Thursday, 10 November 2016

A Rising Star: Ahmet Deniz Bas

As you will be aware, over the past few years I have been interviewing leading luminaries in the mineral processing field, eminent people who have had illustrious careers in our profession. After discussion with my MEI partners, we felt it would be a good idea to conduct short interviews with young people who have particularly impressed us, and who are just starting out on what we hope will also be illustrious careers.
The first person in our Rising Stars series is Ahmet Deniz Bas, of Laval University Canada, who first came to my attention via his active involvement with social media (Twitter @adenizbas) and his own interviews with leading mineral processors, which are published in MEI's People News North America and People News South and Central America.
Deniz with his MetSoc Award in Quebec City
I met Deniz at the IMPC in Quebec, where he was presented with the 2016 Gordon M. Ritcey Award from MetSoc, for outstanding accomplishments in the pursuit of a graduate degree in hydrometallurgy, the first person from Laval to receive this award. As will be the format for all the forthcoming interviews, I asked him what inspired him to take up a career in mineral processing, what he has been involved with lately, and what are his plans for the near future, and his aspirations for the long term.
Deniz, who is 30 years old, obtained his BSc in mining and minerals engineering and MSc in mineral processing (in the field of hydrometallurgy) from the Mining Engineering Department of Karadeniz Technical University (KTU), Turkey, under the supervision of Prof. Haci Deveci. He is now a final year PhD candidate in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at Laval University under the supervision of Prof. Edward Ghali. He is in the final stage of his project, currently writing up his dissertation and papers based on his results. He has so far co-authored 11 SCI journal papers, 12 conference papers, 5 other peer-reviewed journal papers, 2 translations, and 7 interviews with well-known people from academia and industry.
Internship at Kisladag Gold Mine
During his Bachelors degree he obtained a scholarship from the European Union for the Erasmus-Socrates Exchange program to study one year at the University of Leoben, Austria, where he met many people in Europe from academia and from the mineral processing industry. He then did an internship at Kisladag Gold Mine in Turkey, the largest gold producer in Europe (Tuprag Metal Mining of Eldorado Gold Corporation). Here he gained valuable experience in gold extraction including comminution, spending much of his time on heap leaching, ADR plant, electrowinning, and gold pouring. He says that this inspired him to start a career in this field.
He completed his BSc graduation project on the recovery of silver from X-ray film processing effluents, which was then published as his first international journal paper in Hydrometallurgy. He then did his MSc on the extraction of base and precious metals from E-waste (particularly from scrap TV boards) by bioleaching and chemical leaching, and during his MSc started to work as a Research Assistant at KTU, demonstrating in a mineral processing laboratory module and supervising a number of undergraduate students in their graduation projects. He was also involved in various projects on the treatment of refractory copper-gold ores, and felt that he learnt much about experimental work from his colleagues Dr. Oktay Celep and Dr. Ersin Yazici of KTU. As a result of these experiences, he realised that he enjoyed acting as a mentor, and this was the driving force for him to pursue a career in this field. In 2011, he organised a conference entitled "New Frontiers in Gold and Silver Hydrometallurgy", with the participation of Prof. Fathi Habashi, at KTU in Turkey.
As well as working on his PhD, Deniz has also been working on an interesting industrial project on the electrochemical dissolution and passivation of gold from oxidized/roasted gold ore, sponsored by NSERC, Barrick Gold Corporation, and Hydro-Québec. He was also involved as the “Poster Chair” in the organizing committee of the XXVIII IMPC. He says that this was a priceless experience as he had the opportunity to work with a professional team, sharpen his knowledge, and do some networking. 
Deniz, 2nd from right, as poster chairman at IMPC
Laval University visit to Glencore Horne Smelter, Quebec in 2013
Deniz is 4th from right, back row
I asked him about his plans for the future, and he hopes, after graduation, to do a post-doc on hydrometallurgical extraction of metals preferably in a gold mining company. He feels that Barrick Gold contributes immensely to the field being, for instance, the first company to commercialise the “thiosulphate gold extraction process”, which he has a great interest in.
In the long term, he sees himself as part of a team developing innovative solutions for the industry. He would like to create more opportunities and better connections between universities and industry in terms of R&D projects and he aspires to develop his skills as a research professor. He says that it is very important to maintain connections with one's peers as long as possible and he believes that we should try harder to pave the way for young people to get involved in sharing and discussing their thoughts regarding the future of our field.
It has been a pleasure talking to Deniz and we look forward to following his undoubted progress through the industry.


  1. First let me compliment you,Barry, for thinking of bringing out details on the bright ones of the future of mineral industry.
    My compliments to Ahmed for what he did and plans to do.
    I am sure Ahmed would inspire the youngsters that one can achieve much and serve the profession if one has passion and knowledge.
    I must also compliment all his professors and mentors who have inspired and moulded Ahmed to make a mark.
    Ahmed, you have bright future and your thinking of industry impressed me much; without that orientation, no work is complete. Wish you well.

  2. I am so thrilled and humbled to receive such attention from Dr. Wills and all of MEI. I was overjoyed seeing that Dr Wills invited me to do an interview. What an honour!
    First and foremost, I extend my sincere thanks to all my professors and colleagues for their kind help and support. When I first start my graduation project, the subject (recovery of silver from X-ray film processing effluents) really impressed me a lot at that time. Of course, my MSc. project too.
    It was in 2010, I did my first presentation at an international symposium on mineral processing. There, I received my first question from eminent Prof. Peter Baláž and I remember how excited I was.
    We kept talking during coffee break for more details. At the end of the conversation, he gave me his business card and I was so happy that I had my first academic chat.
    Then, I started to attend conferences as often as I could. Attending conferences is a great experience especially for us, young people, who have passion and goals for the future.
    In time, I realised that our field has a wide range of subjects to deal with.
    I believe that it is very important to follow what kind of research is being done, the evaluation from past to present, and how does it vary from one to another research group around the world.
    So, it will definitely help us to predict the future of our field. I, myself, have great passion and projects to pursue.
    I enjoy that I achieved so many of my goals that were just like a dream that time. Good dreams, indeed. I love to gain experience by living and doing by myself.
    As I gain experience, I find that my goals become more clear. To me, this is a source of motivation.
    Now, I have many friends and good contacts in many countries. Chatting with them, being aware of the recent developments, and sharing experiences are priceless.
    In my opinion, for instance in future conferences and also through internet as here via MEI, there should be more platforms that young people are involved to share their thoughts and discuss with others regarding the future of mineral industry.
    And, if you accept, I here want to recall the idea (which has previously been discussed) of having more poster presentations at conferences.
    My suggestion is to have more poster sessions and more critical panel discussions. With that, I think it would allow us more time and better occasion to discuss in person, so we could avoid the problem of missing some oral presentations in parallel sessions.

    Dr. Rao, many thanks for your kind words. They are so encouraging. Much appreciated.


  3. Congratulations my friend. You deserve it. I enjoyed reading the interview and liked so much the title "Rising Star". As you say, I agree that we should have passion and look forward to achieve our goals. I wish you all the best.


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