Dec '08/Jan '09

A copper expert in Quebec

CIM Quebec City Branch learns the recent history of copper smelting from an industry veteran

By M. Fortin


Two student organizers and executive members of the student chapter of the CIM Metallurgical Society on either side of Distinguished Lecturer Carlos Díaz; left: Keven Pelletier, right: Geoffrey Barden.

On October 6, the CIM Quebec Branch and the student chapter of the CIM Metallurgical Society were honoured to host Distinguished Lecturer Carlos Díaz, director of the Centre for Chemical Process Metallurgy, at the University of Toronto. His lecture entitled “The Evolution of Copper Smelting Practices in the Last Four Decades” drew 31 persons, including ten metallurgy students, to the Laval University venue. The lecture took a retrospective look at major changes that have taken place in copper smelting practices including the development of autogenous smelting processes, significant improvements in Peirce-Smith converting practices, the commercialization of alternative continuous converting methods, and the consequent expansion and modernization of smelters. The lecture concluded with a look at the trends in copper smelting R&D and future advances in copper smelting technology. Díaz also explained the influence on the development of technology of oil and copper prices, the 1971 U.S. regulations and the efforts in 1994 to reduce acid rain. The lecture was followed by a light buffet, sponsored by Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., the Quebec Mining Association, COREM, Fasken Martineau, Gestion SODEMEX Inc., Instrumentation GDD Inc., Virginia Mines and Soutex Inc.
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