May 2007

Canadian Mineral Processors Conference wrap-up

The Canadian Mineral Processors 39th Annual Operators’ Conference was held in Ottawa, January 23 to 25, 2007. Chairman Colin Hardie welcomed 416 delegates from 13 countries, another record attendance.

The technical program, organized by John Folinsbee, featured 36 presentations, including CIM Distinguished Lecturer and this year’s plenary lecturer Paul Hébert, executive director, Mining Industry Human Resources Council, who spoke on “Prospecting the Future: Meeting Human Resources Challenges in the Canadian Minerals and Metals Industry.”

The rest of the technical program was separated into six main sections. Under New Projects and Operating Improvements, papers on the Voisey’s Bay mill, grinding mill design for the Tenke Project, the Paracatu gold mine, ore characterization of the Aqqaluk deposit at Red Dog, and the improvement of circuit performance at BHPBilliton’s Minera Escondida were shared. The next section, Comminution, covered grinding circuit modelling and design, SAG mill operation at Cortez, matching motor to mill torque, interactions between slurry density and grinding media size, replacement of diatomaceous earth filter aid with alpha-cellulose at the Laronde Refinery, and the Turbo Pulp Lifter (TPLTM).

The Precious Metals section hosted papers on reduction of free gold losses at the Kemess mine, lead nitrate control in cyanidation, effect of operating variables in Knelson concentrators, Kelsey centrifugal jig, Gekko’s gold ore treatment plants, and the gravity recoverable gold test. Next, in the Process Applications I section, underground milling of uranium ores, infrared recognition of high sulphide and carbonaceous rocks after microwave heating, iron control in mineral processing, frother analysis, development of new frothers, the Derrick Stack Sizer™, and application of passive sonar was covered.

The Process Modelling and Mineralogy section included papers on validation of high-fidelity simulation wear, the use of computational fluid dynamics and discrete element flotation circuit design for Adanac Moly Corp., mineralogical evaluation of Au-Sb-As mineralization from the AD-MW zones, Clarence Stream Property, New Brunswick, and principal components analysis of ToF-SIMS data and MLA.

The final section, Process Applications II, offered papers on the El Mochito mine, developments and new applications for biogenic sulphide reagent in hydrometallurgy and mineral processing, analytical surface chemistry, and improvement of mass and value balance data from the statistical benchmark model.

As is tradition at the CMP Operators’ Conference, the 7th East/West Hockey Challenge was held, with the Kilborn Cup going to the East. On the final evening, the Annual Reception and Awards Banquet celebrated the accomplishments of a number of excelling professionals in mineral processing, including the CMP Mineral Processor of the Year Award going to Ron Colquhoun, vice president technical services, Centerra Gold Inc.

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