comminution, geometallurgical modeling and advanced process control. In the discipline of froth flotation, hundreds of flotation projects were carried out including on-site and off-site pilot plant work, flotation computer modelling and geometallurgy, benchmarking, flowsheet development, trouble shooting, advanced process control, and supply and start-up of full scale column cells and feed slurry aeration flotation equipment around the world.
In 2016 Woodgrove merged with Portage Technologies, combining two synergistic partners. Portage Technologies was established in 2010, focused on plant intelligence in the mining / mineral processing industry.
We look forward to introducing this dynamic new company to the flotation series in Cape Town in November.
Current Flotation'17 sponsors

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Last month's most viewed posts

The 10 most popular blog postings in December can be seen below, together with the date of the posting and the total number of comments on the post.

Last month's most viewed posts
3 December 2016 (0)
Are these WASET conferences just a scam?
28 April 2013 (84)
Prof. Heinrich Schubert honoured by IJMP Special issue
5 December 2016 (3)
One of the world's oldest mining inns hosts the Christmas Cornish Mining Sundowner
23 December 2016 (0)
Gwithian Towans and some very ancient rocks
16 October 2015 (5)
10 good reasons to spend some time in Cape Town
12 December 2016 (0)
New Book: How Mining Works
19 December 2016 (0)
Good news and sad news from Australia
16 November 2016 (2)
Catching up in London after 26 years
10 December 2016 (1)
Nominations invited for 2016 MEI Young Person's Award
15 December 2016 (0)

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