|Esme Ryan (Rio Tinto), Jeremy Mann (AMIRA) and Will Goodall|
(MinAssist) catching up at the conference welcome function
|Vanessa Leipezeit and colleague representing the|
geometallurgy team from Olympic Dam
And it is in the current economic downturn, where geometallurgy offers the most opportunity to deliver value as a means to manage ore variability. As captured in the keynote presentation by John Vann, Head of Geosciences from Anglo American, ‘tactical Geomet’ is what we should be doing in the short to medium term, ‘strategic Geomet’ is what we do in the long term. John provided a poignant quote from the ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory….tactics without strategy is the noise before death”. Therefore, the days of geologists doing ‘grade control’ are numbered – they should rather be doing ‘value based ore control’. Similarly it should be about value based reconciliation so that there is a price tag associated with each face or stope in the mine. Every member of the team ideally needs to be part of the reconciliation taking place – focusing on reconciliation in space (stope or face), rather than the simple reconciliation in time (month, quarter). Do we think this is possible? The presentations given by Vanessa Leipezeit from Olympic Dam and Craig Butler from De Grussa mine suggest that where the right motivation, communication and teams are in place then it can be done. It will be particularly interesting next year to hear from Steve Williams of Pasinex Resources on his “Reflections on the benefits and tasks ahead for Geometallurgy – from Metallurgist to Junior Miner”. Steve is considered by some as one of the fathers of modern geometallurgy and will be delivering a keynote presentation at Process Mineralogy 17 in Cape Town (posting of 24th February).
|Anita Parbhaker-Fox (CODES), Regina Baumgartner (Goldfields) and|
Simon Dominy (Exchange Minerals)catching up in one of the tea breaks