Friday, 20 July 2018

More good news for Cornwall at the July mining sundowner

A warm summer evening attracted over 30 mining folk to last evening's Cornish Mining Sundowner at Falmouth's Chain Locker. We were pleased to welcome to her first sundowner Maureen Atkinson, widow of former Camborne School of Mines (CSM) Director Prof Keith Atkinson, who sadly died last August (posting of 6th August 2017).
Maureen Atkinson (2nd left) with Linda Shimmield, Barbara Wills and Joan Oliver
There are always surprises at these sundowners, and no more so last night than the very welcome appearance of Glen Corder, from the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) of the University of Queensland (UQ). Glen was accompanied by Talitha Santini, formerly with SMI, now with the University of Western Australia. They have been in Cornwall this week for the UQ-University of Exeter workshop for sustainable critical minerals, and working on potential collaboration with CSM. Glen and Talitha are pictured below with CSM's Frances Wall, who will be presenting a keynote lecture at Process Mineralogy '18 in November.
Frances, Talitha and Glen
Also nice to catch up with Dave Goldburn, Business Development Manager at Holman-Wilfley Ltd, and to thank him personally for their recently announced sponsorship of Physical Separation '19 in Falmouth next June.
Dave Goldburn (right) with retired mineral processor Steve Barber
It was good to talk to James Strong of Comminution '20 sponsor Grinding Solutions Ltd (GSL), to find out more of their alliance with Arq, who has committed to invest in a new technology and innovation centre at GSL to benefit from its hard rock ultrafine grinding technology and fine particle science culture to apply it to coal and fuels.
Arq will apply the cross functional use of long-standing minerals processing capabilities to optimise its own breakthrough energy technology which transforms the discard produced by coal mines into a new source of low cost energy. This novel process, Arq Technology™, involves the reclamation of extracted materials from coal mining underflow or legacy discard and then grinding it down to particles of 5 microns or less which can then be separated into over 99% pure hydrocarbons and inorganic material (ash). This microfine hydrocarbon (Arq Fuel™) is said to be far more valuable than traditional coal because it can contain less than 1% ash and almost no water.  This increase in value has the potential to change the face of the coal business across the world and Arq has partnered with GSL to develop and manage the Arq Technology Centre which has additional scope for future expansion.
James, who is commercial manager of GSL, said last night:  "We are proud to partner with Arq whose exciting new technology is set to change the global energy industry. The Arq Technology Centre leverages Grinding Solutions’ culture of innovation, expertise and experience and we are excited to transfer established technology from adjacent industries to make the world’s resources go further".
GSL continues to expand, and now has a force of 16 at its premises near Truro, which includes 12 metallurgists. In the last couple of weeks two new technical personnel were added to the staff, Adam Skitt, a Project Metallurgist back from working in Australia and Teresa Norejko, a Junior Chemical Engineer who recently obtained an MEng in Chemical Engineering, and it was good to welcome Teresa to her first sundowner. GSL are also constructing new laboratory and office facilities which will open later in the year and will continue to add to the staff to support this growth.
With GSL staff John Rumbles (metallurgist), Debbie Partridge (Business Administrator),
James Strong, Teresa Norejko and Jamie Goodship (Junior Metallurgist)
All in all an excellent sundowner, and apologies that I did not get round to photographing everyone- Barbara says I was talking too much (a touch of irony there!).  Anyway, we hope to catch up with everyone again at the next sundowner, at the Chain Locker again, on August 16th, starting 5.30 pm.
Twitter @barrywills

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Cornish company Holman-Wilfley is the first major sponsor for Physical Separation '19

We welcome back Physical Separation ‘17 sponsor Holman-Wilfley Ltd,  continuing their long-standing relationship with MEI by sponsoring next year's Physical Separation ‘19 in Falmouth.
Since Physical Separation 17 the company has been busy shipping its Laboratory 800 tables to nearly 50 universities and mining companies, with the industrial 7000 Wilfley machines going in to several large recycling projects in Scandinavia and southern Europe. The industrial sized Holman tables have had further units installed to upgrade capacity at Drakelands tungsten-tin mine in Devon and Holman 8000 tables have also being shipped to various mines around the world, including the expanding tungsten operations in Spain, and projects from Australia to Vietnam.
7000 Wilfley installation in Sweden
Holman 8000 installation in Spain
Managing Director Chris Bailey tells me that the company has planning consent to expand its Redruth facilities, and this will include creation of a purpose built in-house testing facility which will shortly be under construction. "We look forward to catching up with the various customers and our friends and discovering what developments in the science of physical separation has occurred in the last two years" says Chris.
As a major sponsor, Holman-Wilfley joins our industry advocate CEEC, and media partner International Mining in a now very dynamic mining atmosphere in Cornwall.

