Monday, 19 November 2018

Process Mineralogy '18 gets underway

Another beautiful day in Cape Town, and this morning MEI's Jon Wills opened the conference, and welcomed the 84 delegates from 16 countries, thanking our sponsors Zeiss, ThermoFisher Scientific, Bruker, Petrolab and our media partners International Mining and Mining Review Journal Zambia.

MEI's consultant Megan Becker was last week named as one of the top most influential women in mining of 2018.  Deservedly so, as she is passionate about minerals and teaching. Her research, which addresses mineralogy right through the value chain, prompted the South African National Research Foundation to name her a “young researcher with the potential to become a future leader in her field.”  This morning she followed Jon's introduction by speaking movingly of her great friend and mentor, Prof Dee Bradshaw, who was well known to all in the process mineralogy field, and who died in June after a long battle with cancer.
Megan (right) and Dee with me and Norman Lotter at Process Mineralogy '17
I have known Alan Butcher for many years, since he was a geology lecturer at Camborne School of Mines in the early 1990s. He then moved on to Australia and CSIRO, where he was heavily involved with QEM-SEM. During his time as Chief Scientific Officer with Intellection he was involved in the organisation of MEI's Automated Mineralogy conferences in Brisbane. After the demise of Intellection he was with FEI for a few years, and he is now Professor of Geomaterials and Applied Mineralogy at the Geological Survey of Finland. So it was good to have Alan present the first keynote lecture at the conference "When Scientists and Engineers Talk – Lessons from the Oil Industry and Applications to Mining".
Alan with MEI consultant Megan Becker
 Following Alan's keynote there were 14 high class presentations today from Australia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, South Africa and UK, but also plenty of time in the long lunch and coffee breaks to meet the exhibitors, view the posters and to welcome new members to the MEI club. This included 5 researchers from the Botswana International University of Science and Technology, attending and presenting papers at an MEI Conference for the first time.
Our Botswanan delegates

First lunch break in the exhibition area
After a long day it was good to enjoy the evening sunshine for the first of our sundowners in the hotel gardens.

Twitter @barrywills

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Process Mineralogy '18 welcome reception follows from Zeiss Workshop

A beautiful Sunday morning in Cape Town, with preparations for Process Mineralogy '18 in full swing.
At lunchtime I called in to see the start of the pre-conference workshop organised by ZEISS, where new developments in automated mineral analysis were discussed by leading players in the automated mineralogy field.  
Zeiss workshop delegates and presenters
Process Mineralogy '18 sponsor ZEISS will be launching its largest new release of its Mineralogic software tomorrow. This is the 7th installment of the Mineralogic software since the software was brought to market in July 2014 and introduces a significant advancement in both features and productivity.  Mineralogic software  combines a scanning electron microscope with one or more EDS detectors and a mineral analysis engine – all controlled and operated from a single user interface. It can be used with all standard sample types, including stubs, geological slides and core cuttings, and conventional or field emission systems. 
The workshop ended late afternoon to coincide with the start of Process Mineralogy '18, a welcoming wine reception in the conference exhibition area.
There are two Cornish companies, Petrolab and Grinding Solutions Ltd, exhibiting in adjacent booths, so nice to get a photo of all the delegates with a Cornish connection, mainly via the Camborne School of Mines.
I also enjoyed meeting Borbor Gibson, who I highlighted on the blog last year. Borbor is a graduate of the University of Liberia and is now in his first year of a Masters degree at the University of Cape Town.
A great start to the conference and all looking good for tomorrow.
Twitter @barrywills

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Recent comments

There have been comments on the following postings since the last update:

How were your first two days at the Moscow IMPC?
Are these WASET conferences just a scam?
Return to Chingola
A brief but enlightening visit to China's Central South University
Wolf Minerals will have a major involvement with Physical Separation '19
It's official: Prof TC Rao is the "Father of Indian Minerals Engineering"
Welcoming two new sponsors for Physical Separation '19: TOMRA and Outotec
An appreciation of Prof. TC Rao
Cornwall's greatest copper mine in the 'richest square mile on earth'
High capacity microwave treatment of ores may be closer than previously thought
High capacity screens: the future for closing grinding circuits
Exploiting Cornwall's geothermal potential
Norman Lotter's personal view of Extraction 2018
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Join us in Cape Town next week for Process Mineralogy '18 and Hi-Tech Metals '18

The MEI team are now preparing to leave for sunny Cape Town. Process Mineralogy '18 gets underway on Sunday, and Hi-Tech Metals '18 on Thursday.
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

AusIMM Complex Orebodies 2018: 5 days to go!

