Friday, 22 February 2019

Updates on Cornwall Mining at the February sundowner

Last night's Cornish Mining Sundowner was held in the Stannary Bar in the University of Exeter's Tremough Campus, Penryn.
Before we adjourned to the bar there were three presentations, with news of the three major mining projects in the county.

Owen Mihalop, COO of Strongbow's South Crofty Tin Project, one of the world's highest grade hard-rock tin deposits, said that the project was on course for start-up in 2020. Dewatering of the mine, which closed in 1998, is now a priority, and a treatment plant is underway to treat the water which will be discharged into the nearby Red River. Processing of the ore will be based on that of the old Wheal Jane mill, which treated the South Crofty ore in the late '90s, by gravity and flotation at a recovery of 85-90% tin. It is envisaged that the mill will process up to 1500 tpd, with preconcentration either by DMS or electronic sorting. DMS was used at the old South Crofty mill, but major advances in electronic sorting (which will be highlighted at Physical Separation '19 in June) might mean that this method may be adopted. There will be no tailings dam, as it is planned to backfill new and old worked out stopes using thickened tailings paste.

Owen Mihalop (left) with sundowner regulars Phil Gerrish, Alan Matthews and Dean Eastbury
Brett Grist, Exploration Manager of Cornwall Resources' Redmoor Project, updated us on progress of The Redmoor Tin-Tungsten-Copper Project,  which is located between the village of Kelly Bray and the small town of Callington in southeast Cornwall. The original Redmoor Mine is one of a group of mines that were opened in the 18th century and continued operating until 1892 when they were forced to close due to low tin prices. Sections of the Redmoor Mine were re-opened between 1907 and 1914 and again in 1934. Redmoor now ranks as one of the leading undeveloped tin-tungsten mining projects in the world, said Brett, who highlighted the world-class potential of the Redmoor project as it recently revealed a new mineral resource estimate. It is estimated that Redmoor contains some 137,000 tonnes of inferred tin resources, up from 45,000 tonnes. This provides the company and its joint venture partner, New Age Exploration, confidence to progress towards the goal of restarting mining at Redmoor.
Brett Grist (2nd left) with CSM students
Lucy Crane provided an update on Cornish Lithium, which is focused on exploring for lithium within the hot geothermal brines that naturally occur deep within and around the Cornish granites. Lucy is an exploration geologist and Corporate Development Associate with Cornish Lithium and recently one of the winners of Cornwall’s prestigious 30 Under 30 Awards,  which celebrate Cornwall’s brightest young business talent and those entrepreneurs doing great things in the county.
Lucy Crane with Cornish Lithium colleagues Harry Scott and Tom Naylor
Cornish Lithium now has a team of 11 geologists and metallurgists, who are targeting and mapping the deep sources of lithium brines in the old mining areas of west Cornwall. The brines average 227 mg/l and as the standard method of concentrating such brines, evaporation, is not an option in Cornwall's climate, it is likely that a process based on reverse osmosis and ion-exchange might eventually be adopted.

Interestingly the International Tin Association (ITA) last week released a timely report comprehensively detailing its latest research on potential new market opportunities for tin in lithium-ion batteries. The ITA tracks global R&D, patents and markets for tin and has identified a strongly growing interest in tin in energy materials and technologies, including lithium-ion batteries. Tin has a wide range of technical properties that mean its uses extend to many areas of everyday life. For the same reason, it can adapt well to meet emerging needs for new materials that can generate, store and deliver tomorrow’s energy. ITA has identified nine technology opportunities for tin in lithium-ion batteries, at the same time reviewing the current state of development in lithium-ion batteries generally, including the latest market data for applications in electric vehicles and energy storage.
Pete Ledingham, Project Manager for the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project (UDDGP) was one of the many attendees last night. The UDDGP aims to prove the technical and commercial viability of generating electricity from geothermal energy in Cornwall. Drilling began 3 months ago (posting of 1st November 2018) and already the first well is the deepest hole in Cornwall! Last week it passed the previous deepest, that of the Rosemenowes Hot Dry Rocks Project, which attained a depth of  2,660m in the 1980s. UDDGP plans on eventually being the deepest in the UK at 4,500m.
Pete Ledingham (3rd left) with Steve Barber, Frances Wall and Nick Eastwood
I was pleased to be able to congratulate Nick Wilshaw, Managing Director of Cornish-based Grinding Solutions Ltd (GSL) on his appointment as a Director of Australian-based Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC) (MEI Online). CEEC is an Industry Advocate for MEI's Physical Separation '19, Comminution '20 and Sustainable Minerals '20, and GSL is a sponsor of Comminution '20.
With Nick Wilshaw (centre) and Hylke Glass
As I've said many times before- it is all happening down here in Cornwall!

