The Mining and Metallurgical Society of America (MMSA) recently sponsored a symposium on Minerals for a Green Society in Washington, D.C. The presentations and discussions highlighted facts about minerals that are critical for our changing society, including what is needed and how vulnerable the US may be to disruptions in global supply. The symposium also provided opportunities for networking among individuals who are concerned about mineral-supply issues and who can take action to assure US competitiveness in a green economy.Attendees included individuals from the mining and renewable energy industries, federal and state agencies, Congressional staffs, and academia. Speakers covered issues concerning global demand and supply of mineral resources, particularly those that are critical for emerging technologies in energy efficiency and renewable energy, including rare earth elements, lithium, copper, and elements that are likely to be key in photovoltaic solar power generation. They informed the audience about progress made on recommendations of two recent reports of the National Research Council – one dealing with minerals that are critical to the US economy and one dealing with materials for the 21st century military.Discussion included recent dramatic changes in geopolitics of mineral resources, geological and geographic rarity of some resources, tradeoffs and ‘green choices,’ recycling, recovery of key elements as byproducts of major metals, and implications of substitution of one element for another in key energy technologies.Copies of the program, slide presentations, major points made by the speakers, and speaker biographies are posted on the MMSA website at www.mmsa.net.The Mining and Metallurgical Society of America is a professional organisation dedicated to increasing public awareness and understanding about mining and why mined materials are essential to modern society and human well being. Since its inception in 1908, MMSA has provided valuable information and guidance to federal, state, and local governments on a number of important public policy issues dealing with mining. MMSA has also made substantial contributions to educational programs that help teachers inform students about mining and how minerals are used.
Particulate monitoring is a critical factor for mines and mineral processing plants, where industrial pollutants are problematic. Many dusts can be hazardous or combustible, and those mining operations generating or handling dust can require special solutions to monitor and minimise emissions. Auburn Systems offers a new, unified DC/AC dust monitoring platform, known as TRIBO.dsp. The system is the result of a two year design and development project.As dust particles collide with, or closely pass by a probe, charge transfers occur. TRIBO.dsp series products detect the signal created by the changes in particulate concentration, as in the onset of a bag leak or an increase or decrease in flow. Unlike monitors that use only the DC impaction or only the AC induction signals, thereby using only a portion of the complete electrostatic signal, the TRIBO.dsp unified U3000 series combines the benefits of each method, providing the user with a “superior reliable and repeatable signal”, with electrical interference resistance – even in harsh mining environments. They can activate operational functions such as alarms and relays or can generate continuous 4-20 mA or digital signals for trending and recording purposes.
The Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) chose to go with Sturtevant’s 26’ Whirlwind® air classifiers as part of the Iron Bridge project, a joint venture between FMG and China’s Baosteel. Sturtevant has sold three of these units to FMG in Australia. The high-throughput operation will remove beneficiated magnetite fines at 120-mesh, 200-mesh and 325-mesh and increase iron concentration. The company chose the Whirlwind air classifier because, says Sturtevant, “of its dry air classification process. Wet washing requires expensive capital equipment, high energy output and a high volume of water. Dry separation requires less capital investment, less water and energy costs and provides exponential savings over wet washing.”Sam Rajkovich, Sturtevant’s Director of Sales & Marketing said, “Dry air classification saves our customer money on the initial capital investment and allows them to refine and improve the quality of their iron more economically than any other method of particle separation.”Another crucial factor for the choice was that the Whirlwind air classifier “was efficient even at high moisture contents. The Whirlwind offered the most flexibility during variable process conditions including weather, temperature, and humidity changes.”The Iron Bridge project is a joint venture mining magnetite from deposits located south of Port Hedland, Australia situated on the traditional lands of the Njamal People.