West of England Metals and Materials Association
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Producing Copper for the World - More than just mining

Mark Howson, Rio Tinto

Venue: BAWA Filton

Wednesday March 17, 2010 at 19:30

This lecture visits a selection of copper mines and projects, mainly (but not all) in the Rio Tinto Group. It looks at challenges at various stages in a mine’s life, and how multi-disciplinary and multi-national teams work together for the benefit of shareholders and stakeholders, in what are some of the largest mining operations in the world.

Mining for copper Bingham Canyon Mine Discussions over mining operations
Copper mine Bingham Canyon Mine Local people

World-class copper mines are typically:

In these times of financial turbulence and changing metal price, considerable courage is required to contemplate such very long-term investments.

The role of an engineer in this industry is to provide the technical advice and operational expertise to support these decisions. The situation is continually shifting — new mineral discoveries are investigated, marginal ones may be dropped, operations are acquired or sold, new mining and processing methods are developed and applied. Investment risks and rewards change in different countries.

The speaker has a wide range of pictorial material to draw on; both his own personal collection and that of Rio Tinto. What can be guaranteed is a fascinating exposure to the wide range of science, engineering and other disciplines involved that should interest both engineers and their families alike.

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