Twitter @barrywills

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

MEI Conferences 2019-2020

A full listing of all MEI Conferences in 2019 and 2020 can be found on MEI Online.
These conferences cover the whole field of mineral processing, so there is something there for everyone. Presenting your work at an MEI Conference also gives you the opportunity of publication in a Virtual Special Issue of Minerals Engineering.
Many thanks to all the companies who are providing sponsorship of these forthcoming events.
Twitter @barrywills

Sunday, 17 February 2019

A lot to look forward to at next week's SME Meeting in Denver

The Annual SME Meeting starts next Sunday in Denver. One of the world's great mining industry networking events, I will be reporting, as always, on news of mineral processing innovation and people, and this year there will be much more to report on than in recent years.
This year's event is special as an International Symposium honours the 90th birthday of one of the world's greatest mineral processors, Prof. Douglas Fuerstenau, Emeritus Professor of the University of California-Berkeley. The Symposium commences on Tuesday February 26th, but on the previous day, Prof. Fuerstenau will present a keynote lecture as a prelude to the Symposium, describing his seven decades as a mineral engineer. The Mineral Processing Division of the SME will also present the prestigious Robert H. Richards, and Milton E. Wadsworth Awards, to Dr. Jaime Sepulveda and Dr. Kathryn Sole, who will deliver award lectures.
Monday afternoon will also be special as both Prof. Fuerstenau and Prof. Jan Miller, of the University of Utah, will be presented with the International Mineral Processing Council's highest awards, the Distinguished Service Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award respectively.  Neither of them were able to travel to Moscow last year to receive these awards at the IMPC Congress.
Later on Monday afternoon there will be an official launch of the new SME Mineral Processing Handbook, which addresses the new technologies and important cultural and social issues that are important to today’s minerals community.
I intend to spend most of Tuesday, and Wednesday morning, wandering around the huge exhibition, so if you have any news which you think may be of interest to mineral processors, please do let yourself be known to me.
Networking at SME 2017 in Denver
I hope to publish a report on my experiences in Denver on Monday March 4th, and I will tweet regular updates using the hashtag #SME2019ACE.
Hope to catch up with some of you next week!
Twitter @barrywills

Thursday, 14 February 2019

MEI Online #431

Hello Everyone,

It's not too late to send in abstracts for Computational Modelling '19 and Physical Separation '19, but Barry is starting to put the programmes together so be quick! If you would like to submit an abstract, please contact Barry to let him know.

If you are coming to Falmouth this June, and have the chance to stay over the weekend, then you may want to take part in the Walking with Poldark tour organised by Cornish Lithium Ltd on Saturday 15 June, before spending the evening in one of Falmouth's pubs listening to some nautical tunes at the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival.

Best regards,
Amanda
linkedin.com/amandawills
facebook.com/MEIConferences
Twitter @MEIChat

Flotation '19



Minerals Engineering Conferences
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Final Call for Papers: Computational Modelling '19
* Final Call for Papers: Physical Separation '19
* Call for Papers: Flotation '19
* First Announcement: Comminution '20
* First Announcement: Biomining '20
* First Announcement: Sustainable Minerals '20
* First Announcement: Hi-Tech Metals '20
* First Announcement: Process Mineralogy '20

Analytical Techniques & Applied Mineralogy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* First Announcement: Process Mineralogy '20
* FLSmidth Acquires IMP Automation Group
* Recently Refereed Publication:
Minerals Engineering Vol.130
Analytical Techniques & Applied Mineralogy is sponsored by FEI

Biotechnology
~~~~~~~~~
* First Announcement: Biomining '20 * Recently Refereed Publication:
Minerals Engineering Vol.130

Comminution
~~~~~~~~~
* First Announcement: Comminution '20
* CEEC’s Global Reach Boosted by New Directors and Advocates
* Recently Refereed Publications:
Minerals Engineering Vol.130
Journal of Cleaner Production Vol.211

