Tuesday, 2 September 2014

International Mineralogical Association (IMA '14) Day 2

Megan Becker reports on day 2 of IMA '14:

The process mineralogy and geometallurgy session of the conference continued today and started off with the keynote by Prof Eric Pirard from the University of Liege. Eric’s talk entitled “From Geometallurgy to Ecometallurgy: Building mines for the future” challenged us to use the macro, meso and micro-scale tools which have been developed in geometallurgy and apply this to ecometallurgy, where instead of process natural minerals, we are now faced with processing new synthetic minerals derived from recycling initiatives. The challenge is not only consider these from a material centric perspective (i.e. focusing only on the recovery of 1 metal  such as Al), but rather on the full cycle (i.e. focusing on the recovery of all valuable metals contained within electronic goods to recover some of the more critical metals: Ga, In, Ce, Y etc). 

The session finished off with a talk by Paul Linton from Geospectral Imaging who spoke on how the comminution properties of the ore have been successfully modelled using geometallurgical data at the Anglo Gold Ashanti La Ca Colosa project in Columbia. Paul continued this topic as a key note in another session devoted to hyperspectral imaging where he spoke of the practicalities of drilling and then obtaining core scanning data at La Colosa, a remote project within a forested mountainous area straddled between a fault zone and an active volcano! Overall it was a very inspiring talk and demonstrated how the use of core spectroscopy played a key role in mapping the mineralisation of the ore, yet not without a lot of perseverance from the geometallurgy team both onsite and off-site.

All authors who presented within the process mineralogy and geometallurgy session will be invited to submit the papers for review to the International Journal of Mineral Processing, where a special issue has been proposed and will be edited by Al Cropp of MinAssist (one of the sponsors of Process Mineralogy 14).

Sponsors of Process Mineralogy 14, Bruker: Lindsey Singh and Pari Antalis

Dr Luisa Ashworth (GeoSpectral Imaging), Paul Linton (Geospectral Imaging)
and Dr Lynnette Greyling (University of Cape Town)

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