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First Extractive Metallurgy Operators Conference
Brisbane, Australia, November 7-8, 2005

The First Extractive Metallurgy Operatorsí Conference was held at the Sofitel Hotel in Brisbane on 7 - 8 November 2005. Organised by The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy it is intended that the conference will complement the highly successful and popular AusIMM Mill Operatorsí and Underground Operatorsí Conference series and become a regular feature on the conference Calendar.

The focus of the conference was on extractive metallurgy plant operations providing a forum to discuss and present experiences in dealing with real processing issues and their solutions, and to make valuable personal contacts.

The conference was officially opened by AusIMM Director, Ian Goddard. Two keynote presentations were then given, the first by Charlie Sartain, CEO of Xstrata Copper and the second by Tim Napier Munn, Manager Project Development, Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland.

In his keynote address Charlie Sartain outlined the skills shortage currently facing the resources industry and discussed solutions being pursued by the industry, government, educational institutions and companies, and the need to undertake these initiatives at all levels.

Tim Napier-Munn provided a thoroughly entertaining keynote address in which he pointed out the potential for significant improvements to overall plant performance through improved communication between geology, mining, metallurgical professionals. He gave examples of how the new approach is being applied to ore characterisation, mine planning and mill operation; and pointed out that the natural extension to this is the relationship between ore characteristics and downstream chemical processing.

A total of 26 technical papers were presented at the two day conference covering a range of pyro- and hydro-metallurgical processing operations. The sequential sessions were split into the following general themes; Leaching and Solvent Extraction; Smelting and Converting; Process Improvement and Plant Support.

Each paper was followed by useful questions from the audience. There was plenty of discussion during and after the sessions.

At the conference dinner the delegates were entertained by a wide range of popular songs from local band "The Full Quid".

Overall it was a successful conference with useful technical sessions, plenty of interaction and information exchange between the delegates, and a sociable and informal atmosphere.

Many thanks to all the sponsors including Major sponsors BHPBilliton, HATCH, Xstrata Technology and Xstrata Copper, Technical Session Sponsors AJ Parker Centre for Hydrometallurgy Solutions, PYROSEARCH and Worley Parsons and General sponsor MEP Instruments. Exhibitors included NALCO, Gekko Systems and Summit Valley Equipment and Engineering Inc.

Many thanks also to The AusIMM conference team, who provided excellent support to the organising committee.

We all look forward to the next in the series of Extractive Metallurgy Operatorsí Conferences.

Peter Hayes (Conference Organising Committee, Chairperson)




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