Monday 7th April
|Senior GCC members Malcolm Powell (Australia), Arno Kwade (Germany),|
Magnus Evertsson (Sweden), Aubrey Mainza (South Africa),
Marcelo Tavares (Brazil) and Hakan Benzer (Turkey)
This was an excellent start to the conference, and following Alan's keynote, the morning session was devoted to papers on crushing simulation, modelling and control, with contributions from Australia, Brazil, Finland and Sweden. The long coffee break gave delegates their first chance to view the 14 poster presentations, and talk to the 20 exhibitors in the break-out area.
|Steve Morrell (right) at the CITIC booth|
|Metso and JKMRC staff relax|
Tuesday 8th April
It is a privilege to have two directors of the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC) at the event, Prof. Tim Napier-Munn of Australia's JKMRC, and Mike Battersby, of Maelgwyn Mineral Services, UK. CEEC is a not-for-profit global organisation fully funded by the mining industry to advance the adoption of more efficient processes in the energy-demanding area of comminution.
|Mike Battersby and Tim Napier-Munn|
- Is this really an important issue for the mining industry?
- If so, can comminution energy be substantially reduced in a reasonable time frame?
- What are the drivers that will motivate change, and what should now be done?
The keynote set the scene for an interesting morning session with eight papers from Austria, Australia, Canada, Germany and South Africa.
Austrian company Cemtec Cement and Mining Technology's Thomas Plochberger highlighted once more the value of collaboration. Cemtec, who is exhibiting at the conference, is working in collaboration with the Montan Universitaet Leoben in order to compare vertical roller mills and tumbling mills on the basis of energy consumption.
|Thomas Plochberger (2nd right) at the Cemtec booth|
|Paul Cleary (right) with Adrian Hinde of Mintek|
|John Starkey with potential clients|
It was good to get away from the conference atmosphere in the evening, for the conference dinner at the Gold Restaurant at Green Point, on the other side of the city. An evening of great entertainment, food and wine (see posting of 9th April and YouTube video).
Wednesday 9th April
This morning's keynote was presented by Dr. Wolfgang Peukert, Director of the Institute of Particle Technology at the University of Erlangen, Germany. He presented a multiscale picture of grinding, ranging from process modeling down to defect formation and fracture at the lower nanoscale. Comminution in stirred media mills in the liquid phase enables the production of ultrafine particles down to the lower nanometer range. During mechanical stressing of the particles, defects are generated in the crystalline lattice, which enhance the elastically stored energy and weaken the material, so that breakage occurs even down to a range of 10 nm. High resolution TEM analysis and molecular dynamics simulations allow detailed insight into the rich structures evolving inside the nanoparticles. Below a critical size, defects cannot be stored in the crystallites and the overall limit of grinding is reached. The grinding limit is strongly influenced by material properties and hardly affected by the process conditions in the analyzed range of experimental parameters. Whereas the grinding limit depends on materials properties, the breakage kinetic is strongly influenced by the process parameters and suspension conditions as long as the grinding limit is not reached.
The keynote was followed by eight papers on ultrafine grinding, from Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany and USA. Harri Lehto, of conference sponsor Outotec, showed how the demand for finer grinds has set new challenges for comminution technology. In addition to just performing the grinding duty itself, the other challenge is to perform the grinding with lower energy utilisation. New technology introduced by Outotec is based on existing, well proven stirred milling technology, previously being available only for white minerals processing.
|Harri Lehto (left) at the Outotec booth|
|Tower Mill on display at the Eirich booth|
Alex Wang of Chinese company King's Ceramics, described a wear-rate testing method and Hanlie Kotzé of DMM, South Africa, evaluated the importance of wear in the selection of ceramic grinding media.
|Alex Wang (right) at the King's Ceramics booth|
|Cobus and Hanlie Kotze of DMM with Botswanan delegate Elijah Mugiya|
|Klaas van der Wielen (right) at the SELFRAG booth|
Russell Mining Equipment (RME) was established in 1985-86 by John Russell, with a vision to mechanise the entire mill relining process, shorten reline times, shorten overall shut-down times, increase plant utilisation, increase mine site profitability, all achieved while concurrently improving the safety of the working environment. It is good to have RME exhibiting and sponsoring for the first time.
|The Russell Ming Equipment booth, with John Russell centre|
|Chris Greet proudly sporting his MEI shirt|
|Christian O'Keefe and Aubrey Mainza|
After a fine summary of the conference by MEI Consultant Aubrey Mainza, of the University of Cape Town, he led an excellent panel discussion on the future of comminution. The panelists were Rob Morrison of the JKMRC, Wolfgang Peukert of University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Marcelo Tavares of University of Rio de Janeiro and Tim Napier-Munn of JKMRC, and their views led to some interesting discussion from the audience. A full report on Aubrey's summing up, and the panel discussion will be published later on the blog.
|Aubrey Mainza, Rob Morrison, Marcelo Tavares, Wolfgang Peukert and Tim Napier-Munn|
Amanda closed the conference and invited everyone to Comminution '16, which will be held at the Vineyard again in April 2016, before we all adjourned to the hotel gardens again for final farewells over glasses of wine.