Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Comminution '10- the views of a delegate

An email in this morning from Prof. B.K. Mishra, of IMMT, India, with his appraisal of Comminution '10:

This time Comminution 10 took place at the beautiful Vineyard Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa on April 13 through 16, 2010. On Tuesday, Jon Wills at the inaugural invited us to reflect on our amazing accomplishments over the past 25 years while we look forward to the future. Raj Rajamani started out by sharing his thoughts on the unified comminution model which was followed by a beautiful piece of work by L.M Tavares. There were several talks of very high quality from academic institutes and industry alike and I enjoyed all of them during my four-day stay. I learnt about several progresses that have been made with respect to modeling comminution processes, equipment design and operation, and above all PEPT. PEPT holds a lot of promise and I am going to explore more in that area.

Once again I found DEM work of Paul Cleary very impressive. The conference ended with a beautiful piece of work by Malcolm Powell who shared his views with respect to energy conservation. Finally, the thought of HPGR-Isamill circuit replacing the good old SAG-Ball mill circuit took me by surprise. If anyone out there trying a PR campaign then please make sure it works before starting the campaign. Having said that, for the sake of energy reduction and improved overall resource usage, or perhaps our planet’s sake, I will support the idea.

In many respects, Comminution 10 was a well-organized conference. With years of experience putting on conferences, Barry Wills and his team knew how to make a conference run smoothly. Arrangements were superb. While several talks were of very high standard, I still found the overall amount of “practical” content dealing with plant practice, process control, and optimization at Comminution 10 was lacking. This was particularly disappointing, because the conference convened in South Africa—a leader in mineral processing and home to many leading mineral processing companies.

One of the major disappointments for me was to see people trying to re-invent the wheel. They must read at least the books written by L G Austin and R P King before raking up issues and making presentations on
those that have been well settled. Also, as academicians and researchers we must get as close as possible to other’s work and must give credit to others—acknowledge them for their part in bringing about results!!

Comminution 10 offered refreshments coffee breaks and served lunch which was good. I really liked the format of long coffee break because we got time for interactive discussions—often on embarrassing and controversial topics. The conference dinner took place on the Wednesday evening. It was truly an exciting African experience at the Spier Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch wine region. I made it to the dinner where they served wonderful food. I ate couple of excellent vegetarian dish, and finished off the night buying a bottle of Spier wine. I had a wonderful time at Cape Town attending Comminution 10 and I will certainly look forward to April 24, 2012 for the next comminution conference.

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