Copper

Mufulira, Zambia

In 1972 I started my working life in the copper smelter at Mufulira Copper Mine in Zambia.  Initially I worked on shift, operating the 50MW submerged arc electric furnace, before moving to the converter aisle.  Later I worked on anode casting to optimise anode quality and reduce scrap recycle.

In 1974 I moved to the concentrator, working initially on shift operations.  I later worked on projects to introduce an offline XRF analyser for process control, comparison of large (for the time) flotation cells, liberation and mineralogy in the regrind circuit, concentrate dryer burner type and oil consumption, improvement to vacuum disc filter performance, and metallurgical accounting.

Olympic Dam, South Australia

During the 1980s I was a member of BP Minerals’ Olympic Dam team, working in parallel with Western Mining staff on development of phase 1 of the Olympic Dam project in South Australia.

After the plant was commissioned I monitored production statistics and product quality, comparing results against a process model developed by the BP Minerals team.  This led to identification and elimination of the major production bottleneck.

Copper Concentrate Filtration

With Larox and Outotec I have worked on copper concentrate filtration projects globally, but most notably in Zambia, Botswana, China, Chile, Peru and USA.

© Ian Townsend 2015