Updates on the conference can be found at #PhysicalSeparation19.
Twitter @barrywills

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Minerals Engineering: end of term report

The new look Minerals Engineering was launched in January of this year, with the merger of the journal with International Journal of Minerals Processing (IJMP) after 30 years of running separately, in the early days not too comfortably (posting of 22nd January).
Minerals Engineering's final report, for 2017, shows that the Impact Factor (IF) is still rising, to 2.707, retaining the journal's position as the world's  #1 mineral processing journal. It is good to see that the specialist journal Hydrometallurgy has also improved its impact factor to 3.3, so congratulations to Jochen Petersen and his editorial team.  
 In my opinion, more important than IF is the number of ScienceDirect downloads, over 558,000 in 2017, the increasingly high proportion from China highlighting the importance of this country to mineral processing research.
The number of papers submitted to the journal continues to increase, but of the 1254 papers submitted last year, 82% were rejected, a record number, suggesting that the pressure to publish is increasing the number of hastily prepared manuscripts.
As can be seen from the figures below, the number of papers from Asia, mainly China, continues to increase, but the rejection rate of Asian papers, while decreasing, is still too high.
It is interesting that the rejection rate of special issue papers was, by comparison, only 53% in 2017, and is 36% for this year to date. There are good reasons for this. The special issues (now virtual special issues) are, apart from a very few, papers presented at MEI Conferences. These essentially go through two review processes before submission to the journal. They are vetted by MEI and our consultants prior to acceptance for conference presentation, and then the draft papers which are submitted to the conference for discussion are revised by the authors after the conference before journal submission.
It will be interesting to see how the new journal progresses this year. Paper flow continues to increase, but unfortunately it is becoming more and more difficult to find researchers who are willing to spend valuable time refereeing papers. Many academics are keen, sometimes desperate, to have their papers reviewed for publication, but are unwilling to act as referees for others. This problem is exacerbated by the new laws on Data Protection, which does not allow editors to register new reviewers. Instead we have to contact potentially suitable reviewers and request that, if they are interested, they register themselves in the system. This is time consuming and leads to a further increase in average reviewing time for papers.
So I would like to conclude my summary of the journal report by thanking all those specialists who do give up some of their valuable time and contribute whole-heartedly to the valuable peer-review process. Here's to 2018 and beyond!
Twitter @barrywills

Thursday, 12 July 2018

The Zambezi: the perfect setting for a mining sundowner

We have been lucky enough to have been involved with many mining sundowners already this year, in some beautiful venues in Cornwall, Cape Town and Namibia, but slowly cruising the Zambezi, separating Zambia and Zimbabwe, is probably one of the greatest sundowner experiences.
Below are a few photos taken yesterday evening by Amanda, on the Cu-Co Africa River Cruise, which was sponsored by one of MEI's Flotation '19 supporters Axis House.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Zambia: Looking back a few years

Amanda and a few Cu-Co Africa delegates strolled down to Victoria Falls yesterday afternoon, and the photo suggests that the water flow is very much higher than it was at the same time three years ago, when I also photographed delegates by the Eastern Cataract:
Amanda (4th left) with delegates yesterday.........
.....and delegates at the same conference in July 3 years ago
And looking back even further; Amanda looks very much at home in the Livingstone shabeen below, thanks to her early training in Chingola way back in 1972, shortly before she left Zambia for the UK. She is clearly enjoying her first visit back to Zambia!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Copper-Cobalt Africa off to a great start

The bank of the Zambezi River was a perfect setting last night for the welcoming cocktail party at the SAIMM conference, held in association with the 9th Southern African Base Metals Conference.
MEI's Amanda was, of course, very much involved with the great networking opportunities, and has sent these photos, just a few of many that she will be posting on a 'people' blog when she returns from Zambia next week. I look forward to that, as over 290 delegates are registered for the event!
Conference chairperson Kathy Sole, with Lennart Scheunis of Umicore
Amanda with the Outotec delegation