Published paper’s widely applicable scope brings in top award for Hatch technology experts
Dr. Sina Mostaghel, P.Eng, says he feels incredibly humbled after being recognized just weeks ago with the Billiton Gold Medal from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) in London, England. His paper, co-authored with Dr. Maurice Solar, P.Eng, and titled “Smelting of difficult laterite ores,” was selected as the top article published in the association’s prestigious Journal of Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy over the course of 2015.
With any number of papers and articles being published in IOM3’s journals in any given month, competition for the 2016 top honor was steep. Yet this is the second time Mostaghel has won the award. He was also recognized in 2014 for a series of articles published on the influences of alumina on thermo-physical properties of industrial iron-silicate slags. The award is given annually based on recommendations from the association’s editorial boards.
“I was unable to attend the awards ceremony in 2014, so winning again this year and receiving the recognition in person was special,” Mostaghel reflects. “Dr. Solar brought in over 35 years of practical experience and technical knowledge, which, paired with my data-driven and modelling approach, expanded the paper’s scope to be applicable for engineers from a number of ferronickel producers”.
There is no doubt that the paper was partly recognized for its widely applicable scope. To fulfill an expanding industrial demand, newer and more efficient routes for extraction of nickel from poorer and more difficult ores is required. In the paper, challenges associated with extraction of nickel from low-grade and “previously undesirable” laterite ores were identified, and mitigation measures were recommended to address each of them. The paper presents years of experience in designing, operating, and optimizing ferronickel smelters.