Thursday, 16 June 2016

Roberto Villas-Boas, 1943-2016

I heard the sad news this morning of the passing of Prof. Roberto Villas-Boas, of CETEM Brazil. A long serving representative of Brazil on the International Mineral Processing Council, I have been informed that he was to be recognized for his contributions to mineral processing at the XXVIII IMPC in Quebec City in September. He was for a time the IMPC chairman of the Sustainability Commission, examining various aspects, such as energy reduction and environmental impact.
I have known Roberto for many years, and he was one of the first persons that I recruited to the Editorial Board of Minerals Engineering, at its inception in 1988. I met up with him regularly at IMPCs, where he was always great company at the social events.
Roberto, 3rd left at the 2014 IMPC in Santiago

Socialising at the 2006 IMPC in Istanbul
Roberto will be dearly missed and our thoughts are with his family, and all his colleagues at CETEM. I am sure that there are many of you who knew Roberto, and I invite you to leave your memories and appreciations of his distinguished life and career.


  1. very sad notice; the passed away of Roberto,
    Roberto Villas Boas
    His voice telling me
    Agostino! filosofo del tratamento! in his native mix of Portuguese and Spanish will keep on sounding in my ears.
    To arrive at Brazil and not meeting him and not hearing his particular voice, his stories and his points of view will be unbelievable.
    Agustín F. Correa

  2. Dear Barry and Mineral Processing Colleagues around the world

    The news of the sudden passing of Professor Roberto Villas-Boas has been met with deep sadness by all of his friends and colleagues around the world and especially by his colleagues on the International Mineral Processing Council. Roberto ended his term of office on the Council at the time of the XXVII IMPC in Santiago, Chile, having been a member of the Council for many years. Since 2006 he was the Chairman of the Sustainability Commission a task which he undertook with great enthusiasm and commitment. Over the past many years Roberto was instrumental in bringing a strong sustainability dimension to Congresses and in many respects he was a man ahead of his time. Many of you will also know that his involvement in Sustainability issues in mining and minerals processing was far wider than just his involvement with the International Mineral Processing Council and its Congresses and he will leave a wonderful legacy both in CETEM, where he was its first Director (for 20 years from 1978-1998), and globally for his major contributions in this field.

    Roberto had been associated with the activities of the International Mineral Processing Council ever since the XII Congress took place in Sao Paolo in 1975 and his contributions will long be remembered. He was a most wonderful, warm and cheerful colleague. His conviviality and friendship to all with whom he came into contact was infectious and will long be remembered.

    The Council will arrange a suitable tribute to Roberto at the time of the XXVIII IMPC in Quebec City in September 2016 and suffice to say that it had planned to pay formal tribute at the forthcoming Congress to his distinguished service to the Council and its activities over such a sustained period.

    On behalf of the Council may I extend our deepest sympathies to his family and also his colleagues at CETEM. You are all in our thoughts at this time. RIP Roberto!

    Kind regards
    Cyril O'Connor,Chairman: International Mineral Processing Council

  3. He was a friend, an able administrator in CETEM, and a lovable personality. We were very much shocked by this sad news. My sincere sympathy to his wife and daughter.
    Fathi and Nadia Habashi, Canada

  4. I also enjoyed Roberto's professionalism. Early in my involvement with social aspects in mining he was kind enough to share with me a lot of information. He mailed me several books about the project between Brazil and Canada for mine closure. His participation in regional forums always brought enthusiasm and provocative approaches.
    Thanks Roberto!

    Andres Recalde

  5. Fico muito sentido quando soube da morte do querido professor Roberto Villas-Boas com quem tive o prazer de interagir quando trabalhei em um projeto sobre APLs minerais. Tinha um grande interesse e habilidade intelectual para melhorar o setor mineral, e uma excelente pessoa. Uma grande perda para o Brasil e para o mundo da pesquisa mineral. Jose A Puppim, FGV


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