Comminution is sponsored by Russell Mineral Equipment

Computer Applications
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Final Call for Papers: Computational Modelling '19

Electrometallurgy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Recently Refereed Publication:
Hydrometallurgy Vol.183

Environmental Issues
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* First Announcement: Sustainable Minerals '20 * MGX Minerals Announces Oilsands Lithium Extraction and Wastewater Treatment System Deployments
* Natural Resources: First Agreement Between BRGM and University of Cape Town
* Vale Investing US$390 Million in Implementation of Dry Stacking Tailings Disposal Tech from 2020
* Responsible Mining: Evidently not in Minas Gerais
* Vale Looks to Decommission Upstream Tailings Dams Following Brumadinho Breach
* Recently Refereed Publication:
Journal of Cleaner Production Vol.211

Froth Flotation
~~~~~~~~~~
* Call for Papers: Flotation '19
* Recently Refereed Publications:
Minerals Engineering Vol.130
Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects Vol.564

Froth Flotation is sponsored by FLSmidth

General Minerals Engineering
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Conference Announcement: Mineral Engineering Conference MEC 2019
* How Portable Processing is Shaking up Mineral Beneficiation

Gravity Concentration
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Final Call for Papers: Physical Separation '19

Hydrometallurgy
~~~~~~~~~~~
* First Announcement: Biomining '20
* Maelgwyn Minerals’ Leachox Refractory Gold Process hits the Gold Standard
* Recently Refereed Publications:
Hydrometallurgy Vol.183
Minerals Engineering Vol.130
Journal of Cleaner Production Vol.211

Magnetic/Electrical Separation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Final Call for Papers: Physical Separation '19

Materials Handling
~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Weir Minerals Enhances Pump Maintenance with Adjustment Technology

Pyrometallurgy
~~~~~~
* Recently Refereed Publication:
Minerals Engineering Vol.130

Reagents
~~~~~~
* Recently Refereed Publications:
Hydrometallurgy Vol.183
Minerals Engineering Vol.130

Reagents is sponsored by Axis House

Sizing, Classification & Sorting
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Final Call for Papers: Physical Separation '19

Solid-Liquid Separation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Final Call for Papers: Physical Separation '19

Solid-Liquid Separation is sponsored by FLSmidth

Plant Operations
~~~~~~~~~~~
* Outotec to Deliver Filtration Technology for a Lithium Processing Plant in Australia
* Trafigura JV to Build $2.8bn Metal Smelter in Saudi Arabia

Plant Operations News Australasia is sponsored by Magotteaux

Plant Operations News Europe is sponsored by Holman-Wilfley

People News
~~~~~~~~
* Join the Minerals Engineers LinkedIn Group
People News Australia is sponsored by JKMRC & JKTech

