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Sudbury Mining Solutions


Stephen Hall to head MIRARCO

The Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO) has announced the appointment of its new president, Dr. Stephen Hall, a metallurgist with degrees from the University of Birmingham, the Western Australia School of Mines and McGill University.

Hall succeeds Dr. Peter Kaiser, who was appointed last year as the founding president of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation  (CEMI).

Both MIRARCO and CEMI are based at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

Hall served most recently as an associate professor and head of the School of Science and Engineering at the University of Ballarat in Australia.

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, he earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Birmingham, completed a Masters in Kalgoorlie and then went on to Montreal to earn a PhD in Metallurgy at McGill.

Before moving to Ballarat, he taught at the Camborne School of Mines and the University of Nottingham in the U.K.

Hall said he looks forward to the “challenge of growing what is already quite an exciting organization into something that will be even more significant in its capabilities to support the mining industry.”

MIRARCO is currently working on a $10 million Planning and Rapid Integrated Mine Optimization (PRIMO) study, which is focused on the integration of existing software into a single planning and scheduling framework to help mining engineers optimize mine design and scheduling.

 “PRIMO is well under way, and we’re already thinking of a PRIMO 2,” said Hall.

MIRARCO is also carrying out research as part of a five-year, $24 million Productivity Enhancement and Risk Management (PERM) study, a multi-pronged research project focusing on the design and construction of underground excavations, integrated planning, design and optimization, and water and waste management.

MIRARCO’s research under PERM will be aimed at integrating geomechanics data into the PRIMO software framework.

Hall also plans to work with other researchers at Laurentian University and colleagues around the world to compete for the $10 million prize Barrick Gold is offering for an economically viable method of liberating silver from the ore at its Veladero gold mine in Argentina.

 “The traditional metallurgical skills have failed, hence the Barrick Challenge,” noted Hall. “Maybe a different set of skills or a different mindset is needed to solve it.”


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