Friday, 25 December 2009
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
It's the largest single donation to mining education in Canadian history and will help drive the development of the global mineral resource industry. In recognition of this exceptional gift, the department will be renamed the Buchan Department of Mining.
The full story is on MEI Online.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Martyn Hay’s successful one man company, Eurus Mineral Consultants is a new flotation sponsor. Martyn presented an excellent paper at Flotation ’09 and also sponsored Nickel Processing ’05.
The website for Flotation ’11 is up and running and we look forward to working on this major event over the next couple of years, with our two MEI flotation consultants, Profs. Dee Bradshaw of JKMRC, Australia, and J-P Franzidis of University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Sunday, 20 December 2009
The failure to arrive at binding legal agreements, merely producing expressions of intent, will fuel the global warming deniers who will use Copenhagen to show how politicians are happy to embrace anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory to collect green taxes, but when it comes to the big crunch they do basically nothing.
There is a big difference between a denier and a sceptic. The former often has little scientific knowledge and may have vested interests, in the same way that the tobacco companies once denied the link between smoking and lung cancer.
There is nothing wrong with being sceptical, as scientists should question the science of other scientists. Most scientists that I speak to agree that humans play a part in climate change, but are unsure of the extent of human input. The Royal Society’s committee on climate change is very much pro-AGW, but when I pushed one of their senior men some time ago as to what extent humans have contributed to temperature increases he said that he thought that AGW might have contributed about 90%.
This may seem a very vague response, but it is a sensible one, as in truth nobody really knows the human contribution. The important point is that if we agree that to some extent we contribute, then the exercise reduces to simple risk management- I don’t expect my house to catch fire today, but I pay the insurance just in case- it is too risky not to do.
So I ask the question again. What does the minerals industry do now- proceed with expensive schemes to reduce emissions, such as carbon capture and storage, or do as little as possible and make hay while the sun shines (ever hotter)? These are questions that I hope will be asked and hopefully answered at Climate Change ’11 in Falmouth.
Friday, 18 December 2009
This will contain 15 selected papers from SRCR ’09, which was held in Cape Town in April, and has been ably guest edited by Profs. Markus Reuter (Ausmelt Ltd, Australia) and Kari Heiskanen (Helsinki University of Technology, Finland).
The next conference, SRCR ’11 will be held in Falmouth in May 2011, immediately followed by Climate Change and the Minerals Industry ’11 and Risk-Based Approaches to Major Decisions ’11.
It promises to be a week not to be missed!
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Jan points out that in terms of actual operations and tonnages the UK is not much of a mining country any more (although there may be an exciting new polymetallic mine in Cornwall soon). It does, however, have an enormous influence, London being the home of head offices of a number of major mining houses, and the UK has a very strong mining and mineral processing research presence internationally.
None more so than Jan’s impressive team of young researchers at Imperial College, who were out in force at last month’s Flotation ’09 conference in Cape Town, presenting 7 high-quality papers.
Jan must be congratulated on bring together such enthusiastic and bright young people. Just over a year ago Rio Tinto announced a major partnership with Imperial College, creating the Rio Tinto Centre for Advanced Mineral Recovery. The Centre is a research hub in which world class scientists are developing innovative technologies to improve mineral extraction and recovery, while minimising environmental impacts. The Imperial partnership is one of three that Rio Tinto has established, and the only one outside Australia.
The Rio Tinto Centre currently runs four projects, each over a 5 year lifetime. Two projects are in mineral processing: froth flotation and leaching, and two in geophysics. Complex computation is a major component of each of the four projects.
Keep up the good work, Jan et al.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Her latest entry reminds me that we have changed some of the dates for the November 2010 conferences at the Vineyard Hotel, Cape Town. The amended dates are:
November 8-9 Bio and Hydromet '10
November 10-12 Process Mineralogy '10 (as previously advertised)
November 13-14 Zinc Processing '10.
There are calls for papers for these 3 events, and abstracts should be submitted by the end of June.
Monday, 14 December 2009
The next phase of operations will involve de-watering and WUM is working closely with the Environment Agency to ensure that the process is carried out in line with strict environmental regulations.