%%First name%%, don't miss critical discussions with industry leaders at Complex Orebodies in Brisbane next week.

AusIMM Conference


5 days to go

Hi All

Don't miss global experts discuss complexities surrounding the future mineral supply needed for many of the world's most important commodities at Complex Orebodies next week.

Sessions will feature key discussions on:

  • Transformative technologies to open up new extractive possibilities
  • Meeting future challenges, standards and expectations on the changing landscape of acceptable practice
  • Defining and understanding complexity as it applies to the entire mining life cycle

Complex Orebodies 2018 boasts presentations from 40 global experts including Keynote Speakers:

John Steen
John Steen
University of Queensland

Dr Kathy Ehrig
Dr Kathy Ehrig


Prof. Malcolm Powell
Prof. Malcolm Powell

Sustainable Minerals Institute

Mark Noppe
Mark Noppe

SRK (Australasia)

Neville Plint
Neville Plint

Sustainable Minerals Institute

Dr Tony Hodge
Dr Tony Hodge

Queen's University



Prof. Stephen Grano
Prof. Stephen Grano

University of Adelaide



There's only one week remaining to register for this thought-provoking conference. Don't miss your chance to attend, join us in Brisbane on 19-21 November 2018.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Recent Developments and Future of Modelling in Mineral Processing

Dr. Paul Cleary is a very familiar face at MEI and other major conferences around the world. A Chief Research Scientist at Australia's CSIRO Data61, he is a world-renowned expert on particle based modelling for industrial, geophysical and biophysical applications, including simulation of rock and slurry flow in mills. We are very privileged, therefore, to have Paul present a keynote lecture "Recent developments and future of modelling in mineral processing using particle methods" at Computational Modelling '19 in Falmouth next June.
Particle based modelling is well suited to predicting complex multiphase flows within mineral extraction processes. Applications include comminution with particle breakage and flow in crushers and particle breakage and slurry transport within mills and separation, both wet and dry, by screens. In such models the coarser particulate phases are represented by DEM (Discrete Element Method) and the finer slurry or powder phases by SPH (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics). Emerging opportunities also exist in flotation where discrete phases for bubbles and particles can be coupled to continuous free surface liquid phases. These models have become quite sophisticated and continue to increase in the range of scales modelled and the fidelity of the physics represented as computer power continues to rise and computational modelling codes continue to develop.
Dr. Cleary's presentation will showcase a range of leading edge application examples of this modelling and discuss the increasing role of hybrid and multiscale methods.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

A very special day of remembrance

Barbara and I were at the Falmouth War Memorial this morning for the special remembrance service on the occasion of the end of the Great War, 100 years ago at 11am today.  
War Memorial, Kimberley Park, Falmouth, 11am

The horrific First World War touched the lives of many families and although all those who fought in it are now dead, it is important that the sacrifice of men and women of all nations be remembered.
In 1984 I was at a NATO Advanced Study Institute conference in Turkey, where I met for the first time Prof. Gulhan Ozbayoglu, of the Middle East Technical University. During our time in Bursa, I learned that our grandfathers had both fought, on separate sides, at Gallipoli in the Great War, both being wounded, Gulhan’s mortally. We took a day off from the conference and visited the war memorials at the Dardanelles with her family, and it brought home to me how lucky we were to be alive.
With Gulhan and her family at Gallipoli
My grandfather (left) in Egypt in 1914,
prior to the Gallipoli landings of 1915

In his youth my maternal grandfather had joined the newly formed Territorial Army, the volunteer reserve force of the British Army, and on the outbreak of the war, he was sent to France with the 9th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, as part of the British Expeditionary Force. In 1915 he was in Turkey, fighting in Gallipoli. Whilst taking part in a raid on a Turkish trench he found that, on reaching their objective, all his comrades had been either killed or wounded. Retreating to his home trench he was shot in the back, and lay with the dead. As the bodies were eventually removed he stirred in the hot sun and someone noticed that he was still alive. Remarkably, less than a year later, minus one lung, he was back in the trenches, in the Battle of the Somme. He survived the war, and my mother was born in 1921. A sobering thought that if that Turkish bullet had been an inch or so to the left or right, my line of the Wills family would not have existed!

