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MEI Online: MEI Conferences: Comminution '16: Introduction

Home General Introduction Conference Report Conference Programme Published Papers Delegate List Photos Contacts Comminution'18  


This, the 10th International Comminution Symposium (Comminution '16) was organised by MEI in consultation with Prof. Aubrey Mainza and was sponsored by Keramos, Starkey & Associates, Magotteaux, King's Ceramics & Chemicals, Crush Force, Grinding Solutions, Industrie Bitossi, TOMS, ZEISS, FLSmidth, Cenotec, CITIC Heavy Industries, Outotec, Russell Mineral Equipment & Loesche. Media sponsors are International Mining and Industrial Minerals, AT International, and the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC) are industry advocates.


"Comminution must be the key mineral processing technology during the next 50 years." - Prof. Alban Lynch (August 2013)



MEI's Comminution conferences are established as the main events for profiling cutting edge research and innovation in all aspects of crushing, grinding and ultrafine grinding in the minerals industry.

We strongly encouraged a good balance between industrially based and academic research papers showing the benefits of basing practical application on scientific rigour, such as the industrial validation of models and control techniques


"Comminution '14 not only enhanced my knowledge but also helped me identify solutions to the milling circuit I manage. Some of the discussions we had, we have carried them forward as part of the business process improvements. I also managed to identify with a huge pool of knowledgeable people from across the world. I could not imagine communicating daily and interacting with people from SA, USA, France, Iran, China, Australia and various other countries."
Clifford Farai Mutevhe, Anglo American Platinum, Zimbabwe



The first keynote lecture "Improving Comminution Efficiency - Old Ideas and New Designs" was given by Joe Pease, of Mineralurgy Pty Ltd, Australia.

Joe spent 21 years in operations in a variety of research, project and production management roles. He was manager of the Mount Isa lead zinc and copper concentrator for 8 years, and lead smelter manager for 2 years. He also spent 18 months with Cominco as Operating Superintendent at the Sullivan Mine, and Technical Superintendent at the Red Dog lead zinc operation in Alaska.

He was Chief Executive of Xstrata Technology for 12 years, where his group developed and marketed technologies to improve the efficiency of minerals processing, smelting, refining and leaching.

Joe is on the Board and Executive Committee of AMIRA, and is on the Advisory Board of the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre, and the Ian Wark Institute Advisory Board. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Australian Minerals Education Partnership and assists with the student's final year design project. He is Chairman of the Coalition for EcoEfficient Comminution.

Joe is an independent Minerals and Technology consultant, associated with the small technical group Mineralurgy Pty Ltd. His passion is to identify opportunities between the traditional "silos" in processing to combine different technologies to improve processing efficiency from mine to metal.


Joe Pease

The second keynote lecture "Comminution modelling in the context of integrated process prediction" was given by Prof. Malcolm Powell of the JKMRC, Australia.

In 1997 Prof Malcolm Powell formed the comminution group at the University of Cape Town, following the suggestion of Prof Cyril O'Connor (director of the Mineral Processing Research Unit MPRU) - after a memorable MEI conference in Cornwall. From January 2007 Malcolm has joined the JKMRC of the University of Queensland to take up the Chair in Sustainable Comminution.

Malcolm specialises in mill liner design, charge motion and DEM modelling, SAG mill modelling, and classification, with a strong link into applying the research knowledge in extensive site work and consulting to industry. The work aims to link fundamental research into applied outputs through the development of practical and robust process models.


Malcolm Powell

The 3rd keynote lecture "The Business of Grinding: Plant Grinding Process Improvement Tools for Metallurgists and Company Management" was given by Robert E. McIvor of Metcom Technologies, Inc, USA.

Rob McIvor has degrees in Mining Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, and in Mineral Economics and Metallurgical Engineering from McGill University. He has devoted his career to the design and optimization of grinding circuits. He is founder and Chief Metallurgist - Grinding Systems, for Metcom Technologies, Inc., based in Marquette, MI, USA. He previously worked in slurry pump and grinding mill application engineering at Allis-Chalmers and Dominion Engineering, and hydrocyclone application engineering at Linatex Canada. He discovered the "Functional Performance Equation for Closed Circuit Grinding". He subsequently oversaw development of a comprehensive system and training program to measure and improve the processing performance of plant grinding circuits, now delivered to companies throughout the world, in three languages, through the internet. In 2010 the Canadian Mineral Processors awarded him the "Art MacPherson Medal for Significant Contributions to Comminution Technology".


Rob McIvor




Two half-day workshops were held at the Vineyard Hotel on the Sunday before the conference. In the first of these the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC) invited one of the conference keynote speakers, and a Director of CEEC, Joe Pease, to review the practices available to improve processing efficiency, from mining operations through to mineral processing and smelting.


Rob McIvor, of Metcom Technologies, USA presented the second workshop. The "Functional Performance Equation for Ball Milling" was first introduced in 1988, and now has been applied in scores of mineral processing plants to improve ball milling circuit performance. This powerful, yet simple, tool provides a new level of understanding of closed circuit grinding, whereby plant metallurgical staff and equipment/material suppliers can manage and improve the processing performance of ball milling circuits with clarity and confidence. This workshop was intended for plant metallurgical staff and management, grinding circuit equipment and material suppliers, and others interested in industrial circuit design and optimisation including circuit designers and researchers.





Comminution '16 was organised by MEI in consultation with Prof. Aubrey Mainza.

Prof. Aubrey Mainza graduated with a Bachelor of Science (majoring in Metallurgy and Mineral Processing) from the University of Zambia in 1998. He completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering (specialising in the areas of comminution and classification in mineral processing) at UCT in 2006. He joined the Centre for Minerals Research as a Research Officer in 2002, then became a Senior Research Officer, and is now a Senior Lecturer in the Centre. Today Aubrey heads CMR's Comminution research, teaches core Chemical Engineering, and participates extensively in collaborative research with international universities, mining companies, and comminution and classification equipment manufacturers.

Aubrey Mainza



Read the conference reports from past Comminution conferences, and check out the technical programmes and delegate lists too:



"Another excellent conference [Comminution '14] ... There was a very good mix of industrial and academic papers/posters stimulating a lot of discussion and exchanges. Looking forward to Comminution '16!"
Peter Radziszewski, Metso, Canada

"I'd just like to thank you and the family for putting together a very enjoyable, informative and thoroughly professional conference last week in Cape Town [Comminution '10]. Very pleased to hear we'll be back there in two years. Once again thank you very much it was one the best run events I have attended."
Dave Capstick, Director Sales, Deswik Mining Consultants (Pty) Ltd, South Africa

"I congratulate you for a very successful conference. Thank you very much for everything.
I met valuable colleagues which may result in lasting relationships. This Comminution 08 conference did move my career forward in a meaningful way. It was one of the most productive conferences I have ever attended."
Prof. Tarik Ozkahraman, University of Suleyman, Turkey

"It was my first visit to the Comminution conference [Comminution 08] and I would like to send you and your family my thanks and appreciation for an excellently organized meeting. I am looking forward to participating in your future meetings."
Boris Farber, Zircoa Inc., USA

"Thank you for providing a valuable comminution forum [Comminution 04] in Perth. We enjoyed being associated with this conference and the exposure it brought with it."
Sarah DeBono, Senior Process Engineer, Xstrata Technology (sponsors of Comminution 04, Comminution 06 & Comminution 08)

More testimonials



Comminution '16 was certified for Continuing Professional Development.




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