John is confident that the future is looking very bright indeed and Cornwall will very soon become a world class base metal producer once more.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
This week has been intensive catching up- responding fully to all emails, allocating referees to Minerals Engineering journal papers and collating abstracts submitted for Comminution '10. This is looking good and is on track to being as successful as Comminution '08. We will be putting a provisional programme together later this month, so it is still not too late to submit abstracts.
Amanda has also been busy and MEI Online is on the move again, with new headlines and news items. She has sent out a newsletter today, slightly later than usual.
Jon is back in UK now, and is in London at the moment for his girl-friend's 30th birthday. He's back in Cornwall on Sunday, so we should be back to full normality on Monday!
Precious Metals '10 and Nickel Processing '10 will run back to back at the Falmouth Beach Resort Hotel.
Precious Metals '10 is currently sponsored by Maelgwyn Mineral Services, Newmont Mining and Barrick Gold. Nickel Processing '10 is sponsored by Xstrata Process Support.
If you would like to present a paper at either conference, then the deadline for abstracts is the end of this month.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
This to me doesn't seem the best way of convincing people that the science is sound, and one of the scientists said that he felt under pressure to sign the circular or risk losing work! The Met Office also admitted that many of the signatories did not work on climate change! One scientist told The Times "The Met Office is a major employer of scientists and has long had a policy of only appointing and working with those who subscribe to their views on man-made global warming."
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
It reports that the data from the World Meteorological Organisation is a welcome return to basics. It does not rely on any of the 'proxy' measurements that are subject to criticism, but is based on the simplest, most direct measure of temperature- land and sea-based thermometers.
It is this method of temperature comparison that I expressed concern about in my posting of 14th October. Stephan Harrison responded:
You said: "During the 20th century the number of stations providing data must have fluctuated, and those situated in or near cities must have been influenced by the 'urban heating effect'".This is a good point. However, the inhomogeneities in the data sets are well known and accounted for..... In addition, the UHI is well known and can be accounted for in climate records.We can measure C02 levels from proxy records too (including ice cores, plant stomata etc) and they also show a consistent rise with GHG emissions.
So I am not at all sure how thermometer readings "cut out doubts". and maybe Stephan, you could clarify how "inhomogeneities in the data sets" are accounted for.
You also stated in a comment on October 19th that "The input data to the models doesn't include average annual temperature. The models are developed from simple energy balance models....temperature is an output rather than input." Even more confusing!
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Life cycle assessments of the mining and mineral processing of iron ore, bauxite and copper concentrate have been carried out by workers at Australia's CSIRO and the results published in Journal of Cleaner Production.
The work focussed on embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions. The results showed that loading and hauling make the largest contributions to the total greenhouse gas emissions for the mining and processing of iron ore and bauxite. In the case of copper ore, the crushing and grinding steps make the largest contribution to the total greenhouse gas emissions for the production of copper concentrate. These results indicate that efforts to reduce the increased greenhouse gas emissions from mining and mineral processing, anticipated in the future as a result of falling ore grades and more finer-grained deposits, should focus on loading and hauling for iron ore and bauxite, while for copper ore the focus should be on grinding. There are a number of new and emerging technologies that could be expected to assist in this task, and these include high pressure grinding rolls and stirred mills for grinding, areas which will be explored in April's Comminution '10 conference in Cape Town.
Emerging technologies to combat CO2 emissions is also one of the themes of Climate Change and the Minerals Industry '11.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
We are back home in Falmouth now, and looking forward to an evening meal of beans on toast and catching up on a few missed episodes of Coronation Street! OK, sad, I know, but bliss, and this will be the first wine-free day for several weeks- also the first time we have seen TV for a while, apart from the tedious World Cup Draw from Cape Town on Friday night.
Had texts from Amanda and Jon. Amanda returns tonight from a "tiring" week of conferencing in Spain, while Jon has been canoeing on the Orange River in Namibia, and crosses the border into South Africa tomorrow, returning to Famouth later in the week.
Back to the grind tomorrow, and hopefully sorting out the programmes for the forthcoming conferences, Processing of Industrial Minerals, and Comminution.
