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MEI Online: General Minerals Engineering: Conference Reports: VIII Meeting of the Southern Hemisphere on Mineral Technology


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VIII Meeting of the Southern Hemisphere on Mineral Technology
Goiania, Brazil, October 20-24, 2013


The VIII Meeting of the Southern Hemisphere on Mineral Technology conference was also held in conjunction with the XXV ENTMME conference, the annual conference on minerals processing in Brazil. The conference was held over 3 days and included sessions on a wide range of topics, including flotation, hydrometallurgy, comminution, physical separation and quite a large number of talks on mineralogy/mineral characterisation. It was attended by 547 delegates from 14 countries.

Each session was started with a plenary presentation followed by 3 parallel sessions. I presented the first of the plenary talks on the modelling of flotation froths on the morning of the first day. That afternoon Steven Valine from Derrick gave an interesting talk on how replacing cyclones with fine screens can improve the performance of milling circuits, especially when there is a large density difference between the gangue and mineral of interest. The second morning started with a plenary talk by Juan Yianatos on the characterisation of flotation cells and particularly on how their performance can be understood by measuring the residence time distribution in the different regions of the cell using radioactive tracers. That afternoon the plenary talk was by Florian Kongoli on how sustainability in the mining context is misunderstood by the wider public and how technology is the key to improvement. The final plenary talk of the conference was given by Paul Cleary on some of the modelling being carried out in the CSIRO in minerals processing field. He concentrated on the use of DEM in crushing and milling, but also discussed how the DEM could be coupled to SPH to allow both the fluid and solid phases to be modelled.

While the plenary talks were presented in English, most of the talks in the sessions were presented in Portuguese, though there was excellent simultaneous translation. There were speakers from a wide range of different countries, especially other South American countries, but was a particular focus on the work being carried out by Brazilian masters and PhD students. As there were parallel sessions I did not get to see all the talks and predominantly went to those on flotation. In flotation, a big focus was on the quest for alternative collectors and frothers , often based on the modification of naturally occurring plant oils, especially for the concentration of some difficult to float minerals.

The conference dinner was preceded by a very enjoyable music conference given by children and teenagers who attend a charity designed to keep kids from problem backgrounds out of trouble. Overall the conference was well organised by Andre Carlos Silva and his team of enthusiastic helpers, with lots Brazilian hospitality on offer.

Dr. Stephen Neethling - Imperial College, UK




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