Monday, 31 October 2011

Prestigious Awards to FLSmidth Mineral Processors

Dave Meadows, a student at Camborne School of Mines in the mid ‘80s emailed to say hello yesterday. He was at this month’s World Gold meeting in Montreal but we somehow managed to miss each other amongst the many delegates at COM ’11.

Dave is now based in Salt Lake City, at the global Mineral Processing headquarters of FLSmidth, sponsors of Flotation ’11, which commences in two weeks time. He informed me of two major award notifications to the Salt Lake City staff.

Phil Thompson has been selected as the recipient of the 2011 Antoine M. Gaudin Award, which recognises contributions that further the understanding of the technology of mineral processing.

He will be honoured “for his role in helping to develop, apply and optimise advanced flotation techniques across the mining industry, including those applied to the recovery and/or separation of copper-molybdenum, gold-copper, silver-lead-zinc, potash and talc, and for his creative and dedicated leadership of Dawson Metallurgical Laboratories for over twenty years.” Phil will become the first FLSmidth employee to receive the prestigious Gaudin Award.

“I was pretty pleased, and kind of surprised,” he said. “A lot of the awards go to academics—PhDs, teachers and professors. I just have a bachelor’s degree. But it’s nice to be recognised for being in the industry for more than 40 years and for working so many 12- or 16-hour days.”

Dave Meadows, meanwhile, will be awarded the Arthur F. Taggart Award, which is given to the author (or co-author) of the paper that best represents a notable contribution to the science of minerals processing in the last two years.

Along with  Peter Amelunxen, of Aminpro Chile, a regular reviewer of Minerals Engineering papers, Dave co-authored the paper, “Not another HPGR trade-off study,” which was published in Minerals & Metallurgical Processing (2011), 28(1), 1-9.

“I am delighted to receive this award. Peter and I got to know each other through the Cerro Verde Concentrator Start-up in Peru,” Dave said. “All the attention has been on Cerro Verde since the plant got running, and this was kind of where the paper got triggered. The application and suitability of the HPGRs has been a subject of much debate, so the paper sets out some guidelines and thoughts to steer practicing engineers through the process. Interestingly enough, I just returned from the SAG 2011 conference and the HPGR topic continues to gain attention even in the more conservative world of mining.”

Dave has also just received a Patent Award for a “Controlled Copper Leach Recovery Circuit” as part of the flowsheet development work he did for the Tenke Fungurume Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Both Phil and Dave will be honoured at the SME Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, in February of 2012, an occasion that will be entirely appropriate since the two worked together on the Cerro Verde Project—before they worked at FLSmidth. Along with his award, Phil will present a corresponding lecture, entitled “Bench Scale Laboratory Testing for Flotation Concentrator Development.”

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