Thursday, 27 April 2017

Associate Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong wins major Elsevier Award

I would like to congratulate Dr. Grace Ofori-Sampong, who is one of the Five Women Recipients of the 2017 Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)-Elsevier Foundation Awards. These awards are for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World, for outstanding research in Engineering, Innovation and Technology and for serving as inspiring role models for future generations of women science leaders.
Although I have never met Grace, she has been a respected and diligent reviewer for Minerals Engineering for the past seven years. Grace is the winner for Sub-Saharan Africa for her work on mycohydrometallurgy (fungi-mediated gold extraction), recovery of precious metals, acid mine drainage mapping, safe practices in artisanal and small-scale gold mining, and her strong involvement in making a positive impact in the issues of women in science and engineering. The award recipients took part in the 2017 American Association for the Advancement in Science (AAAS) meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, where they received the awards on the 18th of February, 2017.
Grace receiving her award in Boston
Dr. Grace Ofori-Sarpong is an Associate Professor of Metallurgical (Minerals) Engineering at the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana. She is the first female to rise through the academic ranks to the position of Associate Professor in the field of Mining/Metallurgical/Materials Engineering in Ghana.
Recounting her story on the journey that landed her to this height, Grace said, “the journey has not been without huge obstacles including traditional definitions of who a woman should be, societal demands on what a woman should do and family requirements of what a woman should have". Born into a large family with many people not having formal education or ending at pre-university level, it was difficult to convince anybody that a woman could live above the traditional limitations and reach out to unlimited heights.
Grace got her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and her PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in the USA. Her research interests  include  mycohydrometallugy,  environmental  biotechnology,  recovery  of  precious  minerals,  microwave  processing  of  ores,  water  quality monitoring and small-scale gold mining/processing. She has over forty-five technical papers to her credit and several unpublished reports.
She has held several positions in her university and is currently the Head of the Petroleum Engineering Department and the Vice Dean of the Planning and Quality Assurance Unit. She has also served as a visiting professor in other universities in Ghana and Africa.
Grace is one of the few women who are making an impact in this predominantly male oriented minerals and mining engineering field in Ghana and also in the West-African sub-region. By dint of hard work and creativity, she has utilised fungi in the extraction of gold (mycohydrometallurgy) and, for the first time, the use of fungi in the degradation of non-organic sulphide minerals. She has been a role-model at several science and mathematics clinics for young females and has boosted girl-child education and interest in science and engineering. To get an appropriate platform for her passionate desires, Grace has recently founded an association known as Ladies in Mining and Allied Professions in Ghana, of which she is the president.
Well done Grace!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Del Codd, 1944-2017

Those of you who worked in the Cornish mining industry during the tin boom of the 1970s and early 80s may remember Derek (Del) Codd, an enthusiastic mineral processor, who died last week in Truro.
Dell worked for a time at the Tolgarrick tin streaming plant in Camborne, which reworked the tailings from South Crofty mine, which had been discharged into the Red River.
He was also a part-time technician at Camborne School of Mines (CSM) and a member of the CSM cricket team in its debut 1980 season. Cricket was one of his passions, and in later years he played for various Cornish village teams, and then became a cricket umpire and groundsman.
CSM Cricket team, 1980. Del is 3rd from left back row
Ist left is Nick Wilshaw of Grinding Solutions Ltd. and I am middle front row
Our thoughts are with Del's wife Pat and family.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Water, water, everywhere.....

Water is necessary for life to exist at all. Every single life form on earth, from the single celled organism through the most complex organisms, relies on water for sustenance. Water makes up most of the world and the planet is seventy five percent water. Some 97.5% is saline water largely in the oceans, so that only 2.5% is fresh water and useful for human needs. Fresh water is a renewable and variable, but a finite natural resource. The demand for water is driven primarily by population and concomitant economic growth. Overall, some 70% of the water withdrawn from the environment is used in agriculture, 20% by industry,7% by households and 3% by mining. Future water requirements are predicted to grow considerably, while supplies will remain relatively constant or decline due to over pumping of aquifers, changing weather patterns and increased water pollution and contamination. While all regions will experience water scarcity to some degree, there are some countries where it will become more critical leading to conflict between consumers.
Mining activities are often located in remote, arid environments, with limited access to high-quality water. Water rights in these regions are extremely contentious issues, in some instances leading to violent confrontation. This situation has the potential to only get worse because competition for ‘scarce’ water resources will increase with local population growth and agricultural land usage. Water used at mining operations comes from a variety of sources and the quantity and quality of the water varies from mine-site to mine-site. Mining impacts on water quantity and quality are among the most contentious aspects of mining and mining development. The main problem for the mining industry is to generate confidence in developing a responsible, sustainable and transparent water management strategy that is recognized as such by all stakeholders. 
This will be the subject of a keynote lecture at Sustainable Minerals '18 in Namibia next year, by Prof. Rob Dunne. Rob will provide an overview of water in the wider global arena and compare this to how the mining industry has dealt with water stewardship over the last couple of decades, and what the future may hold.
Robert Dunne was the Fellow Metallurgy at Newmont Mining Corporation before he retired at the end of 2013. Prior to this he held the position of Group Executive-Metallurgy Development and Technology. Over the last 35 years Rob has worked for a number of mining companies including Newcrest Mining, Anglo American, Anglovaal and Mintek. He has authored and co-authored over 80 papers and has been an invited conference plenary speaker. Water in the mining industry has been a focus over the last 10 years and Rob has given three plenary talks on this subject. He was nominated as a SME Henry Krumb lecturer and delivered a plenary talk on water to local USA branches of the SME. He is an Adjunct Professor at both Curtin University (Gold Technology Group) and Queensland University (JKMRC), Australia.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Hayle Estuary to St. Ives

