Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Quebec IMPC- a Polish perspective

I thank Jan Drzymala and Przemylaw. B. Kowlaczuk of the Wroclaw University of Science & Technology, Poland for this contribution, the XXVIIIth IMPC from a Polish perspective.

"For people working in the mineral processing area each International Mineral Processing Congress is a great event. It is also our holiday. The 2016 IMPC, held in Quebec, Canada was such a great event. For several reasons. The first one is a great number, 1487 participants from 58 countries. The second reason is the number of presentations, while the third one is the beauty of Quebec City and its surroundings. The IMPC 2016 was great also because of the pleasant venue and discrete safety measures undertaken by the organizers. The general chairman of IMPC 2016 was Prof. James Finch.
There were 10 registered participants from Poland. We were very happy to have the chance to meet many people we are already personally known as well known only from publications. Also meeting with people of Polish origin and sharing with them opinions about latest developments in the home country was very pleasant. The photos below show smiling faces of participants of such meetings.
Polish delegation with friends, from the left: M. Holuszko (Canada), Przemyslaw B. Kowalczuk (Poland),
Maria Holuszko (Canada), Marek Pawlik (Canada), Jan D. Miller (USA), Jan Drzymala (Poland),
Jaroslaw Drelich (USA), Adam Manka (Poland)
Top from the left: Adam Manka (Poland), Rene del Villar (Canada), Inna Filippova (France),
Janusz Laskowski (Canada), Marek Pawlik (Canada), Barbara Laskowska (Canada),
Jan Drzymala (Poland), Maria Holuszko (Canada), Jaroslaw Drelich (USA),
Tamara Matveyeva (Russia, MEC2018), Przemyslaw B. Kowalczuk (Poland), Lev Filippov (France)
Jan Drzymala with Seher Ata and D.R. Nagaraj;
The Congress was great because the presentations covered almost all aspect of mineral processing. Most papers dealt with typical mineral processing issues from sampling and ore characterization, through comminution and particle size control, to different separations and finally dewatering and products preparation for economical selling. There were also papers on biometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, electrometallurgy, extraction, process control, management, mineralogy as well as mineral processing teaching. Worthwhile is to mention the New Frontiers session covering harsh environment including Arctic, undersea and space. Environmental issues and iron as well as arsenic removal from solutions were also considered during the Congress.
There is still a problem in the mineral processing society with terminology and definitions of many terms. During the Congress the term geometallurgy, usually understood as issues from geology to metallurgy, was used relatively frequently. The term minerallurgy, which in our opinion is the best substitute for mineral processing, was not present. Not present was also the term holistic approach which was very much visible during the Congress in Santiago in 2014. The terminology issue requires systematization.
Educational issues were also discussed during IMPC 2016. Polish contribution was presented by Professor Daniel Saramak and was entitled Education programmes connected with mineral processing in Poland, session IMPC Commissions: Education, Mineral Processing for the Future.
An integral part of the Congress was the exhibition. It provided opportunity to get acquaintance with the latest development in mineral process technology. We also liked the booths of MEI as the great media partners for conferences and the Russian booth informing about the next IMPC in 2018, which will be held on September 15-21 in Moscow. Let us meet there.
Jan Drzymala with Amanda and Jon Wills from MEI
P.B. Kowalczuk and J. Drzymala with two organizers of IMPC 2018 in Moscow
During the Congress Prof. Cyril O’Connor announced that the IMPC in 2020 will be held in Cape Town in South Africa. The candidate countries for IMPC 2022 are United Kingdom, Australia, USA and of course Poland.
After the Congress there were educational and industrial trips as well as individual activities. One of the option was visiting the Laval University in the Quebec City, which we did".
Jan Drzymala and Przemylaw. B. Kowlaczuk

