Sunday 15th February
Barbara and I attended the official opening of the huge exhibition this afternoon. Last year in Salt Lake City, 539 companies were represented in over 800 exhibition booths, a record, but this year all 900 booths were sold two weeks before the start of the event.
The first familiar faces were John and Donna Starkey of Starkey & Associates, Canada, sponsors of Comminution '16. This year will be the 10th anniversary of their SAGDesign technology which has proved successful in several new plant start ups, including Lake Shore Gold in Canada, which was designed exclusively using SAGDesign technology. The company is now focusing on designing and starting up new SAG plants at design tonnage from day one, and has recruited a young mining engineer as Project Manager, Spencer Reeves, a graduate of Queen's University.
|With Donna and John Starkey and Spencer Reeves|
|With John Frater and Jeff Crawford|
Browsing the booths I bumped into Vishal Gupta, formerly with FLSmidth, and now with EP Minerals, USA. He is a regular Minerals Engineering reviewer and is pictured right, below, with Rajesh Raitani of Cytec.
This is JKTech's 26th SME conference. The Australian company is here to build new relationships and maintain old ones. As well as the booth, which is manned full time by their North American representative Mark Richardson, they have already run a two day workshop on 14 and 15 February on Mine to Mill Optimisation. This was presented by Sarma Kanchibotla, of JKMRC and Sebastian Tello of JKTech Chile.
|Sebastian, Mark and Sarma at the JKTech booth|
Monday 16th February
While waiting for the exhibition to open I caught up with three members of the Hazen Research team, based at nearby Golden, Director Nick Hazen, Christel Bemelmans and Hanna Horsch, a valued member of the Minerals Engineering review panel.
|Nick, Christel and Hanna|
|Guven, James and Erden|
I also had coffee with Sweden's representative on the Editorial Board of Minerals Engineering, Bertil Palsson of Lulea University, who will receive the Arthur F. Taggart Award on Wednesday for his, and three co-authors', paper in Minerals and Metallurgical Processing on the validation of tumbling mill charge- induced torque as predicted by simulation.
And so into the exhibition and my first stop at the Cytec booth to photograph some of their large group representing the company at the SME in this their centenary year.
Another large group are representing Metso, sponsors of Flotation '15.
Another Flotation '15 sponsor is FLSmidth, and I looked in on their booth again, where Dariusz Lelinski (left) and Asa Weber showed me the nextSTEP rotor/stator mechanism, said to provide a “step change” in flotation metallurgical performance and energy efficiency. The mechanism is described in more detail in MEI Online.
Eriez is also very much involved with flotation these days, and I called by for a demonstration of their column flotation cell. Their Flotation Division is the leading supplier of flotation columns, with an installed base of over 1000 columns. In the photo below Jaisen Kohmuench, Deputy Director for the USA (far left) is explaining to me how a 3 inch diameter lab-scale column flotation works, watched by Global Managing Director Eric Wasmund.
Osvaldo Bascur was last year's recipient of the SME's prestigious Antoine Gaudin Award. He is with OSIsoft, which is featuring new tools for costs savings through the automatic capture of minor equipment-production delays and the estimation of energy and water losses for mineral and metallurgical operations.
|Osvaldo (right) with James Kafer, Jie Chou and Ted Gorrie|
|Rick, David and Phil|
Tuesday 17th February
|A preview of the 8th edition|
I saw Jim again later talking to Joseph Lessard of Orchard Material Technology, who recently published an excellent paper on the economic impact of ore sorting in a comminution circuit in Minerals Engineering (posting of 8 Sept 2014). Joseph intends to present more work on this increasingly important technology at Physical Separation '15 in June. Ore sorting represents a future direction for the mining industry as it seeks to reduce costs associated with comminution, waste handling, and mining. Steinert, who provides state-of-the-art sorting equipment and sophisticated magnetic separation technology, is now working with OMT to generate a more complete picture of the economic ramifications (i.e. capital, operating, and maintenance costs) associated with bringing sorting to existing processes.
|Jim Finch with Joseph Lessard (left) and Steinert representatives|
I strolled over to the Tescan booth with Paul to see the Tescan Integrated Mineral Analyser (TIMA), a new generation of very rapid SEM based Automated Mineralogy (AM) systems in which the SEM and x-ray detector systems are fully integrated through proprietary hardware and software.
|Paul (right) with the TESCAN team|
|Frank and Roe-Hoan|
|Kris, Patrick and Sam|
In the evening we attended the International Reception at the Hyatt Hotel, a good opportunity to relax with overseas (ie non-USA) delegates and partners, followed by a very disappointing curry at the nearby Little India Restaurant.
|Camborne School of Mines alumni representing Ireland, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Germany|
|Barbara with Canadian delegates Donna Starkey, Jim Finch (right) and|
Jean Vavrek, Executive Director of CIM and his wife Carole
|Sunset on the Rockies, from the Hyatt Hotel|
Wednesday 18th February
The last morning of the SME is always relaxing, time for a last chance to stroll around the exhibits hoping to catch up with people who you may have missed.
|Jon Bartholomew and Mick McCaslin of WesTech Engineering|
show that the feedwell is the process heart of the thickener
|At the Deister Concentrator booth|
|With Peter and Bill|
Bruker is one of the early sponsors of Process Mineralogy '17, and Karsten Knorr and his team were displaying the D2 Phaser, a bench-top XRD for minerals identification and quantification.
In the next booth Omar Arafat of Metcom Technologies was talking to Edward Duda of Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold.
Finally I called in at the SME office to congratulate the team on an excellent convention, which provided superb networking opportunities. The Membership team are pictured left, Billie Emas, Mona Vandervoort and Angie Grace. They tell me that over 7800 delegates registered for this year's event. Next year the SME Meeting will be held in Phoenix from February 21st-24th. I intend to be there!