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XXIII International Mineral Processing Congress
Istanbul, Turkey, 3-8 September 2006

Bolstered by a huge Turkish contingent, the XXIII IMPC attracted a record number of delegates, over 900 participating, with papers from 46 countries.

The technical sessions were spread over 5 days, and covered the traditional areas of mineral processing- comminution, physical separation processes, flotation, processing of industrial minerals, bio-hydro metallurgy, precious metals processing, coal preparation, dewatering, modelling, simulation and control, environmental issues including recycling and waste treatment.

These were held in seven parallel sessions and poster sessions, 322 oral papers being scheduled (although not always presented, as there were numerous ‘no-shows’) and 135 posters. The general consensus was that presentations ranged from excellent to very mediocre, and the organisers of future IMPCs should really give some consideration to reducing the number of papers and being more selective in terms of quality. Now that the IMPCs are held every two years, it is impossible to sustain over 450 papers at such events.

The papers were published in a massive 3-volume Proceedings, which was issued to delegates, and probably contributed to a few excess baggage problems at Istanbul airport. An electronic version on CD-ROM was also included, and this might have been sufficient for most needs and more environmentally friendly.

Three evening social events were included in the registration fees (although unfortunately not for students). The first two events were held at the magnificent Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, the former being in the European sector of Istanbul, the latter across the Bosphorus in Asia. It was standing room only for the majority of delegates at these two events, as seating was arranged only for the members of the various IMPC committees and their guests.

The farewell dinner was held at the end of the penultimate day of the conference, and was a magnificent affair, rivalling the memorable ‘African Night’ at the previous Cape Town IMPC. In the splendid open air setting of Buyuk Klup, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, we were entertained, over an excellent 4-course meal, to live Turkish music, folk-dancing, and a very seductive belly-dancer. There was a formal aspect to the evening as well, with final speeches from the organisers, which were kept short and pertinent and culminated in the lifetime achievement award to Prof. H. Schubert.

A conference of this scale inevitably has flaws, but overall the week was a valuable insight into Turkish hospitality and culture, and provided an ideal forum for meeting up with friends from the international minerals processing community, which in my view is the most important purpose of the IMPCs.

The organisers, led by Prof. Guven Onal of Istanbul Technical University, deserve hearty congratulations for putting such a massive event together, and we now look forward to the XX1Vth IMPC, which will be held in China in September 2008.

Photos from the event can be found here, and you can comment on the conference on the MEI Forum.

B.A. Wills, MEI, UK, bwills@min-eng.com

 

   

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