One of my 10 recommendations for spending some time in Falmouth (posting of 11th March 2015) was a train ride from Falmouth to Penzance (via Truro) and maybe then on to St. Ives (via the branch line at St. Erth).
If you enjoy a beautiful coastal walk, then another option is to take the train from St. Erth to St. Ives, but alight at the first stop, Lelant Saltings, which is on the estuary of the River Hayle.
Estuary of the River Hayle at Lelant
From here it is a relatively easy 4 mile walk to St. Ives, the coast path being accessed by crossing the West Cornwall golf course, and passing the 15th century St. Uny's church, where Richard Mozley is interred.
Crossing the golf course to the coastal path
Once on the coast path there are great views across the estuary to Godrevy lighthouse and then the huge and lovely Porthkidney Sands.
The Hayle estuary and distant Godrevy lighthouse
Porthkidney Sands

Once past Carbis Bay it is a gentle stroll to St. Ives, which can be extremely crowded in the summer months (a good reason for taking the train, as driving in the narrow streets can be a nightmare!). If you wish to linger, there are many fine restaurants, but you might wish to sample a Cornish pasty from one of the many "award winning" pasty shops, but be careful if you eat outdoors- the very large herring gulls here can be vicious and opportunistic- no wonder the original short story "The Birds" was set in Cornwall, not California as in the famous film. 
Carbis Bay
Approaching St. Ives
From St. Ives station take the short trip back to St. Erth, wait for the mainline train to Truro, and then change for Falmouth- a great day out!

Friday, 21 April 2017

An update on the forthcoming merger of Minerals Engineering and IJMP

The merger of Minerals Engineering and International Journal of Mineral Processing (IJMP) will take place in January 2018 (see posting of 21 December 2016).
I will remain as Editor-in-Chief of the merged journal, and the co-editors will be Dr. Pablo Brito-Parada, of Imperial College, UK, the current Editor of Minerals Engineering, and Prof. Kristian Waters, of McGill University, Canada, who is currently an editor of IJMP.
From 1 May 2017, submissions to IJMP will close and prospective authors should instead submit their papers to Minerals Engineering online.

Twitter @barrywills

Thursday, 20 April 2017

A Rising Star in Falmouth

Four weeks ago Anita Parbhakar-Fox, husband Nathan, and their two sons, arrived in Cape Town to present papers at Process Mineralogy '17. They had been severely delayed on their long flights from Tasmania-Melbourne-Singapore-Johannesburg-Cape Town, as Nathan had to return to Tasmania to collect the children's birth certificates.
Anita and family relaxing at the Vineyard Hotel after their epic journey
This is a good opportunity to remind any of you who are travelling to a Cape Town conference, and bringing your family for a holiday in this beautiful area, that the immigration rules introduced by South Africa in June 2015 require parents travelling with children (under 18) to show the child’s full unabridged birth certificate, which should list the child’s details and both parents’ details.
Anita is a great networker, one of the reasons that we chose her as one of MEI's Rising Stars, and all this week she and Nathan have been in Cornwall, as guests of Process Mineralogy '17 sponsor Petrolab, based in Redruth. The University of Tasmania and Petrolab are collaborators on a project funded by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, aimed at refining test procedures to assist the mining industry with prediction and management of acid rock drainage. This was initiated via a meeting at Process Mineralogy '14.
It was great to catch up with Anita and Nathan together with James Strongman and Chris Brough, of Petrolab, this lunchtime at the Gylly Beach Cafe, on Falmouth's Gyllyngvase Beach, opposite MEI's conference venue the St. Michael's Hotel.
Gyllyngvase Beach with Nathan, Anita, Chris and James
Twitter @barrywills