Monday, 20 October 2014

Sunday in Santiago

Delegates have been arriving from all over the globe today for the IMPC which starts tomorrow at the  Sheraton Hotel and Convention Centre in Santiago, Chile.

Barbara and I arrived yesterday after a 32 hour journey from Falmouth, but after a good night's rest we walked into downtown Santiago this morning, then spent the afternoon relaxing and catching up with a few familiar faces by the hotel's excellent bar and pool.

The evening's International Reception was a welcome ice-breaker in preparation for the next four days.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Susan Woodward, a good friend of CSM

En route to Chile I have just received this email from Sheila Parker, wife of the late Roger Parker, Vice-Principal of the Camborne School of Mines (CSM).

"Past students of CSM will be sad to learn that Susan  Woodward died on the 5th. of October, 2014.  She used to rent half of her farmhouse to students each year - on the condition that they would help her to round up stray bullocks, and help with her famous " wine tasting and food" evenings which raised so much money for cancer research.

Many students came to love Susan and the farm, often returning in later years to stay in one of her holiday cottages with their families.

Her daughter, Sally, will be staying at Rayle Farm for a while to carry on the business."

Barbara and I got to know Susan only in the last few years, and together with many others we attended her funeral yesterday in Illogan. She was a lovely brave lady and we offer our condolences to her family.

Devon Mining Sundowner- October

As I will be in Chile, I will miss next week's Cornish Mining Sundowner, but here are a couple of photos I have received of last week's Devon Mining Sundowner at Hemerdon village. 



Wednesday, 15 October 2014

XXVII IMPC only 4 days away

MEI is a media partner for next week's International Mineral Processing Congress in Santiago, Chile.

I will be representing MEI and reporting daily with updates and photos both on the blog and on Twitter (@barrywills). You can also see what others are saying about the conference on Twitter at #IMPC2014.

If you are attending, and have news that you feel would be of interest to mineral processors worldwide, please get in touch with me either prior to, or at, the event. I would appreciate such news for my full report, which is scheduled for the blog on week beginning October 27th.

Around 1000 delegates are expected and there has been very strong corporate support, so I look forward to an interesting week.


Monday, 13 October 2014

What have models and measurements ever done for us?

There has been a lot of discussion recently, on this blog and on LinkedIn, of advanced models of mineral processing systems, how effective they are and how to convince operators of their efficacy.
Jan Cilliers
A keynote lecture to look forward to at next years Flotation '15 conference is "What have models and measurements ever done for us?" which will be presented by Prof. Jan Cilliers, who leads the  Rio Tinto Centre for Advanced Mineral Recovery at Imperial College UK. 
Prof. Cilliers will show how the history of flotation has key moments when there were significant advances in understanding.  It is notable that these moments are punctuated by advances in the theory or the experiment of flotation. These new techniques in modelling and measurement did not develop independently, but advances in one led directly to advances in the other. Subsequent application of these techniques resulted in improved industrial operation. It is clear that advances in theory and experiment take some time to move from the laboratory to the literature and on to the plant.  It is also clear that while some advances have made a significant impact on industrial flotation, there is still much potential for further application.

Stephen Gay
It is therefore timely that immediately prior to Flotation '15, Dr. Stephen Gay, an independent consultant who is committed to developing optimisation and simulation software and mathematical algorithms for mineral processing, will be running a 3-day Simulation Course. The course will cover all aspects from basic data accumulation and analysis to advanced software development. Delegates will gain insights into the metallurgical process via advanced mathematical techniques and be able to develop systems for high level decision making using modern techniques of computer simulation methodology.
Peter Amelunxen
In another keynote, Peter Amelunxen, of Aminpro, Chile will ask why, after more than 100 years of application of the flotation process—one of the most important technological advances in the history of extractive metallurgy—we still don’t have a standard test procedure for measuring the floatability of minerals in a given flotation system.  Most companies, labs or consulting engineers employ a different set equipment specifications, test procedures, scale-up methods.  Why? 
Flotation is a complex physicochemical mass transfer process, and it has been difficult to fully understand all of the underlying interactions.  While metallurgists can also be complex and difficult, it turns out that this is not the reason for the lack of a suitable standard; rather, the challenges are more practical by nature.  They include difficulties in quantifying, at the lab scale, the phenomena that occur in the plant; missing gaps in the phenomenological understanding of the flotation system; knowledge dissemination, particularly knowledge with respect to understanding and mitigating risk; budgetary constraints; and differences among the objectives of the various test alternatives.  It is these challenges—along with the metallurgists’ desire to resolve them and get on with the job at hand—that have led to the differences in test procedures that we see in our community today.  Peter's keynote will explore some of the key issues that need to be resolved before we can hope to see universally accepted flotation test standards.
So there is much to look forward to next year in Cape Town, but what are your opinions- what have models and measurements ever done for us?

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Two giants of mineral processing inducted into Mining Hall of Fame

Two great figures in the world of mineral processing, who both passed away in 2011, will be inducted into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame at a gala dinner in the Brown Palace Hotel, Denver on February 16.
Professor Klaus Schönert (see obituary of 1st October 2011) developer of High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGR) will be inducted in the comminution category.
The acceptance of HPGR has verified the claim from the original research that high pressure comminution improves energy efficiency. The patents which covered his work were for a high pressure comminution process, not a high pressure roller mill by itself. The advance he claimed was for a two-step process of stressing a bed above 50 MPa followed by deglomeration. This was challenged in courts in Germany, USA and Denmark but his patents were approved in every case.
The high pressure grinding rolls which were part of the patents were licensed to ThyssenKrupp Polysius and KHD for use with cement and minerals. There have been more than 700 installations by Polysius and KHD, and many installations by Koppern and FL Smidth. HPGRs are now an accepted part of comminution technology for minerals as well as cement (see full story on MEI Online).
With Byron Knelson in 1992
Although I never met Prof. Schönert I did know Byron Knelson very well, and I am pleased to hear that he will be inducted into the concentration category. Byron developed the Knelson concentrator almost 40 years ago, a device which would revolutionise the application of gravity separation in the gold mining industry. The machine has become a fixture in many of the world's most prominent gold mines and the technology is now owned by FL Smidth (see full story on MEI Online).