Monday, 24 October 2016

Modelling Multi-phase Minerals Processing Systems

Minerals processing is characterised by complex multi-phase flows that present significant modelling and simulation challenges. Recent advances in not just computational power, but also the models, algorithms and implementations, especially in terms of parallel processing, have resulted in significant improvements in our ability to directly simulate these systems. Despite the computational resources available, the shear range of scales at which important phenomena occur at in minerals processing means that no one technique can hope to resolve all the complexity of these systems. This means that the approach used needs to be tailored to the system and scale being studied.
MEI's highly specialised Computational Modelling conferences now attract an elite group of scientists from around the world, to discuss the rapid advances in this field. Prof. Stephen Neethling is just one of this highly focused band, who has attended all five of these meetings.
Stephen is currently a Professor of Minerals Processing in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering (Royal School of Mines) at Imperial College London, where he has worked for the last 11 years. Prior to that he worked in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UMIST/University of Manchester, where he also obtained his PhD. He is originally from South Africa and did his undergraduate studies at the University of Cape Town. His main research area is in the modelling and simulation of minerals processing systems, with particular emphasis on flotation and heap leaching. He is particularly interested in how the models and results obtained from them can be applied in industry and to this end he has worked closely with a range of major mining and mining equipment companies including Rio Tinto, Weir Minerals, Imerys and Outotec.
Stephen will be presenting an eponymous keynote at Computational Modelling '17 in Falmouth next June, in which he will examine a range of different approaches that have been applied within his group at Imperial College. At the equipment scale continuum Finite Element and Control Volume based Eulerian-Eulerian simulations are often most appropriate, with the discontinuous phase being modelled using approaches such as population balancing. This, though, requires assumptions to be made about both the interactions between phases and about how the behaviour of an ensemble of discrete particles is averaged. Some of these issues can be resolved by treating the discrete phase in a Lagrangian fashion either by using representative particles or by using a full DEM approach to model the particles in the system and coupling this behaviour to either an Eulerian or Lagrangian fluid flow simulation. These types of approaches, though, will typically come at the cost of a significant increase in the simulation complexity and computational effort required. The utility and shortcomings of all these approaches will be discussed in the context of the modelling of a variety of minerals processing systems and equipment, including flotation, heap leaching, mills and wear in slurry pumps.
Computational Modelling '17 will be held at the St. Michael's Hotel in Falmouth, Cornwall, back to back with Physical Separation '17.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Watergate Bay to Mawgan Porth

This is a pleasant, fairly easy, two and a half mile walk, with a total elevation gain of only 510 ft. Unlike many of the north coast walks there are no precipitous plunges to sea level and back, and the good footpath gently undulates between two large and glorious golden sand beaches, with picturesque sheltered coves in between.
Watergate Beach
Looking down from the cliff top to Watergate Beach
The relatively gentle cliff top walk
One of the sheltered coves
Mawgan Porth beach
Returning to Watergate Beach in the late afternoon

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Comminution in the mid 21st century - will SAG mills still be relevant?

This is the question which will be posed by Prof. Holger Lieberwirth of TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany, in his keynote lecture at Comminution '18 in Cape Town.

What are your views? Will SAG mills still be relevant in 50 years time?


Friday, 21 October 2016

Official launch of the Cornwall Mining Alliance at the October Sundowner

There was a very big turn out last night for the October Cornish Mining Sundowner, held at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus. Regulars were joined by members of the Cornwall Mining Alliance (CMA) for the official launch of its website. Having developed from some initial ideas and discussions had between the Sundowner and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) personnel in 2012/2013, the CMA was formed in 2016 and intends to connect mining expertise and provide the right people for the job. The CMA is partnered by Cornwall Chamber of Mines & Minerals, UKTI and University of Exeter, and already has 69 members, reflecting the high profile that mining still has in this historic area, once the world's largest producer of copper and tin, and now home to a unique concentration of innovative businesses, organisations and experienced professionals, providing services to all aspects of mining and related industries in the UK and around the world.
The CMA Steering Committee: Bernard Ballard, Kim-Marie Clothier,
Kathy Hicks, Frances Wall, Jean Taylor and Tony Bennett
It was an interesting evening, where I met a recent Camborne School of Mines graduate who has acquired a hard rock rare earth deposit in Namibia (expect to hear more of this at MEI's proposed Rare Earths '19 in Windhoek) and talked to various people of the two hot topics in west of England mining at the moment. It is sad to hear of the problems that Wolf Minerals is having with its Drakelands tungsten mine, just across the border in Devon, due to low metal prices and problems with a very sticky ore. Also interesting to hear a very reliable source talk with optimism of the possible resurgence of South Crofty tin mine in a few years time, despite the scepticism which was shown at the sundowner only 2 months ago. I would love to see it happen, but would not personally put my money on it!