Thursday, 21 September 2017

Metplant '17 awards to two young JKMRC researchers

Although MEI was a media partner for this month's Metplant '17 in Perth, unfortunately we were unable to attend. Which was a pity as I would have liked to have seen Dr. Grant Ballantyne, of the University of Queensland's JKMRC, receive the award for the best conference paper. Juan Jose Frausto Gonzalez, who is a JKMRC PhD candidate, received the Best Presentation award.
Juanjo and Grant with Janine Herzig, of the AusIMM board and Joe Pease, of Mineralis Consulting, and Chairman of CEEC
Grant is a regular contributor to MEI's comminution conferences and has been invited to take on the role of one of the new Assistant Editors for Minerals Engineering. His paper looked at Recent Improvements in the Milling Circuit at Tropicana Mine and was co-authored by Mike Di Trento, Ivka Lovatt and Brian Putland from AngloGold Ashanti and Orway Mineral Consultants (OMC).  OMC have conducted two surveys at Tropicana mine in 2015 and 2016 and these formed the basis for the paper.  Due to their high power costs, Tropicana operate a high pressure grinding roll (HPGR), ball milling comminution circuit.  In 2015 they were achieving results close to design, but more recently the throughput was increased by 20% following a substantial optimisation process where the HPGR closing screen size was reduced to 2.5 mm, the recycle conveyor capacity was increased and the HPGR speed was increased.  This paper utilised the new Size Specific Energy (SSE) and Comminution Energy Curve methodologies to present this data and communicate the benefits achieved.
Juan Jose’s presentation was titled The Impact of Classification Efficiency on Comminution and Flotation Circuit Performance and was co-authored by Grant, Kym Runge, Malcolm Powell and Roman Cruz from the JKMRC and Frensillo’s Minera Saucito mine.  The operation of cyclones versus fine screens in the ball milling node at Minera Saucito was presented.  The implications of classifier type was presented in terms of comminution performance, mineral deportment, mineral liberation, flotation recovery, concentrator footprint and maintenance. This was the kind of comprehensive study into fine screens that has been called for by many practitioners.  Juan presented this information with clarity, and succinctly, this being all the more impressive due to the fact that English is his second language.
Congratulations Grant and Juan from all at MEI, and we hope to see you in April at Comminution '18.
Twitter @barrywills


  1. What a pleasant reading early morning in India, Well done J.K. Team and my hearty congratulations for the awards you richly deserve; seeing Grant and others making a mark at International level speaks high of the excellent traditions of J.K.Centre. I wish them many more laurels.
    Last year I enjoyed meeting them at J.K. and this photo brought back the pleasant time I had at J.K.with all of them along with Dr.Lynch,Don ,Nappier,Bill etc
    God on you Grant and all.

  2. Thanks Barry, we are all very proud of these awards. Thank you for your kind words!


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