Wilson Pascheto

Distinguished Lecturer 2015-16

Mauro Chiesa

Materials technology in the mining industry, opportunities and challenges

Materials technology encompasses activities such as materials testing and selection, equipment design and fabrication, failure analysis and asset integrity amongst others. These activities can have a significant impact on the success of capital projects, on-line time of existing operations as well as health and safety in the work environment. While materials technology is a mature and well recognized discipline in the oil and nuclear industries, for example, it is awareness still lags in the mining industry. During 20 years of experience working in various large capital projects and operating plants, the author has experienced equipment failures which have caused significant losses to owners, in many cases amounting to millions of dollars. Many of these failures could have been prevented by proper application of materials technology best practices.  Therefore, significant opportunities exist in the mining industry to improve the execution of capital projects, increase on-line time, minimize the occurrence of unplanned maintenance due to equipment failures, and all with positive contribution to health and safety. However, in order to explore these opportunities, two main challenges need to be addressed: awareness of the discipline strengths and its potential contributions and the availability of trained materials engineers. This talk will discuss the author’s experiences in failure prevention in the mining industry, examples of major project failures and successes as well as their causes and relationships with materials technology. The material technology model adopted by the author and its impact on awareness and engineering training will also be discussed.


Wilson Pascheto is currently the manager of the Materials Technology Group of XPS Testing and Consulting Services, a division of Glencore, located in Sudbury, Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering from Mackenzie University in Brazil and a Master’s of Materials of Engineering from McMaster University, Ontario. Pascheto has 30 years of plant and laboratory experience in the fields of corrosion, wear, welding, mechanical properties of materials, materials testing and selection, failure investigations, research and development in the areas of metals, polymers, ceramics and composites. He has been directly involved in quality assurance activities for major capital projects in the mining industry related to smelters, concentrators, mines and hydrometallurgical operations. He trains company engineers in QA/QC for capital projects as part of Design for Six Sigma. Pascheto has performed over 1,000 failure investigations ranging from small components to heavy industry machinery from smelters, mines, concentrators, refineries and hydrometallurgical operations. 

CIM Foundation logo