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‘Dry And Wet’ Mineral Processing - A Challenge Workshopped in Turkey
Turkey, August 30-31 2006

More than fifty researchers from the University of Cape Town, (South Africa), University of Queensland (Australia), University British Columbia (Canada) and Haceteppe University (Turkey) gathered in Ankara for two days in August to explore and debate the opportunities and challenges arising from ‘dry vs wet’ processing. The debate hinged on the contrasting expertise of dry Cement Processing in Turkey vs wet Mineral Extraction.

The availability of suitable quantities and quality of water is one of the major challenges facing the sustainability of the Mining and Mineral Processing Industry. Since the Industry’s beginning in the early 1200s, vast amounts of water have been used to beneficiate minerals. Today, increasingly, many operations are located in remote, arid regions. Further, even when supply is abundant there are environmental and community concerns around water usage. Consequently, work is underway to look at various options which include the use of treated sewage water and sea water, but an option is to consider whether some currently used wet processes could be successfully and possibly even beneficially replaced, either fully or in part by dry ones.

The event was highly successful, mainly due to the complimentary skills of the delegates, which included post graduate students and academic staff from different disciplines and institutions as well as delegates from Industry, and the participative manner that they were able to engage in the topic. This was facilitated by the flexible structure of the workshop which consisted of focussed presentations and group tasks, interspersed with discussion and documentation sessions.

After the workshop, twenty two of the delegates were treated to a tour to Cappadocia, an inspiring environment for a more relaxed continuation of discussions. It is fitting that the workshop, opened by the Haceteppe’s Dean of Engineering with the challenge of it delivering tangible collaboration, resulted in firm proposals for exciting collaborative research. The energy and momentum created through the workshop can be measured in part by the fact that the first exchange of staff is set to commence in November.




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