Monday, 4 December 2017

The rapidly evolving world of comminution is reflected in the Comminution '18 programme

Comminution '18 is the 11th in MEI's series of comminution conferences, and how the field has changed over the years. Prof. Alban Lynch, the first Director of Australia's JKMRC, said in 2003: "Comminution must be the key mineral processing technology during the next 50 years," and so it is without doubt. Last month at Flotation '17 in Cape Town I emphasised the crucial importance of flotation, "the world's most important technology", but flotation could not function without efficient comminution, which has had to evolve rapidly with the need to grind ores finer, and to do so with the minimum expenditure of energy. Worldwide the mining industry consumes around 2% of all electrical energy, and comminution is the major consumer, so great efforts are now made to reduce energy consumption, as well as water consumption, which is also critical.
Over 90 papers have been accepted for presentation at Comminution '18, and the provisional timetable is now available.
At the final panel discussion at Comminution '14 (posting of 5 May 2014), Prof. Tim Napier-Munn said that in terms of the future of comminution "we really have to get rid of tumbling mills". Four years on, there is no mention of rod mills in the programme- are these now finally obsolete? Ball mills would have dominated comminution conferences little over a decade ago, but they are mentioned only 5 times in the programme. SAG mills are still of major importance, but in his keynote lecture, Holger Lieberwirth, of TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany, will ask whether SAG mills will still be relevant in 50 years time.
The programme highlights that there are many new ideas out there,  new crusher developments, HPGRs, fine grinding devices and circuits, all offering new approaches and much hope for the future.
So, the Vineyard Hotel, in Cape Town's quiet suburb of Claremont, will be the place to be in April, not only for the fine, state-of-the-art technical programme, but for the many networking opportunities that will be available.
As always, lunches and coffee breaks will be in the exhibition and poster display area. If you are interested in exhibiting, you can view the display area here. Two of the cocktail functions, the Sunday welcoming pre-registration, and one of the afternoon 'sundowners' will be held in the exhibition area, the two other sundowners in the magnificent Vineyard gardens. The informal conference dinner will be at Lagoon Beach, with its iconic view of Table Mountain across the bay.
Vineyard scenes at Comminution '16
My report on Comminution '16 will give you some idea of what to expect. We expect more people next year, as the industry begins to pull itself out of the trough, and hopefully an increasing number of operators, which was good to see at last month's Flotation '17.
Finally, many thanks to our sponsors- we really do appreciate your support.
Current sponsors
Congratulations on a great conference [Comminution '16]. Good papers, made more powerful by a single stream which meant high attendance at each session, and good long breaks for informal discussions throughout the day, and meals in a spacious vendors area to encourage circulation. A great formula for a conference - quality over quantity, and time for discussion and networking and to keep the energy levels high. I wish all conferences could manage this balance so well."
Joe Pease, Mineralis Consulting, Chairman CEEC
More testimonials, and regular conference updates at #comminution18.
Twitter @barrywills

1 comment:

  1. There is just one exhibition booth remaining now for Comminution '18. If you would like information then please either contact me at or go to


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