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John O. Marsden, Conference Chair and President Metallurgium

John Marsden has over forty years of broad international experience in the development and management of major, innovative copper, gold, silver, molybdenum & cobalt operations and projects in the USA, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and the Congo (DRC). He established Metallurgium in 2009 to provide consulting services to the mining industry worldwide. Prior to that he held various operations and technical management positions with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., Phelps Dodge, and Consolidated Gold Fields plc. He has published more than forty technical papers, holds fifteen U.S. patents, and is the author of “The Chemistry of Gold Extraction”. He is passionate about the effective deployment of new technology in the industry, and meeting the metals/minerals needs of the energy transition. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a distinguished member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), an honorary member of AIME, a fellow of the AusIMM, and a registered Professional Engineer. He is the recipient of the 2005 AIME Robert H. Richards Award, the 2007 Milton E. Wadsworth Award, and two Arthur F. Taggart Awards (2009 & 2020) from SME.

Ronel Kappes, Director Processing, Newmont

Ronel Kappes is Director, Processing with Newmont’s Processing and Metallurgy Technical Services team located in Englewood, Colorado, USA. She has extensive flotation development experience in a variety of commodities, including copper, gold, platinum-group metals, molybdenum, lead and zinc. In her current role, Kappes supports Newmont’s global flotation portfolio (including R&D activities) and provides metallurgical support for due diligence efforts and evaluations and several Mega Copper/Au projects. Ronel is presently the executive editor for the SME journal, Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration and was recently awarded the inaugural Cindy Moore Courageous Impact Award by SME. She earned a baccalaureate degree in chemical engineering from Potchefstroom University, South Africa and a Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Utah. She is a qualified professional member of MMSA (Mining and Metallurgical Society of America) and is a member of the Board of Directors of AMIRA and the International Mineral Processing Council.

Tarun Bhambhani, Principal Scientist at Syensqo (previously Solvay) Mining Solutions

Tarun Bhambhani is Principal Scientist at Syensqo (previously Solvay) Mining Solutions, where he has been for the last 17 years, engaged in the development of novel reagents to solve challenging separations and enable step-change in flotation outcome. His contributions include the development of novel collectors for gold, platinum-group metals and oxide copper, modifiers for problematic gangue and selective separations of sulfides, and novel ‘Switchable’ frothers. His efforts to set-up collaborations between vendors, mining companies and academia has translated into much improved understanding of mechanisms governing mineral separations, and solutions for treating complex ores. He has lectured extensively on the role of chemistry in flotation at many mining companies and their processing plants. He has organized several SME MPD technical sessions and symposia and has served on research, membership and scholarship committees. He was a co-organizer of the Sulfide Flotation Symposium at the Extraction 2018 conference and is a co-chair for the 2024 IMPC conference to be held in Washington, DC. He has authored over 40 papers, holds 6 sets of patents, is on the editorial board of SME’s Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration journal, and received MPD’s Outstanding Young Engineer Award in 2013. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mining and Minerals engineering from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Romke Kuyvenhoven, Program Manager, Latam

Romke is a Metallurgical Engineer with +25 years of experience in the mining industry in Latin America. Her main areas of expertise include Metallurgical Process Design and Geometallurgy. She has significant experience in the study of cobalt recovery as a by-product from copper mining operations treating porphyry and IOCG type ores.


Jan Cilliers, Professor of Mineral Processing at Imperial College London

Jan Cilliers is Professor of Mineral Processing and Director of the Rio Tinto Centre for Future Materials at Imperial College London. His team is developing techniques for waterless mineral processing. These systems have found application in lunar resource extraction. Previous research included flotation froths and hydrocyclones.  He serves on the International Mineral Processing Council, and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

IMPC Council Members

Ralph Holmes (President)
Robin Batterham
Cyril O’Connor
John Marsden
David Deglon
Valentin Chanturiya
Jim Finch
Diana Drinkwater
Rod Elvish
Brij Moudgil
Romke Kuyvenhoven
Han Long
Pablo Brito-Parada
Jan Cilliers
Guven Onal
Barun Gorain
Ronel Kappes
Silvia Franca


SME Staff

Melanie Penoyar-Perez (SME COO)
Tara Davis (SME Director, Content Dev & Programs)
Shalea Hardison (SME Director of Marketing)
Cori Knasinski (SME Director of Meetings)


Technical Committee-Focus Area Leads

Energy Minerals – Martin Rudolph
Innovation, Research and Development – Courtney Young


  • Comminution – Mike Daniel
  • Physical Separations – Teresa McGrath
  • Flotation – Tarun Bhambhani
  • Extractive Metallurgy – Janet Baron

Integrated Value Chain

  • Geometallurgy and Process Mineralogy – Isabel Barton
  • Plant Design – Dave Meadows
  • Process Control, Modelling & Simulation – Aaron Noble


  • Tailings – Dirk Van Zyl
  • Dry Processing – Komar Kawatra
  • Strategic Minerals/REE Processing – Rick Honaker
  • Water Management – Robert Dunne

Human Capital – Diana Drinkwater