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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Copper: Conference Reports: ALTA 2008


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ALTA 2008 - Nickel/Cobalt, Copper & Uranium Conference
Perth, Australia
June 15-21 2008

The conference was held at the Sheraton Hotel, Perth, Western Australia from June 15 to 21st 2008. It attracted keen industry interest and, with over 400 attendees from 26 countries, was the best ever attended ALTA conference. The conference was officially opened by Stephen Barnett. President of the Nickel Institute who gave a presentation on how nickel supports sustainable development”. The Key Note address at the Nickel-Cobalt Dinner was given by Peter Johnston, MD and CEO of Minara Resources who discussed the challenges faced by a new nickel producer based on experience at the Murrin Murrin PAL operation. The parallel 29 booth exhibition attracted exhibitors from 9 countries.

The Nickel/Cobalt Sessions featured a Symposium on “PAL 10 years after Cawse, Bulong and Murrin Murrrin, and also included papers on treatment of laterites, process control and simulation, cobalt production, PAL equipment and materials, product recovery, and the treatment of sulphides. Featured operations and projects included Cawse Nickel, Anglo Platinum Base Metals Refinery, Gladstone Nickel Project, Canegrass Heap Leaching Project, Kol Copper/Cobalt Project, NorthMet Polymetallic Project, and the Ferguson Lake Project.

The Copper Sessions included a forum on the hydromet treatment of chalcopyrite which included presentations on the chalcopyrite leaching, heap leach research, GEOLEACHtm process development, chloride process development, gold recovery from leach residue, NSC technology development, and the GalvinoxTM process. Featured operations and projects included Freeport McMoRan’s new concentrate leach plant, Port Pirie SX operation, new plants and technology in Central Africa, and the El Boleo Project. Other presentations discussed electronic scrap treatment, process technology, SX-IX-EW, heap leaching and materials of construction.

The featured forum in the uranium sessions focused on CIX, RIP and RIL, and included presentations on resin testing and durability, Kemix RIP System, Gekko CIX System, and Clean TeQ IX processes and a review of CIX and RIP processes. Other topics presented included a review of recent uranium industry developments, geometallurgy of Australian uranium deposits, green conversion processes at ConverDyn, ore sorting, application of MRT, autoclave treatment of uranium ores, implication of mineralogy and metallurgical testwork. Featured operations and projects included the Langer Heinrich operation, Nolans Project, and ground water restoration at the former Irigaray ISL operation.

A post conference short course on Heap Leaching and Its Application to Copper, Uranium and Nickel Ores was presented by Alan Taylor of ALTA. The conference proceedings are now available from ALTA Metallurgical Services (see web site www.altamet.com.au).

ALTA is now planning and receiving abstracts for the ALTA 2009 Nickel-Cobalt, Copper and Uranium Conference to be held in Perth, Western Australia during May 25-30 2009.

Alan Taylor - Managing Director & Conference Convener, alantaylor@altamet.com.au




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