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Mill Operators’ conferences – a 40-year retrospective and a vision for the future


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Author P D Munro


On the occasion of the 14th Mill Operators’ Conference and marking 40 years since the first one was held in Mount Isa in 1978, it is fitting to review the history of the Conference and its development over that time.

The first 10 Conferences were irregularly held at three to four year intervals, with 9 of these in regional centres of Australasia. It is only since 2012 that the Mill Operators’ Conference has become a regular biennial event, alternating with the MetPlant Conference.

The number of people attending the Conference has more than doubled to 470 delegates at the 13th one in 2016. It has outgrown its regional beginnings.

Papers presented to the previous Conferences have been analysed according to commodity, country of origin, technology and theme plus the affiliation of the authors to discern any trends that may assist in planning the future events.

Suggestions are made as to how the AusIMM might wish to arrange its mineral processing/metallurgical conferences.

Recent changes to the structure of the Conference providing a more meaningful experience for the delegates and increasing their interaction and involvement should be vigorously pursued.


Munro, P D, 2018. Mill Operators’ conferences – a 40-year retrospective and a vision for the future, in Proceedings 14th AusIMM Mill Operators' Conference 2018, pp 5–14 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).