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MEI Online: People News: North America: March 5th 2013


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:: MEI Young Person’s Award 2012 to Randall Zahn


MEI is very pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2012 Young Person’s Award is Randall (Randy) Zahn of FLSmidth, Salt Lake City, USA. He was nominated for the award by Mick L. McCaslin, Director of the Minerals Testing Center at FLSmidth.

Randy (34) graduated Cum Laude from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering in May 2002. As a Graduate Research Assistant, Randy evaluated organic layers on gold nanoparticles as vapor sensors, taught students and staff on the operation of state-of-the-art instrumentation and designed test equipment for the project.


Beginning as an Intern at Phelps Dodge Mining Company, Randy steadily advanced to become Chief Mineralogist at Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde in Peru (a Phelps Dodge and, after the merger, Freeport-McMoRan subsidiary). At Cerro Verde, he built and managed the world’s first fully integrated, most advanced mine site Process Mineralogy Lab which supported Geo-Metallurgical work for mine geology, mine planning, heap leaching and concentrator operation.

He is now Chief Mineralogist at FLSmidth’s Ore Characterization & Process Mineralogy Labs in Salt Lake City where he participated in the construction of one of the most advanced plant, process and engineering support labs in the process technology industry.

Randall Zahn (left), with his nominator Mick McCaslin


Randy is one of the leading experts in Advanced Automated Mineral Analysis for mining applications. He pioneered the early SOPs for QEMSCAN concentrator surveys in copper operations and performed the first concentrator survey on a molybdenum concentrator. He also conducted the first full geo-metallurgical profiling of a new porphyry copper ore body together with Dawson Metallurgical Labs. This effort provided cost efficiency in restart and fast optimization of a plant saving the company several million dollars.

Using Automated Mineral Analysis, he advanced heap leach pad surveys (as the first in the world) to a level of forecasting long-term leach recovery via mineralogy and developed additional geo-metallurgical tools for better ore characterization of Cu-Mo ores. Randy also pioneered an HPGR abrasion index test program via mineralogy which could replace time consuming conventional tests. His work in leading the 1st mine site mineralogy lab in copper mining can be considered as some of the most important break-through efforts in modern Process Mineralogy.

All at MEI congratulate Randy on his award, which will be presented at Physical Separation ’13 in Falmouth in June.




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