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MetPlant 2015
Perth, Australia, September 7-8, 2015


MetPlant 2015 was the 9th in the series of AusIMM Metallurgical Plant Design conferences.

Held in Perth from 7 to 8 September 2015 the conference was attended by 280 delegates from 12 countries on 6 continents. 34 papers including 7 keynote addresses were presented covering themes of comminution, pre-concentration, sampling, smelting, operations, tailings and water and productivity improvements. As usual, delegates and papers were from the engineering, equipment and services, operations and consulting/research/academic sectors.


Highlights of the conference included:

  • The opening keynote address by Peter McCarthy titled “Integrated Mining and Metallurgical Planning and Operation”
  • Dean David’s keynote paper titled “Measuring and taking notice of Orebody variability- an essential ingredient for reliable plant design” was an extension of his keynote paper in MetPlant 2013 “Is an 80th percentile design point logical?”
  • Keynote paper by Peter Munro titled “Base metal sales contracts – change Pavlov and the dog” highlighted the consequences of not keeping up with advancing technologies on the returns to the shareholders
  • Andrew Newell in his keynote address reviewed fatal flaws identified during Technical Due Diligence exercises, and provided delegates with a valuable check list.

David Seaman, Paul Petrucci, Teresa McGrath and George Tsatouhas


Several of the technical papers described step changes in productivity which will have many of the operations metallurgists in the audience looking carefully at some of their own problems when they returned to site:

  • Brian Cornish and Randolph Pax reported on the 35% increase in SAG mill throughput realised at Century Zinc through acoustic analysis of what is happening inside the mill. His MetPlant presentation quoted a payback time of one week.
  • Jim Wallace of McArthur River Zinc reported on the benefits of applying coal plant design principles to base metal heavy media separation
  • Duncan Bennet provided details of the increased recovery project at Phu Kham Copper which resulted in increases in copper recovery of 5% and gold recovery of 10%, compensating for decreasing head grade

Bill Watt of Nyrstar outlined the current project to improve the environmental and sustainability aspects of the Port Pirie lead smelter through the installation of Top Submerged Lance (TSL) technology.

Proceedings are available from the AusIMM (www.ausimm.com.au)




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