Thursday, 1 March 2018

Canadian Achievements in Flotation Technology : A Retrospective

More than a century after its adoption and adaptation as a major mineral separation technology within the mining industry, significant new developments in flotation continue to appear. A number of important contributions have come from Canadians and a selection of these will be highlighted by Dr. Jan Nesset, of NesseTech Consulting Services Inc., Canada, in a keynote lecture at Flotation '19 next year in Cape Town.
Jan, who is also an Adjunct Professor at McGill University, will discuss the developments that led to the successful milling of the highly complex Sullivan ore by Cominco starting in the early 1920’s, to column flotation developed in the 1960’s, to the staged flotation reactor technology recently introduced by Woodgrove Technologies. The development of industrially-robust sensors at McGill has permitted new insights into the process, including the key relationships between bubble size and frothers. The application of these gas dispersion tools has resulted in significant process gains and some examples will be highlighted. The joint development of the continuous mini pilot plant by Canadian laboratories and equipment suppliers is also seen as a significant contribution to flotation technology as evidenced by its adoption by testing laboratories worldwide. Although not directly a flotation technology, the development of mass balancing and data reconciliation methods and software (e.g. Bilmat), begun modestly as a joint government-industry collaboration in the early 1970’s, has evolved into an essential tool for testing, production accounting and resource management at mineral processing, mining and metallurgical sites. Some comments and historical perspectives will also be offered in the keynote. 
Dr. Jan Nesset obtained his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in metallurgical and materials engineering from McGill University, specializing in mineral processing. He spent 24 years with Noranda (now Glencore); 15 in milling operations as a process engineer at their Brunswick Mines operation and in senior management at their Mattabi/Lyon Lake and their Geco mining operations, and nine years in industrial R&D at the Noranda Technology Centre (NTC) in Montreal Canada. He won the Noranda/Falconbridge Chairman’s Team Technology Award in 1998 and in 2000 while at NTC. He has authored/co-authored some 50 technical publications in journals and conference proceedings. Since 2003 he has been a consultant to the mining industry, primarily in the areas of flotation, gas dispersion/cell hydrodynamics technology, and self‐heating of sulphide mixtures. Jan is a Fellow, a Distinguished Lecturer (2008-9) and Life Member of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (CIM) and served as Chair of the Canadian Mineral Processors Society of CIM in 2002-2003, and served as a member of the CMP Board of Directors from 2000 to 2018.  He was a member of the Organizing Committee for IMPC 2016 in Quebec City. In 2018 he compiled and edited the published CIM volume Canadian Contributions to Mineral Processing Technology 1968-2018, on which his keynote will be partly based.

1 comment:

  1. A view of what Jan is going to cover are very relevant; taking more aspects of flotation when we talk of it and measurement of some of these parameters would go a long way to make researchers to be aware of gaps in the knowledge for application on the shop floor.
    All the best Jan.


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