Sunday, 26 March 2017

Weekend in Montagu

It seems an age since last weekend in Cape Town. Jon left for UK on Wednesday evening, and Amanda is spending a few days at Llandudno, near Hout Bay. Barbara and I are in the little Victorian town of Montagu, about 180 km from Cape Town in western Little Karoo.
Approaching Montagu

Apart from its historic buildings, Montagu is notable for its fine restaurants, its proximity to the beautiful Robertson Wine Area, and its great hiking trails.

Hiking Cogman's Kloof, Montaguu

Hiking the Fish Eagle trail in the Breede River valley
We leave for Cape Town airport tomorrow, and then the long journey back to Cornwall!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Farewells to a great bunch of process mineralogists

All too soon Process Mineralogy '17 came to an end this afternoon. Megan Becker summarised the past three days, and then Amanda Wills closed the event and invited everyone to attend Process Mineralogy '18, which will be held in Cancun, Mexico in November next year.
Practically everyone we talked to agreed that this has been a great networking event where new contacts and business have been made. It was particularly good to have a well known figure join us for the farewell wine function in the gardens, Prof. Cyril O'Connor, Chairman of the International Mineral Processing Council.
With Cyril O'Connor in the Vineyard gardens
On behalf of MEI I would like to thank everyone who took part in this conference, particularly our sponsors, and we wish you all safe journeys home.
There will be a full report, with photos, on the conference next week.

The launch of the latest book on Process Mineralogy

Last week in Australia the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (SMI-JKMRC) (part of the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland) celebrated the launch of the latest book in its series of Monographs on mineral processing. This most recent book, Process Mineralogy, is edited by a team of three people whose names will be familiar to those working in this field - MEI's process mineralogy consultant Dr Megan Becker, of the Centre for Minerals Research at the University of Cape Town, and Drs Elaine Wightman and Cathy Evans of the SMI-JKMRC
The launch party at SMI-JKMRC celebrated the hard work of the three editors of Process Mineralogy and their 50 contributors from around the world, which has culminated in the production of this comprehensive review of the current state of the art in applied mineralogy. The support of Dr Ying Gu, Prof Dee Bradshaw and Prof Ben Adair in the initial stages of the book helped the editors to build a team of contributors which spans our industry in terms of both commodity type and geographical location. While the list of contributors is too long to be included here, readers of the Process Mineralogy book will recognise many of them as regular attendees at the biannual MEI Process Mineralogy Conferences. The breadth and depth of the knowledge shared by the contributors in each of the book chapters reflects their expertise in mineralogy tools, techniques and their application and make this book unique.
Prof Neville Plint, Director of the SMI and Prof Alice Clark, Director of Production Centres at SMI welcomed a number of the Brisbane-based contributors, including Dr Bill Johnson, Dr Greg Wilkie, Dr Graham O'Brien, John Knights and Prof Malcolm Powell who came along to join JKMRC staff, students and alumni in the celebrations.
Prof. Alice Clark (Director, Production Centres, SMI), Dr Graham O’Brien (CSIRO), Dr Greg Wilkie (CRC-ORE),
Dr Elaine Wightman (SMI-JKMRC), John Knights, Dr Bill Johnson (Mineralis/SMI-JKMRC),
Dr Cathy Evans (SMI-JKMRC), Prof. Malcolm Powell (SMI-JKMRC),
Prof. Neville Plint (Director, Sustainable Minerals Institute)
Process Mineralogy '17 provided an opportunity for a 2nd launch, and for Cathy and Elaine to catch up with Megan and the contributors based in South Africa. 
Elaine, Megan and Cathy
Twitter @barrywills

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Evening dinner by the lagoon

A beautiful location tonight for the Process Mineralogy '17 conference dinner, overlooking Lagoon Beach in Milnerton, with its stunning view of Table Mountain and Lion's Head.
After the 35C heat of the day, it was great to relax in the warm late afternoon sunshine, with drinks on the terrace before an excellent buffet meal in the impressive Lagoon Beach Hotel restaurant.
There will be many fond memories of the evening, and cameras were clicking furiously to provide permanent reminders of the evening and the very interesting and amiable people who make up the world of process mineralogy. Some of the images are shown here- there will be more next week on the conference report.
Representatives from conference sponsor Cornwall Mining Alliance
Barry, Barbara, Jon and Amanda Wills (MEI), Nick and Flee Wilshaw (Grinding Solutions Ltd),
Yousef Ghorbani, Rob Fitzpatrick and Hylke Glass (Camborne School of Mines),
James Strongman and Chris Brough (Petrolab Ltd) 
Twitter @barrywills

MEI's Conference bags proving popular

It's not often that you hear positive comments on conference bags, but many of this week's delegates have provided positive feedback on MEI's colourful bags. We are particularly pleased about this as the bags are hand-made in Cape Town's sprawling Khayelitsha township by Learn to Earn, as part of their Feel Good Project, which is dedicated to creating opportunities for employment and alleviating poverty in South Africa. Together with TFG (The Foschini Group), Learn to Earn provides unemployed individuals with the skills required for the retail sector so that they may enter and sustain careers in this fast-paced industry.
It is also nice to have positive feedback on the conference lanyards, made by Kidzpositive, a non profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases.

Dr. Norm Lotter to be honoured in Mexico

Amongst the eminent mineral processors at this week's Process Mineralogy '17 is Dr. Norm Lotter, President and Consulting Engineer, Flowsheets Metallurgical Consulting Inc, Canada, who was a keynote speaker at Process Mineralogy '10. Norm has been nominated for the Fray International Award recognising his contributions to the profession of mineral processing across his career. The award will be presented at the SIPS summit conference in Cancun, Mexico, in October, at which there will be a symposium honouring his contributions.
Norm is pictured left with Prof. Dee Bradshaw of the University of Cape Town, who is on the organising committee for the Lotter Symposium.

Twitter @barrywills