Coal processing and preparation in focus at ACPS conference in September

Challenges facing the coal industry and continued excellence in coal preparation will be the focus of the 15th National Conference of the Australian Coal Preparation Society (ACPS) on the Gold Coast in September.

The biennial industry conference themed "Continuing Excellence in Coal Preparation" will bring together more than 400 coal experts from around Australia and the world to share the latest innovations and developments in coal processing.

“Australia is the world’s leading exporter of coal and a technology leader,”  ACPS president Wayne Barnett said.

“The eyes of the coal world will be on this conference.

“Our industry has and will continue to face many challenges. In light of this, there is no more important time to raise the profile of coal preparation in Australia.”

The four-day conference to be held at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre from Sunday to Thursday 14-18 September will be attended by metallurgical professionals and students, and mining and technology companies.

The ACPS encourages a free interchange of ideas in formal question time after presentations and during social activities. Conference delegates will scrutinise and debate the finer details of new and improved processing techniques, metallurgical efficiency and operation performance improvements delivered in a series of world-class papers and presentations.

“The sharing and networking will increase all-round understanding of the issues to enable all parties to work on solutions and continued excellence in coal preparation,” Barnett said.

Key note speakers this year include Queensland Resources Council president Rob Neale and CSIR senior coal preparation engineer Johan de Korte.

Neale, who currently serves on several mining boards, has been a key contributor to mining projects in that state, including New Acland, Saraji and Arrow Energy. 

He was a significant contributor to New Hope Group from 1996 until retiring in January this year.

de Korte will deliver the conference’s Arthur Le Page Lecture, speaking on “The Current Focus for R&D within the South African Environment”.

He manages all production aspects in coal preparation plants at CSIR and is responsible for coal preparation research under the Coaltech collaborative research program.

de Korte trains junior coal preparation engineers and consults to the coal processing industry. Author of more than 200 technical reports and papers and presenter at international conferences, he also has registered two patents.

Mr Barnett said the ACPS played a key role in distinguishing and consolidating the profession of coal preparation in Australia through education, training and technology transfer, and helping Australian maintain world's best practice.

The ACPS had its origins in the founding of the Coal Preparation Society of NSW in 1966 and Queensland branch a year later. In 1989, NSW and Queensland amalgamated to form the ACPS.

The society contributes to the education of members and non-members in the technology of “coal preparation”, which is the treatment or processing of coal, at any point between the mining operation and the end use to improving the suitability of the coal for its use.

Other conference papers will be delivered on a range of topics including:

New Plants

1.The Design and Operation of the Mangoola Coal Handling and Preparation Plant

2.Rangal Coal Measure CHPP Design and Commissioning

3.Macarthur River Mine Heavy Medium Plant – Differences and Similarities with Coal Dense Medium Cyclone Plants

Plant Upgrades

4.Kestrel CPP Upgrade

5.Design, Construction and Commissioning of a Brownfield CHPP Expansion at Ravensworth North Operations

6.Incorporation of Product Sizing to Upgrade Coals to a Coking Specification at Middlemount

7.Brownfields CPP Fines Upgrade Design and Commissioning


8.Radio-Detectable Density Tracers – Experience to Date

9.CPP Magnetite Audits Deliver Cost Savings and Yield Increases

10.The Design and Completion of a Plant Audit at Moolarben Coal’s CHPP

Coarse Coal Processing and Medium Circuits

11.Dynamic Impacts of Mining and Preparation Processes on a DMC Circuit

12.Influences on Medium Non-Magnetic Concentration & Associated DMC Performance Impacts

13. Radial pole vs Axial Pole Wet Drum Magnetic Separators

14.Delineating High & Low Density Bypass Measurement Mechanisms & Other Selected Performance Parameters in Large Diameter Dense Medium

Fine Coal Processing

15.Increased Fine Coal Recovery at North Goonyella Through Baleen Filter Technology

16.Full Scale Plant Operation of Reflux Classifier Circuits

17.Floating Coarser Coals in Fluidised-Bed Separators

18.Spiral Splitter Automation at New Acland


19.The Future of Thermal Coal Flotation

20.A Commentary on Design of Mechanical Flotation Circuits for Coal Applications

21.Flotation in the Australian Coal Industry – Experiences with the Jameson Cell


22.Dewatering Properties of Australian Coals

23.Application of the Hyperbaric Disc Filter for Fine Coal Product Dewatering

24.The Monitoring System of Centrifuges – a tool for early detection of failures

Project & Operations Management

25.The Importance of a Unified Coal Quality Database – a Baralaba Perspective

26.New Generation Online Slurry Particle Density Meter

R&D of Dust Control Technology

27.Dry Jigging of Coal – 10 Years allair

“Topics covered in members’ technical presentations are usually practical and range from reviews of existing plants through application information on specific processing equipment to problem solving case studies,” Barnett said.

“Many of the ideas you will pick up from these presentations will be directly applicable to your involvement in the industry.”

Further conference highlights include an exhibition of more than 40 industry suppliers.

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