March/April 2011

Winter classic

Record turnout for CMP Conference

By Ryan Bergen


Team West (black) defeated East 4 to 1 in the Kilborn Cup, the annual hockey game open to any paid conference delegates | Credit: Al Kuiper/NRCAN

A solid technical program with a healthy mix of networking and social activities attracted a record 498 delegates to the Westin Ottawa in January for the 43rd annual Canadian Mineral Processors Operators’ Conference.

The theme of this year’s plenary session was Better Flowsheeting with Modern Process Mineralogy. CIM Distinguished Lecturer Norm Lotter began the technical discussions and was followed by 37 papers on topics that included operations, plant optimization, flotation, advanced technologies, gold ore processing and comminution. The program also included a special presentation from Tony Lipiec on the work performed by the CMP sub-committee created at the 2009 conference to establish the best practice guidelines in mineral processing for NI 43-101. Don Leroux, the technical chair of the conference, told those at the CMP business meeting, “We are proud to say we are covering a broad range of commodities and operations from around the world.” The papers presented were drawn from 60 submissions.

Prior to the technical program, Lotter and Jorge Oliveira, both of Xstrata Process Support, led a half-day primer course in sampling in the mineral processing discipline that focused on the sampling protocols for drill core and blasthole chips.

Thanks to the sponsorship of 42 industry firms, as well as Natural Resources Canada and the Government of Canada, 31 mineral processing students from 16 post-secondary institutions were able to attend the conference, which included a student mixer, a “beer and sandwich” luncheon, and a reception hosted by CMP chairman Dominic Fragomeni.

At the annual awards banquet, Jean Robitaille earned the Mineral Processor of the Year Award for his work as vice-president of metallurgy and marketing with Agnico-Eagle Mines. Yves Breau, director metallurgy at IAMGOLD, was honoured with the Bill Moore Special Achievement Award. Bradley Kaplin of McGill University claimed the $5,000 André Laplante Memorial Scholarship. Queen’s University student Spencer Reeves won the CMP student essay competition. The tireless efforts of Janice Zinck were also celebrated with the new Ray MacDonald Volunteer Award, created to recognize the contributions volunteers make to CMP.

Finally, the grinding style of Team West won the Kilborn Cup for 2011 with a 4 to 1 victory over Team East. Despite the loss, East goalie Sylvain Caron earned the distinction of the Ray MacDonald Player of the Game. Now in its 11th year, the East-West Hockey Classic has become a mainstay of the annual gathering. With the Westin Ottawa reserved for the third week in January for the CMP conference until 2017, the rivalry should remain healthy.

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