Thursday, 30 August 2018

Day 1 at the AusIMM's MillOps 2018

MEI's Jon and his partner Dr. Kathryn Hadler have sent this short report on the first day of the AusIMM's MillOps conference. Jon has attended a number of MillOps, but this was Kathryn's first, representing Imperial College, UK.:
This year's Mill Operators' conference is being held in Brisbane  on the 40th anniversary of the first event in Mount Isa. The opening session of the 14th AusIMM Mill Operators Conference, kicked off with Conference Chair Katie Barns welcoming a record number of 570 delegates from 27 countries.  Over 100 abstracts were submitted to the conference, of which 44 were accepted as presentations in this conference which as usual runs without parallel sessions.  Katie emphasised the theme of this year’s conference “Back to Basics”, and highlighted that all papers contained at least some plant data.  The conference continues with the restructure introduced at the last meeting in Perth in 2016, where talks in a session run without questions in between, instead allowing a panel-type discussion at the end of the session.  This has been followed up by the introduction of a conference app that gives an online programme and the ability to contact delegates (providing they are also using the app!); an innovation that is surely the future for conferences.
Neville Plint, Director of the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland, followed this introduction with the news that, in lieu of gifts to keynote speakers, the AusIMM had instead made donations to the newly set up Dee Bradshaw Travel Scholarship.  This fund will allow postgraduate students to undertake placements overseas, mirroring the Dee Bradshaw and Friends International Travel Scholarship from the University of Cape Town. 

Janine Herzig, AusIMM Director, then gave a short overview of the steps the AusIMM are taking to update and remain relevant.  The AusIMM celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, and a short video to commemorate this was shown.
The first of two keynotes in this session was given by the “brains behind the first MillOPs in 1978”, Peter Munro.  He gave a retrospective of 40 years of the conference series, regaling the audience with tales of the first, held in Mount Isa, where the 200 delegates twice drank the bar dry at the conference dinner, leaving the organisers to restock from the bottle shop across the road.  Peter gave a fascinating rundown of statistics on the conference over the 40 years and 14 meetings, including delegate numbers (increasing) and papers by commodity (predominantly base metals and gold) and geographical spread (over 80% of which have been Australian).  Of note is the low number of academic papers, with less than 10% of authors being from academic institutions in 2016.  This demonstrates the practical and plant-focused nature of the conference.
The second keynote was given by JP Franzidis, a familiar face to many who have attended MEI Flotation conferences.  He took the opportunity to look back at the beginning of his career in industry 40 years ago, and to look forward to the next 40 years.  When he started his career, the most important thing for any plant was tonnes processed.  Perhaps things have not changed that much!  JP gave a rundown of all the new technology available today, from SAG mills and HPGR, to the reflux classifier, including the development of process mineralogy tools and expertise.  In his look forward, however, he cautioned that the low level of trust in mining would become increasingly important to address, as accountability, circular economy and sustainability become key issues.  Perhaps fittingly for a university lecturer, his final words were on the role of education in producing the kinds of graduates that are required for minerals processing in the future.
Below are a few photos taken in the exhibition area on Day 1.
Brent Hill and Greg Chapman of Comminution '20 sponsor Keramos

BenTordoff (right) of Zeiss informed Jon that as well as sponsoring Process Mineralogy '18
they will also be running a pre-conference workshop

The Magotteaux team

The world's leaders in Ore Sorting Machines, Kaal Bartram and Peter Funke of
Physical Separation '19 sponsor Steinert, and Anthony Sacca of TOMRA
The late afternoon welcoming reception
Jon with Chris Smith of Rio Tinto and Alison Keogh of CEEC

Jon with Cobus Kotze of Dakot Wear

Jon with Randy Nix of Flottec and Kenneth Lee of Kemtec


1 comment:

  1. Two observations pleased ne immensely==--"back to basics" and "all papers contained at least some plant data. "


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