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MEI Online: People News: North America: March 11th 2010


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:: CMP Mineral Processor of the Year Award to Chris Fleming

CMP’s highest and most prestigious award is the Mineral Processor of the Year Award. This award is presented annually to recognize meritorious service or an outstanding contribution to CMP or industry.


This year’s winner of the Mineral Processor of the Year Award is Chris Fleming in recognition of significant and extensive contribution to global mineral processing and hydrometallurgical extraction of metals, particularly in the fields of cyanide chemistry, carbon in leach and resin in pulp as well as 35 years of applied research and development of new ideas, giving supportive service to the mining and metals industry with great expertise, humility and grace.

Ian Orford, Nominator Kevan Ford (second from left) and Robert Henderson present Chris Fleming with the Mineral Processor of the Year Award


Chris Fleming is Vice President of SGS Minerals. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cape Town University in 1973 and worked for 16 years at Mintek in South Africa, where he developed much of his knowledge of gold technology and hydrometallurgy.

He emigrated with his family to Canada in 1990 to join Lakefield Research, and has been intimately associated with the rapid growth in that company over the last 18 years. He became General Manager of Lakefield in 1992 and then led a management buyout of the company from Lakefield’s former owners, Falconbridge Ltd in 1996. As Chief Operating Officer of the new management-owned private company, Lakefield Research Limited, Chris and his team opened up new labs in Chile, Brazil, South Africa and Australia in the late 1990’s, and grew the company almost 10 fold in 6 years, into the largest, integrated global metallurgical and analytical service business in the world. The company was sold to Swiss multi-national SGS in 2002, and Chris has continued in a management and operational role for the new owners, as they have expanded their global metallurgical lab footprint further into Russia, England and Mexico.

He has spent much of his 35 year career in research and research management. He has authored or co-authored about 80 technical publications in journals and conference proceedings, been awarded 16 patents, and contributed to several technical books on various aspects of extractive metallurgy. Chris has directed research teams and consulted to industry for a great many hydrometallurgical projects and operations, particularly relating to gold leaching and recovery. Many industrial flowsheets and gold operations have benefited from his R&D work.

Chris retired from his responsibilities as manager of SGS’s global metallurgical lab business at the end of 2006, and retired as manager of their flagship metallurgical and mineralogical operations at the Lakefield site in Ontario, Canada at the end of 2008, to focus for the remainder of his career on what he enjoys most in our business ….technical consulting and leadership.




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