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Minerals Engineering 2000

Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
November 13-15, 2000


This, the 10th Annual Minerals Engineering Conference, was organised by Minerals Engineering International in association with the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch and the Cape Technikon, and was sponsored by CSIRO Australia, Multotec of South Africa, and Hicom International.

The conference was held at the Mount Nelson Hotel, situated in the heart of Cape Town, under Table Mountain.
Mount Nelson Hotel

Conference Report

The 10th Minerals Engineering conference was based in the Mount Nelson hotel and it proved to be an ideal setting. The facilities that were available to delegates were of the highest standard, and the quality of the food was excellent. The buffet lunches were a feast in themselves and the gala dinner was one of the highlights of the event. The venue certainly lived up to its reputation of being one of the premier hotels in the world and added to the friendly feel to the conference. The location of the XXII International Mineral Processing Congress in Cape Town (from 6-10 October 2003) is something worth looking forward to; having spent a very enjoyable few days in this city, I can recommend a visit. A conference held in Cape Town is certainly a big factor that will influence my decision about attending.

About 125 delegates, representing 18 countries from as far as Australia, North and South America, Europe and Asia, attended the conference. The venue included 84 high quality presentations which were selected from among the over 150 abstracts submitted to Minerals Engineering International. The presentations were comprised of 46 oral deliveries and 38 posters. The posters were located in the social area of the conference, which provided an excellent atmosphere for technical discussions. The full-papers from the presentations will be peer-reviewed upon submission and those accepted will be published in Minerals Engineering journal.

The first morning of the conference was devoted to the oral poster introductions. Each of the posters was introduced for 5 minutes, which allowed delegates to have a taster of the contents of the poster and encouraged them to look at them in more detail during the conference. The 46 oral presentations were delivered in 5 technical sessions that were delivered over the three days of the conference. A co-current session format was not used during the conference, which permitted the delegates to participate in each of the presentations. The technical sessions covered the following broad topics associated with mineral processing and extractive metallurgy:

  • Comminution
  • Hydro and Pyro metallurgy
  • Control, simulation and optimisation
  • Froth Flotation
  • Physical methods

Poster introductions:
The large number of posters presented at the conference precludes a description of each one. The following list gives an indication of the wide range of topics covered in this section. There were 11 posters on froth flotation, ranging from plant results, to various modelling aspects. A further 9 posters in the broad area of hydrometallurgy, ranging from bacterial leaching to ion-exchange. Five posters had an environmental flavour, looking at the recovery of metals from waste streams. Comminution posters included DEM modelling of ball mills and the application of novel technologies. The remaining posters covered other separation techniques (magnetic separation, dewatering and screening), metallurgical accounting and pyrometallurgy (slags and smelter modelling).

There were 8 papers presented in this session. Anglo American described their novel liberation technology. There were two papers describing different applications of the Hicom mill, one in diamonds and the other in ilmenite sands. The remaining papers were all concerned with different aspects of modelling. There were 3 papers looking at aspects of SAG mill modelling, one looking at mill power, another the implications of SA style mills and the final paper on parameter measurement. The final 2 papers used DEM modelling, one in fine grinding of white minerals and the other in AG mill grinding rate prediction.

Hydro and Pyro metallurgy
The 11 papers in this session were principally hydro, with a single paper looking at slag modifiers in non-ferrous smelting. Leaching was a popular topic, with papers on glass sand leaching to reduce environmental impacts, ammonia/cyanide leaching of gold-copper ores, gold leaching and PGM leaching. SX/EW plant control was described and also selective elution from IX resins. Gold remains a popular subject for research and 2 further papers considered elctro-winning and preg-robbing. Arsenic as an environmental problem was tackled in a paper describing immobilisation from solution techniques. The other paper in this session presented tetrahedrite-ferric chloride-HCl system equilibria.

Control, simulation and optimisation
This session comprised a total of 8 papers. One paper was about liberation modelling using entropy. Two further papers concerned plant-wide systems, one describing the Mintek system, the other about control by reinforced learning. All the other papers were related to flotation. These ranged from bank control, to feed type prediction from on-line measurement, and the final 3 were looking at froths by parameter measurement and characterisation.

Froth Flotation
The 12 papers presented included 5 on specific ore types, 2 on phosphate and another on apatite, one on nickel and a review of native gold. A further 4 were concerned with modelling, entrainment, hydrodynamic dimensionless parameters, a surface tension detector and a lab rig for floatability characterisation. The other 3 were about larger scale, scale-up, capacity optimisation and large machine RTD analysis and power input.

Physical Methods
The final session of the conference consisted of 7 papers. The application of magnetic tracers was described followed by a review of fine gravity. Another paper looked at cyclone developments and sampling theory was presented in one paper. Two presentations concerned classification, by elutriation and reflux. The final paper discussed the validation of a DEM model.

