A few years ago, Elizabeth Lewis-Gray was shocked to discover that critical research on energy efficiency in comminution was not reaching the people making the big decisions.
“There was a lot of knowledge that was not being applied and not communicated to the board level and CEOs,” says the co-founder of Gekko Systems, a gold and silver mineral processing technology company based in Australia. So in 2011, Lewis-Gray established the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC) with the goal of attacking the problem head on. The coalition raises awareness of research findings, alternative comminution strategies and installed outcomes in its attempt to lower processing costs and raise shareholder value.
In its early days, CEEC was largely supported by research and supply companies, but today the organization has a growing number of mining companies that are actively involved both as sponsors and board members. These futurist miners include Barrick Gold, which last year signed a two-year sponsorship contract. The organization now benefits from experienced board members such as Barrick’s Ivan Mullany and Mirabela Nickel’s new CEO, Maryse Belanger, who was previously with Goldcorp.
“Increasingly, CEEC’s mission is being taken up by the industry itself, and that’s very exciting because they’re the ones who can make the change,” says Lewis-Gray, who recently stepped down from her role as chair of CEEC in order to facilitate increased industry involvement.
“There was a lot of knowledge that was not being applied and not communicated to the board level and CEOs,” says the co-founder of Gekko Systems
However, Lewis-Gray remains a patron of CEEC and is in no way stepping back from her commitment to the organization and its mission. There are exciting times ahead, she says, as the industry moves towards even bolder steps and solutions. “The best way to reduce the energy consumption of crushing and grinding is not to crush and grind,” she adds. “So if we can eliminate that by better blasting, or pre-concentration, for example, or use more efficient technology, these are the strategies mining companies need to pay more attention to.”
Written by Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco