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At IMPC, we are bringing together some of the brightest minds in the industry. Get to know our expert speakers and start planning your conference experience today.

Critical Minerals Resources for the Energy Transition

Karen Hanghøj – Director, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Mineral raw materials are important for society in general, and for the transition to a green economy in particular. They are key for achieving the goals set out in COP21 and for achieving several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

When a mineral is both essential in use and subject to supply risk it is considered critical. Emerging energy and mobility technologies create a strong demand for certain raw materials, where demand will dramatically exceed current production in the next decades. Potential scarcity and criticality of these materials might negatively impact the energy transition, and the downstream supply chain significantly. Sustainable and responsible sourcing of these metals is thus going to important on a global level in the decades ahead.

To meet these challenges we need to design smarter solutions for the sustainable extraction, processing and use/repairing/recycling of raw materials from both primary and secondary sources. Furthermore, we must ensure that used materials and products find their way into new product lifecycles in an energetically and economically meaningful way. We need to maintain products and materials in the economy as long as possible through waste valorization, industrial symbiosis, reuse, repairing, remanufacturing and recycling.

About the Speaker: Karen Hanghøj is the Director of the British Geological Survey. She is a geologist with extensive experience in research and innovation management and the minerals and metals industry. Karen is passionate about understanding the complexity of resource management, about environmental and social sustainability, and about the role of geoscience in finding solutions to societal challenges.

Karen holds a PhD in Geology from University of Copenhagen and has worked with research on geological processes in the lower crust and mantle and their associated mineral deposits, before taking senior leadership roles in research and innovation organizations. She is a member of a range of international committees and working groups.

A Delivery Pathway to Sustainable Minerals Processing – The Future Impact of Research and Innovation

Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, Scotland

Global demand and the societal need for minerals and metals places mineral processing at the heart of the energy transition agenda. Practices to enhance the sustainability of minerals processing are part of a global green innovation supply chain. This is a complex system of systems. What do we even mean by sustainability of minerals processing operations? In an actuarial sense, the mining and processing of ‘electric metals and minerals’ have a destiny to offset carbon emission in their subsequent use. Is the rush for ‘electric minerals’ going to accelerate low carbon processing or excuse it?

In looking to the future, pathways to assure a ‘low carbon minerals processing’ there need to examine its role in a range of domains. This lecture will present some future scenarios in three domains. The Plant as part of a local network of consumers and suppliers of energy, water, heat and cold in the economic region of a mine. The mine site and, in many cases, their associated industrial clusters, and their residential neighboring populations, can create opportunities through adopting multi-disciplinary approaches. Examples of opportunities and methodologies to assess them will be exemplified. The Processes, in terms of research innovations that contribute to mitigations, effectiveness and efficiencies in comminution, separation and concentration. What are the top prospects for significant mitigations of energy utilization through technological advances? The Global Supply Chain of Materials will be impacted by societal success in the ability to recycle products at an acceptable cost and rate. What are the top priorities for secondary processing and how can the minerals professionals better drive change in such a diverse global supply chain? In this complex arena, it is hoped that some must-do priorities can be identified to inspire and demonstrate the criticality of the minerals professionals to drive change faster.

About the Speaker:

Professor Richard A Williams FIMM FIChemE CEng is an innovator and academic and holds the post of Vice Chancellor at Heriot-Watt University, based in Scotland, UAE and Malaysa. He graduated in Mineral Technology from Imperial College and has worked extensively as a postgraduate and research academic with Rio Tinto, Anglo American and De Beers. He has been involved in product innovation in software for particle processing and separation, sensors for in-plant imaging and advocating development of energy storage systems using cryogenic liquids. He is an advisor to The Lloyds Register Foundation, trustee of The Carnegie Trust for Universities and The Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation, a former recent Board Member of British Geological Survey. Currently he is a Non-Executive Director of Scottish Enterprise and a co-director of the UAE-UK Business Council. He is a Fellow and past Vice President of The Royal Academic of Engineering, The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences, Royal Society of Edinburgh and professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is an editor of Particuology, Minerals Engineering and IChemE CHERD (Particle Technology).

Maximizing Process Circuit Efficiency: How Technology Drives Sustainability in Minerals Processing

Markku Teräsvasara – President, Metso Minerals

Maximizing process circuit productivity requires a systematic and methodical approach as well as breaking away from conventional thinking. By integrating key elements such as optimized sustainable flowsheets, high-performance process equipment, digitalization, and automation, substantial improvements can be achieved. In the presentation, we will outline a three-tiered strategy with practical examples to achieve remarkable productivity enhancements:

  1. Incremental enhancements (3-5% annually)
  2. Significant step change (15-20%)
  3. Disruptive innovations (up to 30%)

To initiate this improvement journey, a robust baseline needs to be established through meticulous process, operations, and maintenance assessments. Subsequently, ambitious goals can be set, hypotheses formulated, and data collected to identify, validate, and quantify the most viable opportunities.

About the Speaker:

Markku Teräsvasara is the President Minerals and Deputy to the CEO at Metso Corporation (formerly Metso Outotec Corporation) since 2021 and President, Services and Deputy to the CEO in 2020-2021. Teräsvasara was appointed President and CEO of Outotec Oyj in 2016. Before joining Outotec he served as President of Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation Service Division in Sweden. He has been leading Atlas Copco’s Surface Drilling Equipment Division in China and held several other management positions in Atlas Copco (1997-2016) and other companies.