Wednesday, 28 December 2016

2016 with MEI

It will be a long time before people forget, or come to terms with, the momentous political events of 2016. The EU referendum in UK and the Presidential Election in USA were both divisive and hard-fought, with unexpected and marginal results, no doubt reminding many people of the great Winston Churchill's opinion that democracy is the worst form of government - except for all the others.
But rightly or wrongly Brexit and Trump are realities and we now have to accept the will of the people and look forward with optimism to the future.
There is speculation that Donald Trump’s promise to revive American infrastructure means commodities, such as steel, iron ore, nickel and zinc, used to build everything from airports to bridges, will benefit under his presidency, and already in recent months there have been encouraging signs that these metals are bringing the mining industry out of its long decline. Copper, perhaps the best indicator of the state of the industry's health, has been one of the worst performing commodities in the past two years, but has enjoyed a bullish resurgence in the last few months, fuelled by a pick-up in Chinese imports.
In contrast to the base metals, gold began the year with encouraging price rises, but unfortunately prices have fallen again in recent months, for various complex reasons.
Amidst all this turmoil it has been another interesting year for all at MEI, with a great deal of global travel and as always productive networking with people at various events. Here are a few memories of a remarkable year:

Representing MEI at African Mining Indaba '16 in Cape Town, February.
With Dame Judith Macgregor, the British High Commissioner to South Africa,
and Ben Tordoff and Allister McBride of Zeiss UK 
With Jim Finch at the SME Annual Meeting in Phoenix in February,
signing copies of the 8th edition of Mineral Processing Technology.
With Guven Onal of Istanbul Technical University, Turkey,
and Erik Spiller and Hunter Sceats of Colorado School of Mines
Reunion with past CSM students at the CSM Annual Dinner in Falmouth in March
Presenting the 2015 MEI Young Person's Award to Hakan Dundar in Cape Town in April.
He was nominated for the award by Prof. Aubrey Mainza
Relaxing with delegates at Comminution '16 in Cape Town

A Copperbelt reunion in Cape Town in April,
with Roger and Janet Thomas, and Rod and Kathy Whyte 
Delegates from Biohydromet '16 at the Chain Locker pub in Old Falmouth in June
Amanda with Biohydromet '16 delegates in the Camborne-Redruth mining district
A very special Cornish Mining Sundowner at the Chain Locker in June,
where we were joined by Sustainable Minerals '16 delegates on EU Referendum Day
Sustainable Minerals '16 delegates at the gates of the 16th century Pendennis Castle, Falmouth
Montana Tech's Prof. Courtney Young and his wife Miriam were in Falmouth
in June for the conferences, and were on their first visit to UK.
Pictured with Barbara and me at MEI HQ
Amanda made a brief trip to Windhoek, Namibia in July to look at possible venues
for 2018 MEI Conferences. She met up with Associate Professor Harmony Musiyarira,
Head of the Department of Mining and Process Engineering at the
Namibia University of Science and Technology, and Professor Jonas Addai-Mensah
Barbara and I took some time off in July to visit wonderful Peru....
...and then on to Brazil and Argentina to visit the magnificent Iguasu Falls....
...with a final call to Rio de Janeiro, where we met up with former IJMP editor
Prof. Mauricio Torem, and his wife Ana
Prior to the IMPC in Quebec City in September, we were shown around the
Laval University Campus by Prof. Fathi Habashi and his wife Nadia

The big event of the year was the IMPC in Quebec City, where we met up with old friends
and made new contacts at the MEI booth

Jon was in Perth, Australia in October, representing MEI at the AusIMM Mill Operators Conference,
by all accounts a great event......
...while back in Cornwall, I had a very pleasant evening in Penryn, where CSM staff, past and present, and alumni met current CSM students at a pasty and pints evening in the Union bar

In November Barbara and I took advantage of a cancelled conference
to catch some winter sunshine in Cancun, Mexico
And in between all the travelling, we managed to find time to continue
to explore the magnificent Cornish coastal path
A great year, and, as always, about people, so a big thankyou to all who were a part of it. We wish you all the very best for 2017.

Twitter @barrywills


  1. Dear Barry and MEI Team,

    You all carried out a very good job this year.
    It was also very nice to have you in Rio. Our best wishes for the coming year, MaurĂ­cio L Torem

  2. Great and very pleasant recollections.
    I am sure New Year will bring more cheer to MEI and all associated with and followers.
    All the best,Barry.


If you have difficulty posting a comment, please email the comment to and I will submit on your behalf