Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Minerals Engineering report reflects the evolution of the global minerals industry

Hard at work with Dean Eastbury in Cape Town
During last week's conference in Cape Town, I got the chance to review the latest report on Minerals Engineering, with Elsevier's Executive Publisher Dean Eastbury, who looks after not only Minerals Engineering, but International Journal of Mineral Processing and Hydrometallurgy, the three journals in our field with the highest impact factors.
Impact Factor trends
This was an end of year report, an update on that reported in the posting of 6th August, which had great news of the journal's Author Feedback Programme, and the statistics in the report reflect the great demographic changes that are taking place in the minerals industry.
With Pablo Brito-Parada and Dean Eastbury
The flow of papers to the journal is steadily increasing, one of the reasons why we recently appointed Dr. Pablo Brito-Parada as Associate Editor, but the rejection rate has increased from 63% in 2013 to 67% this year. Australia provides by far the most accepted papers, followed by Canada and China, Australia also showing the largest increase in papers, while papers from South Africa show the largest decrease, possibly due to the current state of the mining industry in that country (posting of 25th June). Similarly paper flow from the UK is on the wane.
It is interesting that Australia has the lowest rejection rate (15%) of all submitted papers, while China has one of the highest rejections rates of 89%. Chinese authors submit more papers to the journal than any other country by a huge margin, around 32%, so contribute in a big way to the journal's overall rejection rate. Not so long ago, at the IMPC in Beijing, Minerals Engineering and IJMP were involved in a workshop for Chinese authors, but it is apparent that lessons have not been learned, and before submitting papers I would strongly urge authors to read the Guide to Authors carefully, and to ensure that there is innovative work in their manuscripts and that they are relevant not only to a specific ore or material.
ScienceDirect downloads continue to astound me, and these are also on the increase, with well over 460,000 by early October of this year, compared with over 430,000 in 2013. China contributes around 25% of the downloads, and shows the highest rate of increase, again highlighting the ever increasing importance of this country to the worldwide minerals industry. At last months IMPC in Chile, it was reported that there are now 33 Universities and colleges teaching mineral processing in China, and more than 20 research institutes dedicated to mineral processing, with the largest number of students, teachers and researchers in the world, whereas most of the minerals engineering programmes in western universities have died or are dying.

Chinese delegates at the IMPC in Santiago last month
The world of minerals is changing rapidly, and it will be interesting to see how the evolution is reflected in next year's journal report.


  1. I like this report;very informative and a good summary of the state of publications. My congratulations to you, Barry and your esteemed colleagues.
    However, I have a suggestion, to take forward your observations on the publications. You already have "Key Words" for each article. Can we pick up about ten such as "comminution, classification,flotation etc" and divide the published articles under these broad headings. This will give a comprehensive idea on in which areas maximum work is getting done and the areas in which more work is needed.

    Rao,T.C., India

    1. Thanks TC, but I don't think this would tell us a great deal. A good idea of how papers are divided into specialist areas can be gleaned from the special issues of Minerals Engineering, which constitute roughly half of the annual volumes. Comminution and flotation dominate. The former is the area of maximum focus at the moment, because of the need to reduce energy, while flotation dominates because of the very many workers in this area. Physical separation processes are not so intensively researched, which is a pity, as I feel that these will play a huge part in future concentrators. Electronic sorting, for instance, is set to play a major role in scalping unwanted material prior to comminution, but there are few workers in this field compared with flotation, due to the high capital costs involved in setting up research labs for this process.

    2. Barry,
      Thanks for taking your time to come out with such a nice and focused
      summary in typical Barry's way(always simple/straight and subtle).
      Your summary, I am sure would enthuse mineral engns(particularly the
      new generation) to see that such large area i.e. Physical Processes,
      still needs a hard and good look to understand( to help to select
      proper equipments and or combination of some of them)) and also to
      come out with new techniques which will have high capacities/ require
      less floor space /water/power).

      Prof.(Dr.)T.C.Rao, India

  2. It's good to see the excellent global talent developing in minerals engineering and how the journal reacting to this.


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