Saturday, 5 December 2009
It has been a great circular tour from Cape Town, and for the benefit of anyone thinking of doing this after an MEI Conference, these are the places we stayed, and our gradings (out of 5):
Hermanus- The Windsor Hotel (3). Adequate accommodation and very conveniently situated on the sea-front, within walking distance of the restaurants.
Swellendam- The Coachman Guest House (5). Very relaxing overnight stop, with lovely gardens and pool, and good breakfast.
Knysna- Milkwood Bay Guest House (2). Wonderfully situated on the lagoon, but disappointing amenities and breakfast. Main criticism is that it is GROSSLY over-priced, so we cannot recommend it. A better option is the adjacent Under Milk Wood cottages, where we have stayed twice previously, which are more basic, but are good value for money considering the location.
Prince Albert- Dennehof Guest House (5). Wonderful Karoo character, and excellent breakfast.
Matjiesfontein - Lord Milner Hotel (3). A must stop-over, but the faded elegance is fading very quickly. The pool was out of service, and judging by the colour of the water, has been for some time. Excellent Karoo lamb, however, at the evening dinner.
Franschhoek- Erica's Guest House. Our 4th time here, and never disappoints. Paul and Rosemary very friendly and helpful hosts. Great place to relax by the lovely pool and gardens, and the main street of Franschhoek is only a short walk away.
Friday, 4 December 2009
There can be very few restaurants in the world with a view like this one, at La Petite Ferme Wine Estate, Franschhoek.
Today, over lunch at the restaurant, we bade farewell to our friends Judy, Mike and Jane, who fly back to the UK today.
Barbara and I have one more night in Franschhoek before leaving for Cape Town airport tomorrow afternoon, and the long journey back to a very wet and cold Cornwall.
Hope the blog followers have enjoyed our trip around the beautiful Western Cape. It's back to basics on Monday!!
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Our favourite Guest Houses on this grand tour are Prince Albert's Dennehof and Erica's, nestling under the mountains at Franschhoek.
Relaxing at Erica's, Franschhoek
After a quick dip in the pool, we picnic-lunched under the trees at the nearby Mont Rochelle Wine Estate. Then back to Erica's to check email and the journal. Good to see that papers from Flotation '09 are now flowing in for the special issue, but apologies folks- I won't be dealing with them until next week, when we return to a very cold Cornwall.
More wine at Mont Rochelle
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Barbara, Amanda and Jon on the Outeniqua Pass in 1982
The Swartberg Pass between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert is a unique experience and a major challenge for our friends, who are not too happy with heights. An untarred road with precipitous hairpins, it offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cape.
Monday, 30 November 2009
Celebrated my 64th birthday today and caught up with news and emails. Skyped Amanda, who leaves for a week's business in Barcelona this afternoon. Jon is enjoying sand-surfing in Namibia.
Today is the official deadline for abstracts for Comminution '10, so I have been busy acknowledging receipt of those received today. We will be putting the programme together in late December, so it is definitely not too late for abstract submissions.
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Friday, 27 November 2009
Very good question! I have felt for some time that the BBC’s science reporting is abysmal with unsubstantiated alarmist stories, often accompanied with vague statements such as “scientists say..”.
Climate change is almost always preceded with ‘man made’ and often the reports begin with ‘scientists agree that…’. Sorry, no, they don’t!!
If there is anyone from the BBC out there reading this, I would be really interested in your views, particularly on what I see is a bias towards anthropogenic glocal warming.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
We took the train from Fish Hoek to St. James, then walked to Kalk Bay, where we had lunch in the always excellent Harbour House.
Tomorrow we leave for Hermanus, then on to Knysna. I will be blogging and checking email when and where I can find internet access.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Then down to the Cape, where Mike, Barbara and I did our favourite short walk, 45 minutes from the Cape of Good Hope to Cape Point.
The Cape of Good Hope
Norway is already capturing and storing carbon dioxide in the seabed shelves from which it extracted oil and gas. Norway believes that with its oil-from-coal expertise, SASOL can make a valuable contribution to CCS research.
