Sunday, 21 March 2021

Memories of Comminution '01, Brisbane

MEI's first online conference, Comminution '21, begins in a month's time, but 20 years ago today, the 3rd conference in the series, Comminution '01, began at the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane, Australia. 

Organised by MEI in collaboration with the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC), Australia and sponsored by Mintek of South Africa, around 35 presentations were made during the 3 day event, which included a visit to the JKMRC.

It was fitting that the JKMRC's founding Director Professor Alban Lynch be the keynote speaker at the event. After a long and distinguished career as one of Australia's leading authorities on comminution and classification, Professor Lynch set the scene in the opening session on 'Comminution Fundamentals' with an historical overview of the problems encountered in fine grinding, from the nineteenth century to the present day.

Alban Lynch (left) with conference delegates

Starkey & Associates, of Canada, have been regular sponsors of MEI's comminution series, and on his first visit to Australia SAG mill designer John Starkey offered some practical considerations when starting and maintaining a SAG milling operation, and in particular the energy implications for SAG milling. Twenty years on, John's keynote lecture "Keys to Best Practice Comminution" will be a feature at Comminution '21.

With John Starkey at the conference dinner

Dr. Paul Cleary, of CSIRO, Australia, will also be presenting a keynote at Comminution '21 on progress towards the virtual comminution machine. Over the last 30 years he has become recognised as a world leader in the development and application of particle based computational methods for the prediction of the behaviour of physical systems, and in Brisbane he presented work on the introduction of breakage into DEM modelling.

Paul Cleary (centre) at the conference dinner

As Tim Napier-Munn said during his after dinner speech at the end of the first day, it became clear quite early in proceedings that Comminution '01 will be regarded for some time to come as an important reference point for this most important of technologies.  A selection of papers were published in Volume 14 Number 10, a special issue of Minerals Engineering, and a selection of the many photos taken are shown below.



  1. Very apt and encouraging "curtain Raiser" for the new chapter in our MEI.
    Compliments to all involved and all the best, Barry

    1. After Pandemic, getting ready for a big leap is great step. These pics though reminds us about an historic event with all smiles... will always be a mile stone inthe history bid Mineral Processing...


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