I have lost touch with Gulhan since our last meeting at the IMPC in New Delhi 6 years ago. I assume she has now retired from METU, but if anyone has news of her, I would very much like to hear from you.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

High capacity fine screens: the future for closing grinding circuits

Although Prof. Alban Lynch has been involved with hydrocyclones for very many years, in his conversation with me (posting of 11th August 2014)  he said that "the way they are used now is an absolute nonsense, with circulating loads in some cases of well above 200%. The future is high frequency is very clear that these screens are so much better than hydrocyclones."
By classifying by size-only, screens, compared to hydrocyclones, give a sharper separation with multidensity feeds and reduce overgrinding of the dense minerals. Derrick Corporation is the leader in this field and at Comminution '18 Nic Barkhuysen, of Derrick Solutions International, South Africa, said that replacing the ubiquitous cyclone cluster with Stack Sizer screens creates additional capacity, improved mineral recovery and a simultaneous reduction in power consumption. He said that payback ranges from two to seven months, based on sixteen case studies where before and after audits were performed, replacing cyclones with Stack Sizers.
At Comminution '16 Elizma Ford, of Mintek, South Africa, evaluated the potential throughput benefit of adopting Derrick fine screening technology in a PGM slag ball mill circuit. Mintek was contracted to quantify the effect on circuit throughput associated with changing from the current hydrocyclones to Derrick fine screening technology, and Elizma concluded that it is becoming apparent that the ability of these machines to accurately classify by size only at efficiencies in the mid 90% range, as fine as 45 micron, has resulted in a paradigm shift in milling circuits, replacing hydrocyclones in the closing of secondary and tertiary circuits.
Derrick Corp polyurethane screens on display at SME '16 in Phoenix
We will hear much more of developments of such fine screening technology at Comminution '20, as we are pleased to announce that Derrick Corporation has confirmed sponsorship of the event, the first time that the company has sponsored an MEI Conference.
Current Comminution '20 sponsors
The latest updates on Comminution '20 are at #Comminution20.
Twitter @barrywills

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Process Mineralogy '18 and Hi-Tech Metals '18 are only two weeks away

And it is certainly not too late to register for either or both of these conferences, which will be held in Cape Town's Vineyard Hotel.
The Vineyard Hotel Gardens
Two weeks today Process Mineralogy '18 sponsor ZEISS will be presenting an afternoon workshop on new developments in automated mineral analysis where the use of automated mineralogy software across 2D and 3D throughout the mining value chain will be discussed by leading players in the automated mineralogy field. Registration for the workshop is free of charge.
The workshop will be followed by the Process Mineralogy '18 welcoming reception and pre-registration, which will take place in the exhibition area, giving early arrivals a first chance to mingle with the exhibitors.
The welcoming reception at Process Mineralogy '17
The 3-day Process Mineralogy '18 conference gets under way on Monday November 19th, with a keynote lecture "When scientists and engineers talk – lessons from the oil industry and applications to mining" presented by Prof. Alan Butcher of the Geological Survey of Finland. There will be great opportunities for networking, with long coffee and lunch breaks in the exhibition and poster area, a very informal conference dinner at nearby Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and two 'sundowners' in the Vineyard gardens.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
The final day of the conference begins with a keynote lecture "Common problems, and progress towards solutions, in the process mineralogy of rare earths" by Prof. Frances Wall, of Camborne School of Mines UK. This will be followed by a day of presentations on the mineralogy of the rare earths, lithium minerals and other 'critical hi-tech metals', a prelude to the 2-day Hi-Tech Metals '18 conference which begins on Thursday November 22nd. There is the opportunity to register for this final day and for the 2-days at Hi-Tech Metals '18 should you wish to make Hi-Tech Metals '18 essentially a 3-day event.
Hi-Tech Metals '18 begins with a keynote lecture by Prof. Jens Gutzmer, of Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, Germany, on "High technology metals: facts, fiction and recycling" and the conference will highlight the problems of recycling the hi-tech metals, as well as the beneficiation of rare earth minerals, and the minerals of lithium and other metals which are crucial to our hi-tech society.
It is going to be a great week in Cape Town so join us if you can!
The latest updates are at #ProcessMineralogy18 and #HiTechMetals18.
Twitter @barrywills