Tuesday, 16 September 2014

MEC 2014, Poland

Amanda is in Poland this week, representing MEI at the Minerals Engineering Conference (MEC) 2014, which is taking place at the Zargon Complex in Istebna, Poland
She has sent me this update on Day 1 (Monday) by email: 

In a few weeks, this area will transform into a bustling ski resort, but for now we have it, mainly, to ourselves. I'm looking forward to following the line of stationary chair lifts to the top of the mountain, the view must be spectacular.

The Zargon Complex in Istebna

I arrived at the complex by minibus just in time for a 3 course lunch. The organisers had arranged a pick up from a hotel in Gliwice, close to Katawice Airport for those of us with no idea where we were going or how to get there. I was lucky enough to be travelling with some neighbours from home: Prof Hylke Glass, interim head of the Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, and 3 of his PhD students: Shekwonyadu Iyakwari, Amos Ambo, and Zhihai Luo.
Hylke Glass, Amos Ambo, Amanda Wills, Zhihai Luo, Shekwonyadu Iyawari
MEC 2014 is organised by the Society of Mining Engineers and Technicians, in cooperation with the Silesian University of Technology, Wroclaw University of Technology, AGH University of Science and Technology, and the Polish Academy of Science. Aleksander Lutynski and his son Marcin, ZIdzislaw Piszczynski and Tomasz Suponik being key to the organisation. There are 105 delegates here, with representatives from the USA, UK, Finland, India, Eygpt, Turkey, Serbia and Korea together with the large number from Poland itself, including many from KGHM and JSWSA, who are sponsoring the conference.

After a slight delay in starting, Prof Jan Drzymala of Wroclaw University of Technology, introduced Prof Jan Miller of the University of Utah. Prof Drzymala spoke about Prof Miller's 50 years in research before Prof Miller was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Prof. Jan Miller
Prof Miller then went on to present “Progress in X-Ray Tomography for the 3D Characterisation, Analysis, and Simulation of Multiphase Particulate Systems in Mineral Processing”. Beginning with a brief history of tomography, he spoke about its applications in mineral processing, mainly coal washing, comminution, exposure/liberation and heap leaching, and the work his group in Utah have been doing. He also discussed the recent advances in tomography, namely dual energy analysis, for which his group have been using a Zeiss Xradia 520 versa, and feature based classification. He concluded that advanced instrumentation and its accompanying software for x-ray tomography analysis has allowed for a more complete description of multiphase particulate systems so important to achieve significant improvements in mineral processing technology. He also stressed the need to educate and train young scientists in its use.

Following Prof Millers's presentation, we were treated to a celebration of the 70th birthday of Prof Tadeusza Tumidajskiego, Chair of Engineering and Environmental Processing at the AGH University of Science and Technology. Tomasz Niedoba related Prof Tumidajskiego's career and list of achievements before wishing him further years of good health and presented him with another lovely bouquet of flowers.

After a shortened coffee break to allow for the late start, there were 3 presentations from KGHM: “Vision systems in O/ZWR as a support tool for production management and optimisation” presented by Szymon Ogonowski, “The role and importance of total organic carbon (TOC) in production chain of KGHM Polska Miedz S.A.” presented by Witold Pawlos and “The new trends in ore processing technology of base metals” presented by Malgorzata Krzeminska.

These were followed by Prof Hylke Glass, of the Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, who presented “Unlocking Value through Integrated Process Analysis”. The focus of this presentation was trying to get mining and metallurgical engineers to work together to improve the value chain, through integrated analysis which takes into account uncertainty upstream and uncertainty during the process. Using copper and clay as examples, Prof Glass stated that these sorts of uncertainty need to be understood in order to be controlled, with the benefit to industry being the increased value realised from the resources under their stewardship.

After a 5 minute break for coffee, we then heard 4 presentations on coal. “Modernisation and development of mechanical coal processing plant in JSW SA”, followed by Jan Niemirowski with “Expansion of the coal preparation plant in division 'Zofiowka' of the merged coal mine 'Borynia-Zofiowka-Jastrzebie'”, then Grzegorz Tomaszewicz with “Coal gasification – requirements for coal properties, characteristics of market and available technologies”. Marcin Janusz, of the Institute for Chemical Processing of Coal, had the dubious honour of ending the day's proceedings with “Grinding in a vibrating mill as a method for preparation of slurry fuel”, before we all sat down to enjoy a 3 course dinner.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see Jan Miller looking so well after his ordeal. Please give him my best regards.


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