Friday, 23 May 2014

The first Cornish Mining Sundowner of the Summer

There was the usual eclectic mix of mining people at the Chain Locker last night for the May Sundowner, including a handful of mineral processors. It was particularly good to see a couple of my old CSM students, Dr. Dave Dew and John Ross.

Dave graduated in 1979, in the first group of students to be awarded the honours degree in Mineral Processing Technology (posting of 16 July 2009). The undergraduate degree course terminated a few years ago, and now the last remaining mineral processing course, the MSc is to finish this year. As I was very much involved with the development of both these courses I feel sad and disappointed to see their demise, particularly at a time when there is a great need for mineral processors in the industry.

After leaving CSM, Dave had a high profile career in biohydrometallurgy in South Africa, and is now an independent consultant, based in Cornwall. He has just returned from a 6-day trip to Chile where he has been advising for the past 2 years on improvement of the massive 40 square km sulphide bioheap leaching project.

Dave is also an Associate Fellow of CSM and is involved with Dr. Paul Norris, also a biohydrometallurgist, formerly with the University of Warwick, who is now an honorary associate of Exeter University's Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), also based at the same campus in nearby Penryn. He and Dave work closely with last night's missing link in the trio Dr. Chris Bryan, who is roughly 50/50 ESI/CSM, to establish work in biomining at the University. Chris, MEI Consultant to Biohydromet '14, is currently in South Africa, working with fellow MEI Consultant Prof. Sue Harrison at the University of Cape Town. Dave, Paul, Chris and Sue will all be very much involved with Biohydromet '14 in two weeks' time.

Also very good to see John Ross, who graduated in 1991 and who has recently retired from Glencore at the ripe old age of 45! He had a very successful career in various mines in Africa, latterly with Xstrata-Glencore as an in-house consultant. He is now taking time out at his home in Feoch, a small village between Falmouth and Truro, to assess his options for the future.

With CSM Experimental Officer Rob Fitzpatrick, Paul Norris, Dave Dew and John Ross

The June Sundowner will be held on 19th June, and as usual there is an open invitation to anyone in the industry who is in Cornwall at that time. But there will be two more important visitations to the Chain Locker before then, on June 9th with Biohydromet '14 delegates, and June 12th with SRCR '14 delegates. If you are around at that time, please call in and join us.

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