Thus the above shows the wide variety of topics that were covered during the 3 days. There were no parallel sessions and so all delegates had the opportunity to attend all the sessions. This lead to some very interesting discussions and interactions between subject specialists. A well organised and stimulating conference that everyone enjoyed.

R.W. Barley, Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Redruth, Cornwall, TR15 3SE, UK. Email: rwbarley@csm.ex.ac.uk

Publication of Papers

Minerals Engineering Journal

The following papers have been published in Minerals Engineering:

Volume 14 Number 4

Immobilization of arsenic in crystalline form from aqueous solution by hydrothermal processing above 483.15K
R.C.M. Mambote, M.A. Reuter, A. van Sandwijk and  P. Krijgsman (The Netherlands)

The recovery of base metals by ion exchange resin
J.W. Coetzee and M.Z. Rejaldien (South Africa)

Volume 14 Number 5

The optimum distribution of cell capacities in flotation circuits
D.G. Hulbert (South Africa)

The development and application of in-bed compression breakage principles
R.M. Viljoen, J.T. Smit, I. Du plessis and V. Ser (South Africa)

Heavy metal tolerance of fungi
M. Valix, J.Y. Tang and R. Malik (Australia)

Proposed modifications to the method for the determination of available lime
J.H. Potgieter, S.S. Potgieter and B. Legodi (South Africa)

Volume 14 Number 6

PLANTSTAR 2000: A plant-wide control platform for minerals processing
L.A. Houseman, J.H. Schubert, J.R. Hart and W.D. Carew (South Africa)

The use of the discrete element method and fracture mechanics to improve grinding rate prediction
M.M. Bwalya,, M.H. Moys and A.L. Hinde (South Africa)

Inferential measurement of SAG mill parameters
T. A. Apelt (Australia), S. P. Asprey and N. F. Thornhill (UK)

Study on the flotation selectivity of a problem phosphate ore
R.M. Papini, R.C. Guimarães and A.E.C. Peres (Brazil)

Glass sand processing by oxalic acid leaching and photocatalytic effluent treatment
I.I. Tarasova,  A.W.L. Dudeney (UK) and  S. Pilurzu (Italy)

Volume 14 Number 7

Evaluation of the Hicom 120 mill at Venetia Mine
P.Q. Nesbit, G. Du Toit, K. Mapasa (South Africa) and C. Feldman (Botswana)

HICOM attritioning to remove alumina-silicate coatings on ilmenite sand grains
D.I. Hoyer,  B.M. Mulvihill (Australia) and G.J.C. Young (South Africa)

A plant investigation into the use of treated phosphogypsum as a set-retarder in OPC and an OPC/fly ash blend
J.H. Potgieter and S.S. Howell-Potgieter (South Africa)

Flotation separation of Na-feldspar from K-feldspar by monovalent salts
C. Demir (Turkey), A.A. Abramov (Russia) and M. S. Çelik (Turkey)

Testing a flotation column at the Sarcheshmeh Copper Mine
S. Banisi (Iran) and J.A. Finch (Canada)

Magnetic tracers
J. Ennis (South Africa)

Volume 14 Number 8

Dynamic surface tension measurements in mineral flotation and de-inking flotation systems and the development of the on line dynamic surface tension detector (DSTD)
R.J. Pugh (Sweden)

Implementation of collinear collisions of particles for comminution
G. Hu, H. Otaki and M. Lin (Japan)

Volume 14 Number 9

Ex situ diesel contaminated soil washing with mechanical methods
D. Feng, L. Lorenzen, C. Aldrich and P.W. Maré (South Africa)

Hydrodynamic and metallurgical characterization of industrial flotation banks for control purposes
J. Yianatos,  L. Bergh ,  P. Condori  and  J. Aguilera (Chile)

Gold electrowinning from diluted cyanide liquors: performance evaluation of different reaction systems
L.A.D. Barbosa, L.G.S. Sobral, A.J.B. Dutra (Brazil)

Developments in the understanding of South African style SAG mills
M.S. Powell (South Africa), S. Morrell and S. Latchireddi (Australia)

Current status and limitations of copper SX/EW plants control
L.G. Bergh and J.B. Yianatos (Chile)

Hydrodynamic dimensionless parameters and their influence on flotation performance of coarse particles
W.J. Rodrigues, L.S. Leal Filho, and E.A. Masini (Brazil)

Vol. 14 Number 11

Catalysis of the leaching of gold in cyanide solutions by lead, bismuth and thallium
R.F. Sandenbergh (South Africa) and J.D. Miller (USA)

Molybdenite concentrate cleaning by copper sulfation activated by microwave
J.B. Yianatos and V. Antonucci (Chile)

New aspect of chromite gravity tailings re-processing
A. Güney, G. Önal and T. Atmaca (Turkey)



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