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MEI Online: People News: North America: February 5th 2004


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:: John Starkey wins Art MacPherson Comminution Award

This year’s winner of the Art MacPherson Comminution Award, John Starkey, was presented with his award at the CMP Annual Meeting in Ottawa in January.

This award is presented In memory of Art MacPherson, a Canadian pioneer in the development of autogenous and semi-autogenous grinding. The award is sponsored by SGS Lakefield and was first presented to Andy Mular at the SAG 2001 Conference held in Vancouver.

John Starkey has dedicated much of his working career to improving crushing and grinding circuits. He has been involved in the mineral processing side of the mining industry for most of his working career. From his early days at the Kam Kotia mine in Timmins to his recent involvement with the Voisey's Bay project grinding design; John's involvement with grinding circuits has spanned 5 decades. During his time with Kilborn, from 1977 to 1989, he was a driving force in many grinding circuit projects including East Kemptville Tin, the Williams Mine, Les Mines Selbaie, and the Campbell expansion as well as optimization of the Campbell crushing circuit. John has demonstrated his detailed methodical approach to all aspects of a grinding circuit design that leaves no stone unturned.

This approach and dedication to the understanding of grinding was evident in his quest to develop a simple test that would enable engineers to design a grinding circuit that is right the first time. He was instrumental in developing the SAG Power Index or SPI test, which has proven to be a reliable and relatively low cost tool that can be used to predict mill power, throughput and fineness of grind. He contributed the to the advancement of grinding technology through his work with MinnovEX from 1994 until 2001.

John initiated the concept of using a small SAG mill for testing on drill core so that tests could be done on small samples that were readily available. He constructed a one-foot diameter mill and developed a full test protocol. He then ran three tests on some samples in Iran. He brought this idea to MinnovEX in 1993 in an effort to find a company that could help develop the idea into a meaningful commercial tool to use for process design of SAG/AG mills.

This was the spark for the development of the MinnovEX SPI test and subsequent CEET technologies, which are now being used by most of the major mining companies around the world. Over 7000 SPI tests have been carried out to date.

John has, for some time, been recognized by his peers around the globe as an expert in the field of comminution, a fact that is evident by his many technical papers and speaking engagements throughout the world




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