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Australian Coal Preparation Society Conference
Canberra, Australia, September 2012


The Australian Coal Preparation Society (ACPS) hosted their 14th Annual Coal Preparation Conference in Canberra during the month of September 2012. There were 470 attendees, from Australia and international representation from South Africa, Germany, China, USA and Canada.

The principal sponsor for this bi-annual event was Whitehaven Coal with the functions and events being sponsored by 25 different equipment suppliers/manufacturers and consulting/engineering companies out of the 39 exhibitors. The ACPS organising committee produced a world class event.

The conference is a culmination of technical papers (operational mine, research and development, project execution etc), coal preparation equipment supply and services stalls and a fantastic array of social events in the political setting of our country’s capital city, with a highlight event being the ACPS Ball held on the Wednesday night at the Grand Ballroom of new Parliament House.

Guest speakers included Tony Abbott (Federal Opposition Leader), Mark Vaile (Board of Directors Whitehaven Coal),Keith Scott (the hilarious political impersonator) and Dr Jerry Luttrell (Virginia Tech). All the exhibitions on display were of a high class and a credit to their exhibitors.

The papers that were presented gave great insight into what is currently happening in both the Australian and International coal preparation community. They also gave some practical and operational perspectives on preparation plant problems that are repeatedly encountered and offered solutions and troubleshooting advice.

One of the highlight technical sessions was ‘New Plants’ and it presented the industry with some findings from home and some comparisons and challenges of preparation plant design and construction in countries where weather, language and customs play a crucial role.

A ‘hot' topic in the industry was also touched on - Thickeners, Tailings and Retreatment. These papers gave insight and understanding as to what some of the current findings and options are in this area. It was also enlightening to understand some of the difficulties in the re-treatment of tailings dams and the rehabilitation of decommissioned sites.

One of the most popular sessions was that of Preparation Plant Optimization and also gave a fantastic overview of current circuit technology.

The success of an event on this scale and the knowledge pool provided would not be possible without the continuation of support within the Coal Industry. Through the continual improvements and research conducted, the next (15th) Australian Coal Preparation Conference and Exhibition, to be held at the Gold Coast in 2014, will not to be missed.




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