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MEI Online: MEI Conferences: Physical Separation '15: Introduction

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Physical Separation '15 was organised by Minerals Engineering International (MEI), and was sponsored by TOMRA Sorting Solutions, Steinert Elektromagnetbau and ST Equipment & Technology. Media sponsors were Industrial Minerals & AT International.

Although there is much current emphasis on the chemical methods of mineral separation – flotation, hydrometallurgy, and bioleaching, the physical separation methods are ubiquitous, and there is no mining operation in the world which does not make use of the density differences between solids and liquids.

Whether it be gravity concentration, classification or dewatering, the principles of separation are essentially the same and this, the 4th Physical Separation conference, brought together researchers and operators who have common interests in:

  • Gravity concentration methods - single and multi-G separators and dense medium separation
  • Classification techniques - hydrocyclones, air classifiers etc.
  • Solid-Liquid Separation - thickeners, clarifiers etc.
  • Magnetic separation, and electronic sorting.
  • Microwave technology.

delegates on the mine tour
Delegates on a mine tour

Cornwall, the “birthplace of modern mining”, was an appropriate place to hold such an event, as this was the first place in the world where physical separation methods were practiced on a large scale, and the programme will include a visit to the historic Camborne-Redruth copper and tin mining district, where ruins of 19th century ‘dressing floors’ can be explored.



The keynote lecture "Reducing energy consumption in comminution by doing much less of it!" was given by Dr. Rob Morrison of JKMRC, Australia.

Dr Rob Morrison is a metallurgical engineer with more than thirty years of experience in mineral processing.  His experience includes operations and process development during four years at Bougainville Copper and plant design, construction and commissioning during six years with Fluor Daniel Australia. For nine years Rob was Manager of JKTech which provides optimisation and control services to the mineral industry as well as ore characterisation and the JKSimMet range of user friendly simulation software. For the initial two years of its operation, Rob was the leader of Program 2 of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing. Program 2 focussed on improving the eco-efficiency of existing operations. Rob was the leader of AMIRA Project P754 which developed a Code of Practise and a text book for Metal Accounting.

Rob is currently Chief Technologist at the JKMRC with responsiblity for technical oversight of the research activities of the centre and for promoting the transfer of technology from research to the commercial realm. His technical interests include energy efficient mineral processing, advanced sorting techniques, characterisation of liberation and breakage, simulation and measurement techniques. Rob has published more than 100 technical papers, contributed to several text books and holds several patents.

Rob Morrison



"I have attended a number of MEI conferences in the past. This [Physical Separation '13] was one of the best. Very high quality presentations with good discussion. The chairpersons were particularly good at promoting discussion."
Chris Pickles, Robert M Buchan Department of Mining,Queen’s University, Canada

Read the conference reports from past Physical Separation conferences, and check out the technical programmes and delegate lists too:

"Physical Separation 09 was my first professional international conference which was held in a very unique friendly atmosphere. In amazing sessions, I got a great amount of important insights and useful information. I impatiently look forward to take part in another MEI conference next year."
Golnaz Jozanikohan, University of Tehran, Iran

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Physical Separation '15 was certified for Continuing Professional Development.




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