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MEI Online: Hydrometallurgy: Conference Reports: ALTA 2003 Conference


ALTA 2003 Conference
May 19-24, 2003
Perth, Australia

The ALTA 2003 Conference was held in Perth, Western Australia. It comprised ALTA's annual Nickel/Cobalt and Copper Events together with an SX/IX Summit and Materials of Construction Forum. A post conference visit was made to the Olympic Dam Copper/Uranium Operations in South Australia. The conference was well attended with 170 delegates from 17 countries. The program also had a significant international content with 47 presentations from 10 countries.

The Nickel/Cobalt Event covered the processing of both laterites and sulphides. New processes based on atmospheric chloride leaching were described by for both of these ore types, and developing technology was presented for pressure leaching, atmospheric leaching and downstream processing and refining. A feature of the event was a detailed status report on the Bulong PAL operation in Western Australia. Ivor Kirman, President of the Nickel Development Institute presented the challenges and opportunities facing the industry in the Key Note Address.

The Copper Event featured a number of developing processes for copper sulphide concentrates including pressure oxidation, chloride leaching and heap bio-oxidation. These included the new Phelps Dodge pressure oxidation facility at Bagdad, Arizona. Other key topics included novel developments in solvent extraction and electrowinning, heap leaching, and the issue of radioactivity in copper processing. A highlight of the program was a detailed update of the extensive hydrometallurgical operations at Olympic Dam.

The two one-day events provided valuable opportunities for in depth discussion and delegate interaction.



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