May 2010

Sharing knowledge and best practices

Another successful CMP conference

By J. Zinck and A. Nichiporuk


CMP-sponsored students

Recognized worldwide as one of the best conferences in the field of mineral processing, the recent Canadian Mineral Processors Operators’ Conference welcomed 432 delegates from 17 countries. Technical sessions, a short course and a very popular social program make up the winning formula for this annual event. For those who did not make it to the conference, here is a summary of what you missed.

Great minds at work

Designed to keep delegates abreast of what is happening in the industry and to promote the exchange of knowledge and best practices, the technical program featured 35 presentations centred on the themes of Operation, Process Mineralogy, New Ideas and Technology, Hydrometallurgy, Modelling and Control, and Comminution. A highlight of the program was the Plenary Session, featuring CIM Distinguished Lecturer Don Thompson, speaking on “Setting the Record Straight.”

The one-day short course on National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, given by Greg Gosson and Tony Lipiec of AMEC, was well attended. The 36 participants were led through each of the disclosure requirements under NI 43-101 that are pertinent to metallurgists and other Qualified Persons who prepare technical disclosure on the metallurgy of a mineral project.

Great minds at play

An essential part of the conference is the social program, which is designed to maximize delegates’ opportunities for networking. A crowd favourite is the annual East/West Hockey Challenge. This year marks the 10th anniversary of teams battling it out on the ice for the Kilborn Cup, which the West won.  New this year was “The Ray MacDonald Player of the Game Award” presented to Ken Major from the West Team.

Conference chair Robert Henderson of Kinross hosted the always-lively Chairman’s Reception.  This year, all students attending the conference had an opportunity to participate in the Student Scavenger Hunt — a networking-type game in which the students are asked to find CMP delegates matching the 25 questions on the scavenger hunt BINGO page. Winner Gabriel Gagnon of McGill University received $250, and runner-up Adam Jordens of the University of Alberta, won $150.

Recognizing excellence in the industry, the CMP awards were given out during the Annual Reception and Awards Banquet. Winners included:

  • Best Presentation Award (41st Annual Meeting): Eduardo Nunez, Xstrata Process Support
  • Art MacPherson Comminution Award: Robert McIvor, Metcom Technologies
  • The Bill Moore Special Achiever Award: Peter Langlois, Vale Inco
  • Mineral Processor of the Year Award: Chris Fleming, SGS Minerals
  • Past Chairs’ Award: Ian Orford, AMEC
  • CMP Student Essay Contest: Lauren Flett, Laurentian University (1st prize); Sarah Jung, McGill University (2nd prize); and David Cataford, Laval University (3rd prize)

The leaders of tomorrow

A strong student presence at the CMP conference is always a priority. Prior to presenting the CMP Awards, the SAG Scholarships were awarded to three very deserving future industry leaders (CMP is one of the three SAG sponsoring organizations): Reem Roufail of the University of British Columbia (post-graduate scholarship of $10,000); and Nalini Singh, McGill University and Vanessa Roeland, the University of British Columbia (undergraduate scholarship of $5,000 each). As well, the $5,000 André Laplante Memorial Scholarship’s Award was given out. This year’s winner was Eric McIntyre of the University of Alberta.

Year after year, delegates return to the CMP conference not only for its strong technical program, but also for the numerous networking opportunities. “The papers are just an excuse to be here, really,” says conference chair Robert Henderson. “The interaction after, in the Q&A and also during coffee breaks, luncheons and social activities — people chatting with one another and finding out the stories behind the papers — is way more exciting. Of course, we sometimes have a difference of opinions, but we’re a friendly crowd. It’s pretty unique, the amount of sharing that goes on. We do share our best practices.” The conference is a must-attend event for anyone working in mineral processing-related fields.

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