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Luleå Conference in Minerals Engineering 2014
From 3rd to 5th of February 2014 the annual Conference in Minerals Engineering was held in Luleå, organised by the Mineral Processing group at Scandinavia’s northernmost technical university, Luleå University of Technology (LTU). It had its first gathering already in 1977, and has been held every year since then expect for 1988, when we had the IMPC in Stockholm.
The programme started on Monday afternoon with a pre-conference workshop on Advanced Analysis Techniques in Process Mineralogy with 46 participants from academia and industry that was held at the university campus. Lecturers came mainly from the ProMinNet - The Nordic Network on Process Mineralogy and Geometallurgy including TU Bergakadamie Freiberg (Germany), Luleå University of Technology (Sweden), NTNU Trondheim (Norway) and Oulu University (Finland), but also from the Finnish Geological Survey GTK and the RTC Rock Tech Centre, Luleå.
The interest in the conference on the subsequent days was, as in the previous years, very lively. Again 86 delegates coming from eight different countries in Europe but also from outside Europe met in the Luleå city assembly hall where normally Luleå’s mayor and the municipal council hold their sessions. After welcoming the delegates the convenor of the conference, Prof Jan Rosenkranz, gave a short overview on ongoing research projects and new developments in mineral processing at LTU. The introduction was complemented by information on LTU’s education in minerals engineering from docent Bertil Pålsson. Besides developments in the Swedish engineering programmes also the new Erasmus master programme in Georesource Engineering - Emerald was introduced. Then Pertti Lamberg, professor in geometallurgy at LTU and coordinator of the ProMinNet, gave brief information on the ProMInNet network.
This year’s plenary talk was given by Terje Malvik, professor emeritus in process mineralogy from NTNU in Trondheim, Norway. His talk on the History and Growth of Modern Process Mineralogy gave a comprehensive overview on and the method and instrument development in this field during different periods of time.
The further technical programme covered ongoing research and development within academia and industry. Several contributions dealt with recent developments in the Swedish mining industry. Johan Hansson from Boliden AB talked about the company’s test work on depyritisation of tailings from the concentrator in Aitik using magnetic separation. Viktoria Töyrä from LKAB presented test results from silicate flotation for the Mertainen deposit. Stellan Sundberg, Boliden AB, gave a report of their development work on integrating magnetic conditioning in sulphide froth flotation.
In the second technical session Ari Suhonen from Outotec Oy summarised the progress in flotation cell slurry level control and determination of froth bed thickness using Outotec’s LevelSense technology. Sabine Nölte from Tomra Sorting gave a nice presentation of the sensor based sorting applications in the minerals sector and the technology provided by Tomra. Sjoerd Sluimer from Sympatec Nordic talked about particle size and shape analyses in different applications.
Within a session on geometallurgy, Manuel Wartbichler from Montanuniversitär Leoben, Austria, compared different chemical, physical and optical methods for distinguishing between magnetite and hematite in a case study for the Kiirunavaara deposit. Abdul Mwanga from LTU gave an overview of his work on improving comminution test methods in the geometallurgical context. Further Kurt Aasly from NTNU Trondheim explained the challenges and NTNU’s concepts for establishing geometallurgical concepts in Norway’s industrial minerals industry.
Research within the field of mineral flotation was presented by Anuttam Patra, LTU, who gave a report on the synthesis of new mineral-specific flotation reagents, and by Martin Rudolph, Helmholtz-Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, who used atomic force microscopy and Raman spectroscopy the for mapping hydrophobic interactions while investigating mineral floatability. Mohammad Khoshkhooo from Luleå University of Technology presented results from his work on investigating the role of microorganisms on chalcopyrite leaching.
The final session addressing comminution comprised an overview on Sandvik’s Vibrocone™ technology, presented by Hamid Manouchehri, the implementation of real-time optimization on a secondary cone crusher for LKAB’s iron ore production by Erik Hulthén, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and the development and application of Metso’s stirred milling machine, presented by Audrey Romberger.
The conference dinner on the first evening again took place at Luleå arts centre, combining a festive meal and an entertaining song contest between the from attendees from Sweden, Germany, Finland and Norway with the wonderful wintry view of Luleå’s northern harbour. Just now the conference proceedings 2014 are re-edited and will soon become available on a conference CD.
Next year’s Conference in Minerals Engineering has already been scheduled. Welcome back to Luleå on the 3rd and 4th of February 2015!
Prof Jan Rosenkranz, Chair of Mineral Processing, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
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