Tuesday, 18 August 2009

What are your views on the IMPCs?

Next year the XXV International Mineral Processing Congress (IMPC) will be held in Brisbane, Australia, and promises to be a lavish affair.
I would like to know what people think of the IMPC, and what are their most memorable experiences.
I attended by first IMPC in Stockholm in 1988 and have missed only one since, Rome 2000, which by all accounts was the one to miss!
In 2003 the Cape Town IMPC set new standards, in terms of the conference dinner and other social events, which were maintained at the IMPCs in Istanbul and Beijing.
In my view the IMPCs are events not to be missed. All minerals engineers should strive to attend; these are the great meeting places for minerals engineers from every discipline, from process mineralogy to pyrometallurgy. The exhibition and the social events provide great opportunities for networking.
Having said that, in my opinion many of the papers presented have been mediocre. In Istanbul (2006) 457 papers were presented, and in Beijing (2008) 690 were presented and published in a massive 4-volume proceedings, weighing in at nearly 12 kg- a total of around 10 tonnes of paper, most of which will probably never be looked at, as the organisers also provided a much more convenient CD! There is no way that high overall quality can be obtained from this number of papers, and from experience I know that it would be impossible to effectively peer-review this number and provide a high-calibre proceedings for distribution at the event.


  1. Hi Barry, I find them quite informative and usefull to our field of research. I have seen automated image analysis, in my lifetime, move from being 'blue sky' to now a fundamental tool for industry. But there is a lot more exciting things to do.

    Posted by David Weedon, Minerals Engineers LinkedIn Group

  2. From Jorge Rubio, UFRGS, Brazil, on Minerals Engineers LinkedIn group:

    I enjoy attending IMPC huge event despite some colleagues act as they would in Hollywood. It is undoubtedly a macho arena with many kings-like showmens and most attendants acting in a low profile, assisting the show. Perhaps difficulties arise from our poor English but the fact is that only a few of us participate in global decisions and only a few contribute during the technical sessions. When I was younger I used to go to those technical sessions where a very well known Professor used to smash anyone was putting a paper. That was a cruel circus but people appear to enjoy it and now this is more a folk legend (see Proceedings of the IMPC held at Calgary). Some imitators appear from time to time….
    Yet, most of the colleagues are great, sheltered in a nice atmosphere; some papers are fairly good and most (especially in the last ones) are not worthy at all. As a result, I notice that the number of the congress papers citations is extremely low compared to those works published in the specialized journals....


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