Tuesday 28 May 2019

ALTA 2019 - Friday May 24th

ALTA 2019 continued today with Sessions on Lithium Processing running parallel with In-Situ Recovery (ISR) sessions.
After a brief welcome from the sponsor, Mining3, ISR began with a keynote address from Dr Horst Maerten, Vice-President of Technology at Heathgate Resources, entitled, "Trends in ISR Technology". Heathgate Resources was established in 1990, and is the owner and operator of the Beverley and Beverley North Uranium Mines in South Australia. Beverley, which commenced production in late 2000, is Australia’s first operating In Situ Recovery (ISR) mine.

This was followed by 14 papers dealing with topics on developments in Uranium ISR, ISR for non-uranium metals, and the use of bacteria. It was good to catch up with MEI's keynote lecturer from Biohydrometallurgy '16, Dr Frank Roberto of Newmont Goldcorp, who presented "Microbially-Assisted In Situ Metal Recovery - Where does it Make Sense?"

The day finished with the Enhancing ISR Permeability Forum, which included a Panel Discussion and Q&A chaired by Dr Laura Kuhar, Research Team Leader at CSIRO.

Over in the Lithium Processing sessions, sponsor OLI Systems, represented by Dr Anthony Gerbino, welcomed delegates, before Adrian Griffin, Managing Director of Lithium Australia, presented, "Innovation Required to Meet Future Lithium Demand".

There followed another 15 papers on various topics ranging from Safety to Purification and Recovery, and included the Novel Lithium Processes Forum and a Panel Discussion and Q&A chaired by Dr Chris Griffith, Seniour Process Chemist/Business Development Lead at ANSTO Minerals.

Martin Viera, Edoardo Sommacal and Justin Ridley of Matec Pacific, which was launched in June 2018 to offer high pressure filtration technology to the Australian market.

James Groutsch of METENG, who was at the conference representing METSIM
At lunch today, there were a number of raffle draws to win prizes at booths, unfortunately I didn't win any of them!

Danielle Hewitt displaying the prizes on offer at the CSIRO booth
Allison Taylor gathers the crowd to the Koch Knight booth for their draw
Greg Mann (Koch Knight) presents Rudy Furrer (Sherritt International) with his prize

A selection of the 17 delegates from CSIRO who attended ALTA this year.
L-R: Danielle Hewitt, Rebecca Meakin, Grant Douglas, Goutam Das &
Joanne Loh Goutam Das presented "Extraction of Lithium from Spodumene Concentrate"
in this afternoon's Novel Lithium Processes Forum

Afternoon tea break

Bongiwe Nkabane and Seshree Pillay of Mintek
Seshree presented "Positioning of IX within the Uranium Industry" during yesterday's Developments in IX Forum, whilst Bongiwe presented "Au from Carbon Fines" in the Gold-PM session yesterday.
ALTA 2019 will continue tomorrow with the short course, "Heap Leaching & it's Application to Copper, Gold, Uranium and Nickel Ores", presented once more by Alan Taylor. But my time here has ended, and what a great time I have. I have met so many new faces, while reconnecting with old, and I have to say a special thank you to the Taylor family for being so welcoming and treating me like one of their own. My last two photos from the conference are for them!

Before I go though, there is a call for papers for ALTA 2020 - the 25th anniversary event, which I'm sure will be very special and I hope to see you all there!

Joan & Alan Taylor presenting Amanda Wills with a gift

Allison Taylor, Amanda Wills, & Rebecca Taylor


  1. Really loved your blogs over the past week, Amanda. You really captured the flavour of ALTA 2019 and you were obviously enjoying every minute! It was evident that you found the conference to be of an exceptionally high standard, as I did when reporting on ALTA 2011. And it is also evident, from this Tweet, that your presence at the conference was appreciated by ALTA:

    ALTA‏ @ALTAMETaus · May 25
    Such a treat to have Amanda wills of @MEI_Conferences with us at #ALTA2019 this year!! Love your blog!

    Well done, we (ie you) must make this a regular fixture!

  2. Nice to get such appreciation,Amanda.
    Keep serving our profession.

  3. Thank you kindly Amanda for your excellent work reporting on our event! We really appreciate your positive feedback, thorough recaps and fantastic photos. After so many years working together remotely, it was very special to have you with us in person. Let's do it all again soon!


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