Commodities
~~~~~~~~~
New items in:
* Aluminium - Refereed Publications
* Antimony - Refereed Publications
* Arsenic - Refereed Publications
* Calcium Carbonate - Refereed Publications
* Copper - Refereed Publications
* Germanium - Refereed Publications
* Gold - News
* Gold - Refereed Publications
* Indium - Refereed Publications
* Iron - Refereed Publications
* Lead - Refereed Publications
* Lithium - Refereed Publications
* Manganese - Refereed Publications
* Molybdenum - Refereed Publications
* Nickel - Refereed Publications
* Phosphates - Refereed Publications
* Rare Earths & Thorium - Refereed Publications
* Rhenium - Refereed Publications
* Silver - Refereed Publications
* Uranium - Refereed Publications
* Zinc - Refereed Publications



Monday, 11 February 2019

An invitation to 'Walk with Poldark' after Physical Separation '19

Cornwall has a very rich mining heritage, once being the world's largest producer of copper, and then tin. Life in the deep mines of the 19th century was extremely arduous, but the skills that the hard-rock miners acquired led Cornwall to be regarded as the ‘birthplace of modern mining’.

In Cornish mining's heyday in the mid-19th century, upgrading of ore, particularly of the tin ores, was achieved by physical separation methods, hand sorting and simple gravity techniques, the only available methods at the time. So it is appropriate that MEI's Physical Separation '19 will be held in Cornwall, Falmouth being only 8 miles from the Gwennap Parish, once the "richest square mile on earth" due to its abundant copper deposits.
On the final afternoon of Physical Separation '19 delegates will be coached 13 miles for a short visit to the ruins of Wheal Peevor in the historic Camborne-Redruth area (see posting of 1st July 2018).
 
On Saturday June 15th, delegates and partners staying on in Falmouth are invited to join the Walking with Poldark tour, organised by Cornish Lithium Ltd, a wonderful 6 mile walk on Cornwall’s rugged north coast, in the area where most of the mining scenes for the BBC series Poldark were filmed.
We will be picked up from the Falmouth Maritime Museum on Saturday morning and coached the 35 miles to the extreme west of Cornwall, passing through the town of Penzance.
The walk commences at the old Geevor Tin Mine, passing Levant Mine, then proceeds along the coast to the famous Crowns engine houses at Botallack, passing the ruins of the ‘buddles’, stamps and arsenic works and the ruin of the Wheal Owles engine house, where most of the mining activity in the TV series was filmed. This is the area of Cornwall’s submarine mines, which worked far out under the Atlantic Ocean.
Levant Mine
Crowns Engine Houses, Botallack
The remains of the Botallack arsenic works
 
West Wheal Owles
We will then continue to Cape Cornwall, where the coach will be waiting for us to take us to Zennor for lunch in the local inn.
Approaching Cape Cornwall
In the afternoon it is hoped to arrange an underground tour of an old 19th century tin mine. I will post more details of this when available.
There will be a nominal fee of £25 for this day out, collectable on the coach.
I have walked this stetch of coastline many times and can vouch for it being an opportunity much too good to be missed if you are able to stay on after the conference.
Updates on Physical Separation '19 can be found at #PhysicalSeparation19.

Friday, 8 February 2019

The 2019 Canadian Mineral Processors Conference

The Canadian Mineral Processors (CMP) conference is held every year in the same location, the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. It is one of the world's largest gatherings of mineral processors, mainly representing Canada, but many other countries also participate.
As in previous years, if you attended this conference, held between January 22-24, I would like your views, and photos would be most appreciated.
 
John Starkey, of Starkey & Associates, Canada, gets the ball rolling, I hope, with this short note:
The Conference was well set up and ran smoothly by the Executive Committee with Stephanie Vo looking after the technical program.   There were just short of 600 delegates attending (about 587 was the last number I heard).  A mini schedule on a single folded up page made it easy to decide which papers to attend and which could be skipped for a meeting, at a glance.
My impression was that there were many more people from operating companies attending than usual, and that the quality of papers offered was very high and extremely interesting, because of the projects that were discussed.
A new initiative introduced by the board was for Erin Bobicki (Mineral Processing Professor at University of Toronto), to set up a poster competition to get more student involvement.  There were 15 posters presented and I was one of 15 judges, each of whom was responsible to evaluate four posters.  The award was presented at the banquet on Wednesday evening.
Two well-known members of our society, who passed away last year,  Ken Major and Klaus Konigsmann, were recognised at the banquet. Klaus was an icon, because of his mentorship abilities, and his senior influence and leadership as part of the Noranda organization. 
 
This posting will be updated if further views are received.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

The MEI Blog: 10 years old today

Just over 10 years ago, when Jon suggested that MEI should have a blog, I had to Google to find out what a blog was. It sounded like a good idea, but I didn't take it too seriously, and the first posting, reporting the rare sight of snow in Falmouth, was published 10 years ago today, to an audience of absolutely zero. I persevered and gradually the page views increased, soon to 100, then with champagne corks popping when we reached 1000 per month!  Hard to believe that 10 years on page views are consistently over 20,000 per month, and writing the posts has now become a major part of my journalistic life.
I have to say that I have found it a very rewarding endeavour; I have learned a lot by my researches and from the interactive comments received via the postings. I have particularly enjoyed writing about and photographing people, and in doing so have caught up with many old friends and colleagues from the past. I also greatly appreciate the (mostly) positive comments that I receive verbally when travelling around the world, and that many of you appreciate the travelogues that I often publish after these visits.
I never know what to expect when I publish a post. Some that I think will generate much interest don't, and some go through the roof with no real apparent reason (to me anyway).
Here is a list of the 10 most popular posts to date:
Number 1 is Are these WASET conferences just a scam?, published on April 28th, 2013, which now has almost 54,000 views, and 120 comments.
Following this are:
Return to Chingola (12th August 2012)


I hope to be blogging for at least the next 10 years, and as always please do add your comments, which I greatly appreciate.

Twitter @barrywills