Monday, 23 November 2009
Today Tony Jackson, of Maiden Creek Consulting, USA, alerted me, via LinkedIn, to a blog posting in the UK Daily Telegraph which, if the content is proved to be true, could, as the title of the posting states, be the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'. I find the section on peer-reviewed journals most disturbing!
I have had some problems logging on to this blog, but I did manage to cut and paste the content, and present it below in its entirety. I look forward to opinions on this.
By James Delingpole :
If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka Hadley CRU) and released 61 megabites of confidential files onto the internet.
When you read some of those files – including 1079 emails and 72 documents – you realise just why the boffins at Hadley CRU might have preferred to keep them confidential. As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be “the greatest in modern science”. These alleged emails – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory – suggest:
Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.
One of the alleged emails has a gentle gloat over the death in 2004 of John L Daly (one of the first climate change sceptics, founder of the Still Waiting For Greenhouse site), commenting:
“In an odd way this is cheering news.”
But perhaps the most damaging revelations – the scientific equivalent of the Telegraph’s MPs’ expenses scandal – are those concerning the way Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause.
Here are a few tasters. (So far, we can only refer to them as alleged emails because – though Hadley CRU’s director Phil Jones has confirmed the break-in to Ian Wishart at the Briefing Room – he has yet to fess up to any specific contents.) But if genuine, they suggest dubious practices such as:
Manipulation of evidence:
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.
Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
Suppression of evidence:
Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
Fantasies of violence against prominent Climate Sceptic scientists:
Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted.
Attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP): ……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back….
And, perhaps most reprehensibly, a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with AGW can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority.
“This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”
“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”
Hadley CRU has form in this regard. In September – I wrote the story up here as “How the global warming industry is based on a massive lie” – Hadley CRU’s researchers were exposed as having “cherry-picked” data in order to support their untrue claim that global temperatures had risen higher at the end of the 20th century than at any time in the last millenium. Hadley CRU was also the organisation which – in contravention of all acceptable behaviour in the international scientific community – spent years withholding data from researchers it deemed unhelpful to its cause. This matters because Hadley CRU, established in 1990 by the Met Office, is a government-funded body which is supposed to be a model of rectitude. Its HadCrut record is one of the four official sources of global temperature data used by the IPCC.
I asked in my title whether this will be the final nail in the coffin of Anthropenic Global Warming. This was wishful thinking, of course. In the run up to Copenhagen, we will see more and more hysterical (and grotesquely exaggerated) stories in the Mainstream Media. And we will see ever-more-virulent campaigns conducted by eco-fascist activists, such as this risible new advertising campaign by Plane Stupid showing CGI polar bears falling from the sky and exploding because kind of, like, man, that’s sort of what happens whenever you take another trip on an aeroplane.
The world is currently cooling; electorates are increasingly reluctant to support eco-policies leading to more oppressive regulation, higher taxes and higher utility bills; the tide is turning against Al Gore’s Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. The so-called “sceptical” view is now also the majority view.
Unfortunately, we’ve a long, long way to go before the public mood (and scientific truth) is reflected by our policy makers. There are too many vested interests in AGW, with far too much to lose either in terms of reputation or money, for this to end without a bitter fight.
But if the Hadley CRU scandal is true, it’s a blow to the AGW lobby’s credibility which is never likely to recover.
Sunday, 22 November 2009
He is pleased that he and his co-author, Prof. Dee Bradshaw, received very favourable comments and compliments about their paper on mixed collectors, the response exceeding their expectations.
Dee Bradshaw and Norman Lotter at Flotation '09
Norm says of Flotation ’09 “It was an excellent conference that typifies MEI. The strong attendance in spite of the recession tells of the value that the delegates see in both its technical value and networking value.”
Norm, we really do appreciate your comments which make worthwhile all our efforts to produce high quality events.
There was a definite spirit of optimism at the conference regarding the economic recovery. Looking at the commodity prices adds weight to this optimism. Base metal prices have increased steadily over the past 12 months, copper from just under $4000/t to $6700/t, lead from 900 to 2400 $/t, zinc from 1200 to 2200 $/t and nickel from 9000 to 16,500 $/t. Precious metal prices have also gained steadily. So I think we should look forward to 2010 with cautious optimism.
