Friday, 23 October 2015

A special Cornish Mining Sundowner

Last night's Cornish Mining Sundowner, the biggest ever, was kindly hosted by Grinding Solutions Ltd (GSL) to showcase their new premises at Tresillian just outside Truro. Exciting things are happening at GSL who recently moved into a larger purpose built facility incorporating both its new laboratory space and offices. The new building is designed with room for growth and has a new dedicated analytical laboratory. The team at Grinding Solutions is go ahead and energetic and they have big expansion plans for new equipment and services. 
The GSL team: Kathryn Hadler, Tom Rescorl, Nick and Felicity Wilshaw and Simon Bailey
They are aiming to be the world leaders in fine and ultrafine grinding as well as working with major media suppliers on fine grinding optimisation and are fast becoming the experts in ceramic media wear testing and leading the way in producing a recognised standard test procedure. They are agents for Chinese company, and Comminution '16 sponsor, King's Ceramics & Chemicals, and it was a nice surprise to see Alex Wang and Joey Zhou, who are in Cornwall for a week to see the fine milling test equipment and procedures and what else the company has to offer.
With Alex Wang and Joey Zhou
GSL has also been working with Plymouth University on mineral liberation studies and is continuing with a further project this year. This summer they had three summer students working in the laboratory, two from Camborne School of Mines (CSM) and one from Swansea, opportunities through work place learning being part of the company’s goals. They are very proud to be part of the Cornish mining community and are taking an active part in the Cornish Mining Cluster that is being backed by the UKTI. They have strong links with other mineral processing providers in the county and prefer to use local suppliers for outsourcing, such as Petrolab (posting of 10th September) for their mineralogical testing. 
Over the last 18 months GSL has acquired a number of new pieces of equipment, and enhanced some of their existing equipment, expanding their capabilities and tests on offer and Simon Bailey and Kathryn Hadler were obviously proud to show the equipment on offer.
The latest piece of comminution testing equipment to be received is the Metso Jar Mill, this allows them to offer VERTIMILL grindability studies, used for the sizing and design for Metso VERTIMILL industrial applications, and it was good to meet Metso Sweden's Shane Sullivan and Graham Davey, of Metso UK, a mineral processing graduate from CSM in 1991.
In the photo below Shane Sullivan (right) looks on as Kathryn Hadler explains the principle of the Netzsch stirred mill, the inspiration behind the IsaMill, which first introduced stirred milling into the minerals industry in the 1990s to exploit the extremely fine grained McArthur River lead–zinc deposit in Australia’s Northern Territory, and to satisfy the need for finer grinding at the Mount Isa lead–zinc concentrator.
Graham Davey is 2nd left below. Also with me and Nick is long-serving CSM mineral processing lecturer Richard Pascoe, who retires later this year.
 
Simon Bailey also explains the principles of ceramic bead milling
Two former Directors of CSM were present last night, Keith Atkinson (1994-2002) and Frances Wall (2008-2013).
Keith Atkinson (3rd left) with Mark Shimmield, Paul Burton and Nick Wilshaw
Frances is still very active in research at CSM and was accompanied by three of her current PhD students, working on rare earths, Igor Vsantana (Brazil), Camilla Owens (UK) and Safaa Al Ali (Iraq).
Igor, Camilla, Frances and Safaa
It was also good to catch up with Linda Shimmield and her husband Mark, who had travelled all the way from their home in Singapore. Linda set up the CSM Association in 1989, such that past CSM students and staff could keep in touch, and this has been an enormous success, Linda being secretary from 1989-1996, until she left for Australia, after which Carol Richards looked after it from 1996-1999. Unfortunately Mary Shepherd, who was secretary between 1999-2005, and a regular sundowner, could not make it last night, but Claire Yelland, the present secretary, was there.
Claire, Linda and Carol
Also good to see Malcolm Hooper, now a retired consultant and Bentley Orchard, formerly with Weir Minerals, who has just announced his retirement.
Barbara with Malcolm and Bentley
Luke Rogers of Deister Concentrator attended Physical Separation '15 back in June. He graduated from CSM in 2014 with an MSc in mineral processing, and it was nice to talk to him and his father, Stan, also a CSM graduate from 1969, who, like many in our industry, has had an interesting life in many parts of the world. Stan is now retired and living in Cornwall.
With Stan and Luke Rogers
All in all a great evening with interesting people, and I thanks Nick and his team at Grinding Solutions for their hospitality.

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