Monday, 2 March 2015

Physical Separation '15 shaping up to be a conference not to be missed

Physical Separation '15 in June is going to be a fine conference, with many cutting edge papers.

Ore sorting is poised to become one of the most important future separation technologies, particularly within the comminution circuit, where it can be used to scalp out unwanted hard, abrasive gangue thus reducing overall energy consumption. It is no surprise therefore that the two major sponsors of the conference, the German companies TOMRA Sorting Solutions and Steinert Elektromagnetbau are both international leaders in this technology. 

In his introductory keynote lecture, Rob Morrison, of Australia's JKMRC will discuss the various physical separation options for reducing energy consumption in comminution by doing much less of it. These ideas also lead to strategies which might reduce water consumption, the subject of the 2nd paper of the morning by TOMRA's Jens-Michael Bergmann. He will discuss how sensor-based sorting can drastically reduce the amount of water required in mineral processing plants. Joseph Lessard, of Orchard Material Technology, USA, will then discuss the economic impact of ore sorting on a mineral processing circuit. He will show why miners and plant operators are largely unaware of recent developments and the state-of-the-art technology in ore sorting, and how most importantly, a widespread understanding of how ore sorters can be implemented and their significant economic impacts is lacking. Steinert Elektromagnetbau, who, like TOMRA, provides state-of-the-art sorting equipment and sophisticated magnetic separation technology, is now working with Orchard Material Technology to generate a more complete picture of the economic ramifications (i.e. capital, operating, and maintenance costs) associated with bringing sorting to existing processes.

Dry separation techniques will also feature during the remainder of the first morning, with papers on electrostatic and triboelectric separation, and the use of microwaves.

Plant operations will be the main feature of the afternoon session, with Charlie Northfield, Process Plant Manager at Drakeland's describing progress on the tungsten-tin mine at Hemerdon, Devon, Britain's first new metal mine in over 40 years (posting of 10 July 2014). This will be followed by papers on new mineral sands and rare earth metals deposits, and the recovery of rare earth elements from WEEE. Then time to relax with the late afternoon coastal path walk, followed by pints of real Cornish Ale in Old Falmouth.

Welcome beers at the 17th century Chain Locker pub
The second day of the conference will highlight developments in conventional physical separation processes, gravity, magnetic, screening and solid-liquid separation, before a late afternoon visit to the Camborne-Redruth district, to take in the sites of this famous tin and copper mining region, the 'birthplace of modern mining'.
Physical Separation '13 delegates explore the old mining area
 So a conference to savour, and we look forward to seeing you in Falmouth in June.


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