Interview with Dr. Cyril O'Connor - President of the International Mineral Processing Council



Dr. Cyril O'Connor:We all look forward to visiting your most beautiful country and of having the experience to engage productively with scientists and engineers from Russia on current and future trends in mineral processing both globally and in Russia”.

Interview with Dr. Cyril O'Connor–well-known scientist and figure in global academic world about the XXIX International Mineral Processing Congress (IMPC 2018) that will take place in Moscow, Russia, on September 15-21, 2018. The Congress will gather over one thousand professionals and academics from all over the world to exchange knowledge and experience, to present the results of scientific research and to discuss innovations in the mining industry. Top universities specializing in mineral processing, all biggest mining companies, the major leading providers of services and technologies will participate in the Congress.

- The upcoming Congress is a great event for the  world mining industry. What do you think on Russian format of this event?

- I visited Moscow last year as a guest of the Organizing Committee and had a chance to see the venue for the Congress as well as having the opportunity of seeing some of beautiful sights of Moscow – the Kremlin, St Basil’s cathedral, and a cruise on the Moscow River. I was very impressed by the high quality of the Congress venue and the hotels at the Congress venue. It was my first time ever in Moscow and I found the city to be very beautiful and obviously benefiting from all the preparations for the World Cup in 2018. In June this year the International Mineral Processing Council met in St Petersburg for its traditional business meeting in the year prior to the Congress. The arrangements for this meeting were superb and gave me every reason to believe that the International Mineral Processing Congress in Moscow in 2018 will be a memorable experience from both a technical and social perspective. We should also remember that it will be the 50 years next year since the last Congress was held in Russia - that was the VIII IMPC which was held in what was then Leningrad in 1968 - and so it is appropriate that at this time the IMPC returns to Russia.

- Mr. Valentin Chanturiya is very exciting about this event and takes all his time to prepare this event in best possible way. What do you think about your Russian colleagues?

- As I mentioned above my experience both in Moscow in 2016 and in St Petersburg this year were both wonderful personal experiences and Professor Chanturiya went out of his way to make my visit in 2016 and that of the whole Council in 2017 truly memorable. I know that after the St Petersburg meeting  my Council colleagues were unanimous in their deep appreciation for the tremendous hospitality shown to us by Professor Chanturiya and his colleagues on the Organizing Committee. Clearly the arrangements for the Congress are in very competent hands!

- Many of our readers are interested in special focus the Congress, (those themes and aspects that will differentiate it from the previous international congresses.) Your comments....

- Although we should bear in mind that this is an international congress it is traditional that the Organizing Committee also ensures that delegates also have the opportunity to gain an insight into the mineral processing activities of the host country. Hence it is appropriate that among the traditional major themes of the Congress such as flotation and comminution, there will be plenary lectures by eminent Russian scientists and mineral processing engineers highlighting exciting developments in mineral processing which have taken place in Russia in recent times. Professor Chanturiya, being himself a world renowned mineral processing scientist, is eminently well placed to ensure that delegates will have such an experience. For example, Russia is renowned for its traditional strength in the fundamentals of flotation having produced such eminent luminaries as V I Klassen, V AMokroussov, I N Plaksin and many others. Hence we are sure that the Congress will have a strong focus on the fundamentals of mineral processing. Russia is also a leading producer globally of commodities that include copper, fluorspar, iron ore, diamond, lime, gold and others and so there will surely be a focus on the processing of such minerals.

- In august we have Day of MINER –very important professional celebration. What would you wish to Russian professionals?

- The world of mineral processing scientists and engineers is looking forward to visiting your beautiful country again in 2018 after a gap of 50 years. The XXIX International Mineral Processing Congress which will take place in Moscow in 2018 will undoubtedly be a great success both from a technical and a social perspective. We all look forward to visiting your most beautiful country and of having the experience to engage productively with scientists and engineers from Russia on current and future trends in mineral processing both globally and in Russia. The world depends heavily on the production on minerals and it is our responsibility to ensure that we process minerals in an efficient and sustainable manner and that we ensure that the next generation of mineral processing engineers have the necessary skills to ensure that we achieve this objective.

- Your wishes to all  IMPC-2018  participants?

- I would like to take this opportunity to wish all delegates attending the XXIX IMPC in Moscow in 2018 a most fulfilling technical experience and encourage them to take this opportunity to enjoy the wonderful sights of Moscow. It will also be a wonderful opportunity to make many new friends among our Russian colleagues. I have no doubt that it will be a wonderful experience and I encourage people from around the world to make every effort to attend this Congress!

BRIEF CV – Cyril O'Connor

Cyril O'Connor is a registered chemical engineer with a Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town and a Senior Doctorate (D.Eng.)in Metallurgical Engineering from Stellenbosch University. He is the immediate past Director of the Centre for Minerals Research and was the founder Director of the Centre for Catalysis Research,both of which are located in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town.  He is presently President of the International Mineral Processing Council, held the Anglo-American Platinum Chair in Minerals Processing from 2008-2012, was Vice-President of the International Zeolite Association, is a member of the Executive of the Academy of Engineering of South Africa and is CEO of the South African Minerals to Metals Research Institute. He chaired a government appointed panel to investigate South Africa’s preparedness for hydraulic fracturing. He has served from time to time on various international scientific committees and review panels and has chaired the Organizing Committeesof a number of major international conferences. He has published over 200 papers in international journals and international refereed conference proceedings, has supervised more than 60 PhD and MSc graduates and at his retirement was a National Research FoundationA rated researcher.Prior to his retirement at the end of 2009 he was Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering (8 years), Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment (10 years) and served as an Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2008/9.He is a Hon. Fellow and Fellow of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a Fellow of, respectively,  the Royal Society of South Africa, the University of Cape Town, the South African Academy of Engineering, the South African Institution of Chemical Engineering,  IUPAC and is a founder member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. In 2017 he was elected as a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Interview by:

Elena Zarovnaia

Editor-In-Chief

Russian mining and construction digest

www.mining-digest.ru