Conference Report: SME-MPD, Colorado Springs

The 68th annual meeting of the Colorado branch of the SME’s Mineral Processing Division was held at the Broadmoor hotel, Colorado Springs, CO., from the 26th to the 28th April 2018, and was attended by approximately 120 delegates.   The setting and scenery were superb.  The meeting was opened by Jenny Pergola, of Pumps Plus, Inc, and MPD Chairwoman.

The setting in Colorado Springs at this time of year is beautiful.  Here are a few photos:

View of the Spring Growth in Town
View from the Conference Veranda
View From the Conference Banquet Hall down into the Foothills of the Rockies

Outgoing session paper chair Alan Boylston, VP – Process Engineering Development, Metso, met with me and discussed the history and the rationale of this year’s conference title -“Greenfield or Brownfield – Where do we Concentrate” .   He said that, given the current status of the business cycle, it was a pertinent question, since optimal asset management should be the focus.  Which of the two would deliver the better return for investment in the present day?

Alan Boylston, VP Metso, and 2018 Paper Chair

The technical programme proved to be a good answer to this question.  A mix of interesting, relevant papers describing operations improvements, commissioning projects, flowsheet development and regulatory/society issues with the mining industry such as tailings management, followed.

The award for the best presentation was made to Dr. Janet Baron, of Barrick Gold, for the paper entitled “Thiosulfate Processing of Double Refractory Ore at Goldstrike TMC Plant”.  Other interesting presentations were:

“The Cerro Verde II Concentrator – Experiences After Two Years of Operation” by Jim Vanderbeek, Manager Metallurgy and Strategic Projects, Cerro Verde Operations, Peru

Jim Vanderbeek, Cerro Verde, FMI

“Pressure Leaching of FMI Copper Concentrates”, by Christy Green, Morenci Operations, FMI, Arizona.

“Holistic Process Modelling to Debottleneck and Reduce OPEX of AG/SAG/Ball Mill Circuits”, by Dr. Sanjeeva Latchireddi, EE Mill Solutions.

Dr. Sanjeeva Latchireddi, EE Mill Solutions

Dr. Norman Lotter, Flowsheets Metallurgical Consulting Inc., Canada, presented a review paper entitled “Best Practice Process Mineralogy – Serving Greenfield and Brownfield Design”, by invitation of the Organising Committee.

Dr. Norman O. Lotter, President and Consulting Engineer, Flowsheets Metallurgical Consulting Inc.

In 2019, Jaye Pickarts, of Mining, Metallurgy and Environmental Services, Littleton, Colorado, will be the paper chair, and his discussion with me indicated that next year will see a focus on operations papers.

Mr. Jaye Pickarts, 2019 Paper Chair

The organising committee and contributing authors are to be congratulated on an excellent conference with great business value.  The next meeting will again be held at the Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs between the 25th and 27th April 2019.

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