Thursday, 17 December 2009

Imperial Research Team Impresses

I was browsing the October issue of the Journal of Southern African IMM this morning and came across “A Letter from London” by Prof. Jan Cilliers (left) of Imperial College.

Jan points out that in terms of actual operations and tonnages the UK is not much of a mining country any more (although there may be an exciting new polymetallic mine in Cornwall soon). It does, however, have an enormous influence, London being the home of head offices of a number of major mining houses, and the UK has a very strong mining and mineral processing research presence internationally.

None more so than Jan’s impressive team of young researchers at Imperial College, who were out in force at last month’s Flotation ’09 conference in Cape Town, presenting 7 high-quality papers.

Jan must be congratulated on bring together such enthusiastic and bright young people. Just over a year ago Rio Tinto announced a major partnership with Imperial College, creating the Rio Tinto Centre for Advanced Mineral Recovery. The Centre is a research hub in which world class scientists are developing innovative technologies to improve mineral extraction and recovery, while minimising environmental impacts. The Imperial partnership is one of three that Rio Tinto has established, and the only one outside Australia.

The Rio Tinto Centre currently runs four projects, each over a 5 year lifetime. Two projects are in mineral processing: froth flotation and leaching, and two in geophysics. Complex computation is a major component of each of the four projects.

Keep up the good work, Jan et al.

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