HOF Citations 2016 Comminution - Jo Pease and Bill Johnson

2016 IN ASSOCIATION WITH COMMINUTION SPONSORED BY Joe Pease & Dr Bill Johnson New technology doesn’t just come into our industry. It is the combination of a set of events, timing and people with passion. If one of these ingredients is missing then the technology doesn’t eventuate. People with passion fill a variety of roles in the technology development. Initial inventors are the source of the “spark”, that important event that brings to light the innovation. As important are the teams of engineers, operators and scientist who work with the inventors to further develop the idea into something that can be touched, be used and mark the way to a commercial product. And finally there are the first users to adopt the technology – believers who take the risk of breaking away from “tried and tested” routes, hoping to bring to their project advantages that wasn’t possible in the status quo. Joe Pease Joe Pease, former COO, Xstrata Technology has been in the mining industry for over 30 years, in a range of technical and managerial roles. A large part of his career was at Glencore’s Mount Isa Mines (MIM), and more specifically, in the lead/zinc concentrator at that site. During this time, the “spark” of using small scale industrial fine grinding into mineral processing was initiated in the labs at MIM to combat the company’s deteriorating ore quality, which led to the birth of IsaMill™ comminution technology. However, to get to the point of a robust, commercial technology, many steps were needed after the initial spark, lab scale testwork and initial prototype development. This is where Joe has played a vital role in the IsaMill story. He knew the fine grained orebodies at Mount Isa, as well as the deposits at McArthur River, needed this technology for their survival and development, and it needed to work. No other technology could grind economically to the sizes that were required to liberate the minerals. Working with engineers, development teams and his operators, Joe was a key player in the advance of the technology at the Mount Isa operations, leading to increased metal recoveries and developing the IsaMill into the robust and accepted technology it is today. The original detailed flotation studies of the lead-zinc ores at Mount Isa and McArthur River were carried out by Dr Bill Johnson (see detailed section below) and he defined the requirement for an ultrafine grinding mill. The Netzsch company in Germany worked with MIM to build the early mills and the project became a commercial venture when they were successful. The work has been excellent and the results have been most satisfactory. The turning around of zinc recovery at MIM and the eventual development of McArthur River based on IsaMill technology, is a credit to the work done by Joe and the rest of the engineers and operators in developing the new technology. Several papers document the success at these operations, Improving Fines Recovery by Grinding Finer and Developments in Milling Practice at the Lead/Zinc Concentrators of Mount Isa Mines Limited from 1990, co-authored by Joe and other engineers, with Joe always keen to discuss with doubters of the new technology and new concentrator practices – “You can grind fine...and you can float fines!” After Mount Isa, Joe joined Xstrata Technology (XT), a subsidiary of Glencore Xstrata responsible for marketing and further developing technology from its operations. Joe has overseen IsaMill technology develop from being a “niche” application used mainly at Glencore Xstrata sites, to an accepted grinding technology in coarser applications worldwide. Through Joe and the IsaMill team at XT, the passion to implement energy efficient comminution technology in a variety of minerals and duties is still as strong today as it was when the technology was first developed, with over 120 mills being installed, large mills and technology packages being developed, as well as the promotion of user groups for further advances in technology. The roles Joe has played in being a joint developer and first user of IsaMills, and his role in its commercialisation, as well as a passionate leader and motivator of the IsaMill business at XT, is why he was nominated as a worthy candidate for the International Mining Hall of Fame. Joe in his own words: “My role at MIM was initially as manager of the lead-zinc concentrator, where we worked with Bill to develop and apply the IsaMill from small scale, in several stages of scale up, to the 1 MW scale used in our projects at Mount Isa and McArthur River. After development to full scale, I led the concentrator team to apply the technology