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Today we called in at the 'Nellie' for coffee, before walking through the City Bowl,via the Bo-Kaap, the colourful Muslim district and Cape Town's oldest residential area. At the vibrant Waterfront we had a very average lunch at the once excellent 221 Restaurant.
Friday, 20 November 2009
The initial peer-review of a paper takes place at the conference during its presentation and discussion, so I am hoping that authors from last week’s Flotation ’09 are now hard at work preparing their final papers for submission to the Elsevier site. Profs. Dee Bradshaw and J-P Franzidis will be advising me on appropriate referees to supplement the 140 reviewers held in my journal database. Already I have had delegates from the conference kindly offering their services to review specific papers.
I must remind all authors that good conference papers are not necessarily good journal papers and before submission they must ask whether the paper is innovative and of generic interest i.e. it must provide information that is of use to workers outside the particular mine, ore-body or other operation described.
When the papers are submitted, they are initially scrutinised by Elsevier to check formatting, standard of English etc. It is essential that papers are written according to the guidelines laid out in the Guide for Authors. If satisfactory, the papers are passed on to me and I assign suitable referees, specialists in the subject matter, to review the papers.
The process of reviewing, revision, further refereeing etc can be lengthy, but this is the basis of science publication and, although not infallible, ensures that standards are maintained at a high level.
We are hoping that the special Flotation issue of Minerals Engineering will be published in mid-2010.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
We had morning coffee in Simon’s Town, and then spent the rest of the day at Monkey Valley. I went for my usual, today uneventful, walk on the beach.
Jon emailed from Botswana. He had just left Zambia and was disappointed that there was virtually no water to be seen flowing over the Victoria Falls. Also heard from Amanda from a very cold and wet Cornwall.
We have always felt that Cape Town has some of the world’s finest restaurants, but tonight we has an outstanding meal at the local ‘The Foodbarn’ Restaurant in Noordhoek.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
An excellent lunch today at Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine farm.
In the afternoon I went on my usual Noordhoek Beach walk but due to the very strong wind I was alone on the long beach. At least I thought I was, until confronted by a young guy demanding money. When I refused he attacked me, and I managed to hit him fairly hard on the head, after which he made off.
In thirteen consecutive years visiting Cape Town, that was the first violent incident that I have encountered but a lesson on not to walk alone on deserted beaches!
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
A hot day today in the Cape. Late afternoon I went for a 6 mile walk-jog through the surf on Noordhoek Beach, and it was stunning.
Monday, 16 November 2009
I drove Jon to the airport this morning, through Cape Town’s appalling early morning traffic. He is on his way to Zambia, from where he begins an overland trip through Botswana and Namibia, arriving back in Cape Town in 3 weeks’ time.
We had an excellent lunch with Amanda at Blues Restaurant in Camps Bay before dropping her off at the airport for her Emirates flight back to the UK.
Sunday, 15 November 2009
Amanda, Jon, Dean Eastbury and I made the fairly strenuous hike to the summit today. The views of Hout Bay were spectacular as was the view from the very cold summit, where we were buffeted by gale force winds.
On our return, a well earned beer was followed by an, unfortunately, very mediocre meal at the local Red Herring Restaurant.
They call it the Cape of Storms and the weather during the past week has been the worst that we can remember.
Even now, although the weather has improved, it has been totally unpredictable today.
This morning we relaxed in our cottage at Noordhoek, and caught up on emails and phone calls, then in the afternoon Jon, Amanda and I walked 6 miles on Noordhoek Beach, initially in glorious sunshine, then an hour later in a torrential downpour.
Dean Eastbury of Elsevier joined us this evening for drinks and dinner at Monkey Valley’s Thorfynn’s Restaurant.
Friday, 13 November 2009
After finalising our accounts with the hotel, Barbara, Jon, Amanda and I collected our rental car for the 30 minute drive to Noordhoek and our timeshare cottage at the beautiful Monkey Valley
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Left to right: Jan Cilliers, Kathyrn Cole, Amanda, Pablo Brito Parada, Gareth Morris, Kathyn Hadler, Chris Smith and Jon.