And where are we going? Comminution, flotation and gravity separations.
In this paper, the author offers a personal view of what the next 30 years holds for mineral processing. Restating that mineral processing will remain a vibrant industry in raw material production, growth opportunities in waste management are identified. The processing sequence familiar now (mining ® mineral processing ® extraction) will become more interwoven. In situ processing (i.e., milling underground) will evolve from concept to demonstration. Opportunities to exploit physical properties altered in chemical (pyro- and hydro-) processing will present themselves. In primary grinding, the path to AG/SAG milling will progress with little deviation but opportunities in regrinding are wide open. Flotation will see the trend to designing bubble/particle reactors accelerate simultaneously with a vigorous response from mechanical cell suppliers. Gravity separation remains a bastion of the lone inventor but this author anticipates that the new lines will come from the waste management business. The paper concludes with the examination of the Òresearch cycleÓ and identification of growth in small Òhi