Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Innovation in mineral processing

It is often said that mineral processing as an industry is slow to react to new and innovative technologies, but detailed reports on the perception and adoption of innovation in mineral processing seem to be few and far between. To get a better handle on this, Grinding Solutions have set up a survey on the who, what, where and when of innovation in mineral processing:

The survey is anonymous, and it consists of six categories:
• Some questions on your background to help put results into perspective.
• How do you see the speed of innovation and where is there potential for further work in various mineral processing disciplines?
• What do you see as important drivers and inhibitors to innovation?
• Who are the most successful and productive sources of innovation?
• When is the potential for innovation the greatest, and how should results/success stories be communicated?
• Appraisal of the potential benefits of innovation, i.e. at what point does an innovation become a financially viable proposition?
Grinding Solutions would be very grateful if you could spare some time to fill in this survey, which is estimated to take approximately 5 – 10 minutes. The results from this survey will be made freely available at a later date, and they will not be used for commercial purposes.
For clarity and consistency, please keep the following in mind when answering the questions:
• All questions apply specifically to mineral processing, i.e. they exclude the petroleum sector and concentrate smelters/refineries
• For the purposes of the survey, consider innovation as novel technological solutions that represent a significant improvement over existing solutions, as well as the engagement in research and development of these novel technologies.
On behalf of Grinding Solutions, thankyou for your time and we hope the results of this survey can be of general benefit to professionals in all sectors of mineral processing.


  1. I went through the survey; what is that we expect from this kind of questions; we do not need surveys; we need more focused aspects of unit operations--
    Future is on conservation of power and water and the operations have to be environmentally accepatable Now let us look at suggestions on how to go about(suggestions).

  2. Thanks for the feedback. The survey was set up to gauge the perception of innovation in the mineral processing industry, and to find out exactly where the need for innovation is seen to be is greatest. So in effect your opinion that environmentally responsible operation, and conservation of power and water are key, answers one of the main questions in this survey.

    Defining the problem or need is the first step towards finding solutions, and we have every intention of making results readily available once the survey is finished so hopefully they can benefit the mineral processing community as a whole.

  3. Peter,
    I do appreciate that you took my remarks in the correct perspective. Yes, we need continuous innovations to make the present operations to be more simple (occupy less space and do the bulk of operations in a more compact manner)-- and cost effective.
    What we really need for future is to come out of the present groove(i.e. not incremental changes) but a paradigm shift in thinking. The goal is not only making profit but to innovate systems and processes to recover most of the values from the ore with minimum (if not zero )values in tailings. In addition, how to handle the waste. That is for me is the "sustainability of natural resources", which are finite/site specific/non-renewable/non-perishable in nature. For me this is the ultimate goal and target for anybody dealing with ores.
    All the best with your survey.
    Rao,T.C. 0

  4. Good to see we’re barking up the same tree.

    It's interesting, your opinion of having to leave the current groove/needing a paradigm shift/step change is one that is voiced regularly. For instance, it seems to me many of Barry’s conferences have a key-note presentation that conveys a similar message.

    So the need is clearly out there, and it seems to me there’s ideas out there as well. This left me wondering where things are getting stuck? That's ultimately why I set up this survey... It won't provide technological solutions but at the very least should help focus resources where they are most effective.

  5. Yes, Peter. Barry is doing an excellent and dedicated service by creating various forums and platforms to flag issues and by giving platforms for all of us to express freely so that the profession progresses. For me many papers in these conferences are more towards "understanding phenomena of a given process" and are not leading to innovations.
    - I may not be liked for the remark I made.
    I hope and pray that more will participate in your survey and through light for the future.


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