2020 Coalperson of the Year

The 2020 Coalperson of the Year is Peter Hand

Peter obtained his A-Levels at Cardinal Vaughan Grammar School in London and a B.Sc. (Hons) Mineral Processing from the University College in Cardiff, Wales. Further to this he completed a Senior Management Programme at Stellenbosch Business School in 1991 followed by a Management Development Programme at the University of South Africa in 1995. He is a fellow of the South African Coal Processing Society as well as the South African Institute of Mining & Metallurgy.

Peter is a minerals processing engineer, who has worked in the South African coal industry for 38 years. His first 15 years were spent with Anglo Coal and Ingwe (Randcoal), firstly as a metallurgical trainee and then through successively senior mine production levels, including Plant Superintendent of Rietspruit. In 1988, he was moved to Head Office as a consultant where he was involved with operations, as well as numerous projects.

As part of his duties with Ingwe, he was extensively involved with the technical marketing of coal as well as liaison with Eskom. One of his specialisations is the link between the mine, beneficiation plant and the customer; another is the beneficiation (including dewatering) of fine and ultrafine coal and the use of novel technologies to enable projects to succeed, where conventional techniques may not be appropriate. He was a member of the Operations and Technical Committees for Richards Bay Coal Terminal and a director of the TCOA. Since 1997, he has been an independent consultant, working for most of the major South African coal companies as well many international projects e.g. London, India, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Mozambique, Mongolia.

He generally works in dense medium processes, particularly coal, iron ore & diamonds, but has been extensively involved in related technologies including crushing, sorting within those areas. He has also worked in other minerals such as copper, cobalt, nickel.

The simulation and optimisation of mineral processing operations, particularly dense medium plants, using the Limn Flowsheet Processor is a particular specialisation.

Peter has written 44 papers on various aspects of plant simulation, dense medium processes and coal processing.

Peter will formally be awarded the Coal Person of the Year at the next Annual Awards Dinner.

30 January 2020

January’s meeting consisted of presentations given by Jaco Scholtz, CEO of the Pentalin Group of Companies and Kobus Du Plessis, Sales Director of Malvern Engineering.

Jaco’s presentation entitled “Dense Medium Beneficiation of Fine Coal – the South African Experience” discussed the fact that spirals are used in most mines on fine coal which restricts in achieving low cut points; efficient separation in high-gravity environments and cut point control.

Challenges experienced are overloading of discard magnetic separator under low yield conditions and dense medium cyclones separated by size and not density at 24D and there is a reduced speed of cyclone feed pumps to operate at 9D.

Kobus du Plessis from Malvern Engineering presented on “Reduction on OPEX by Optimising Separator Circuits in Coal Preparation Plants”. His presentation covered the classification of magnetic susceptibility as well as the basics of magnetic forces in a magnetic separator.

He elaborated that the process of magnetic separation is complex due to various factors which included magnetic susceptibility, magnetic and non-magnetic loadings as well as particle size distribution.

Snacks and refreshments were sponsored by Malvern Engineering.