I am a Minerals Processing Engineer. I work for myself (well technically a corporation owned by my wife and myself). I get paid to perform various engineering functions. One of those functions is to determine heat transfer in systems. What I do either works or I get sued.

Yes, I have indeed done work for BIG OIL!!! I once spent (I think, as it was about 4 years ago now) about 200 billable hours looking at alternatives for tailings deposition in the tar sands.

Mostly I work for gold and copper mining companies. Some of my work is NI-43-101 compliant. If you are a climate scientist, I DARE you to meet those standards.


4 Responses to About

  1. John, do not know the Canadian qualifications. Is a process engineer a specialist in the chemical engineering field? I personally, think that specialisation is limiting. It does not allow an overview where differing specialisations cross or easily allow movement to a new field in a career path. Most likely you will know Perry’s Chemical Engineering handbook which covers basics such as heat and mass transfer but mentions specialist fields such as materials handling, process engineering & control, environmental issues, energy conversion & biochemical engineering. In minerals processing, the work of metallurgists is better handled by chemical engineers than science graduates who do not understand costs, materials of construction, control theorey etc.
    A few years ago I visited some mines in Canada- Noranda New Brunswick mine, Agnico-Eagle La Ronde mine at Val d’Or ( wish I had some investment in that- a gold mine with zero cost per oz Au due to by-products-copper, lead, zinc) & the INCO Garcon mine at Sudbury, to look at cemented paste backfill which was new to me but it did not take long to come to grips with it once one knows a little about fluid dynamics and non-Newtonian fluids. One can learn a lot from the operators particularly when they are struggling with equipment and procedures put in place by consultants who have no operating experience and often do not understand basic theory.

    • John Eggert says:

      Mineral processing was once known as “ore dressing”. It is a very old field of engineering. Because we are often the only engineer at a site, we need to be generalists. Specialists have their place. I wouldn’t want a generalist to perform a dam site inspection. Regarding operational experience, the reason this blog isn’t too active is because I’m very busy and the reason I’m very busy is the operations people like my work.

      • Some different terms used in Australia. Metallurgists are generally science graduates running laboratories at mines & looking at recoveries from flotation etc. They tend to be weak on costs, & engineering problems. Metallurgical engineers tend to be more in the metal production (ie smelting) and properties of materials. Chemical Engineers are more versatile and that is why there are many in mines and mineral processing eg alumina production, copper leaching, yellow cake production etc. Chemical engineers can do everything metallurgists, metallurgical engineers and mining engineers do plus a lot more such as environmental engineering. I always think it is a pity that there is not more cross fertilisation of practice in different industries. As the saying goes- often one can not see the wood for the trees.
        Could I suggest three blogs for you?
        http://jennifermarohasy.com/ (Dr Marohasy is a biologist with interest in climate, river flows, growing things etc- I have posted on this blog); http://joannenova.com.au/ (Jo is a science graduate not sure if she has a PhD but has writen the Sceptics Handbook, her husband Dr David Evans is an economist and climate scientist); http://climaterealists.com/index.php (run by a group with diverse interests and posts from scientists with opposing views to alarmists)
        keep strong

      • John Eggert says:

        I’ve visited all of these on occasion. I also spend time at Dr. Curry’s and the Dr’s Pielke sites, when I have time. Thankfully, my specialty these days, such as it is, is gold, so I’m overbooked. Just a note. I’ve done electrochemical, environmental, pyrometallurgical as well as crushing grinding flotation. When the process design is done I usually take on piping and pumping work. I try to avoid too much electrical and civil work. I was the environmental coordinator at one mine, chief assayer at another. Mining is probably the least specialized field in engineering.


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