COMMINUTION Prof Alban Lynch

Fittingly it was the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC) International Ltd that nominated Professor Alban Lynch for the Hall of Fame Comminution category. Alban Lynch was, from 1970-1989, the first Director of Australia’s JKMRC, and from 1988-1993 Head of the Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Queensland, after which, until 2007 he was Visiting Professor at a group of notable institutions, namely the Universidad Federale de Minas Gerais, Brazil; the University of Science, Malaysia; the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Mexico; and the Hacettepe University, Turkey.

Alban Lynch 2Professor Lynch has published four books and over 150 technical publications in conference proceedings and refereed journals, and has been the recipient of many awards which prior to this International Mining 2013 Hall of Fame induction include the 1978 President’s Award from The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM); the 1985 Richards Award from the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers; the 1989 AusIMM Distinguished Speaker Exchange Program; the 1991 AusIMM Sir Willis Connolly Medal; the 1993 Institute Medal from the AusIMM; and in 1999 an Officership in the Order of Australia, “for service to the mining industry, particularly in the area of research and education on the application of engineering technology in minerals processing.”

In more recent years, his accolades have included the 2000 AM Gaudin Award from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, “for his many contributions to the simulation and control of comminution and flotation circuits.” In 2004 he also received an Honorary Fellowship from the AusIMM “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Minerals Industry over many years which has previously been recognised through 50 years membership in 2004.” Alban Lynch also served as President of The AusIMM in 1989.

Alban LynchCommenting on his long and varied career and experience, Professor Lynch told us: “I started work on ball mill grinding at Broken Hill in 1955 at Zinc Corporation (ZC) which was the forerunner of today’s Rio Tinto and comminution has been my main professional interest since then. ZC was led then by Maurice Mawby who was a remarkable scientist, engineer and manager. He was responsible for ZC being a technological leader during the mineral boom which followed World War II. Outstanding work was done at ZC in those years on on-stream analysis, process control, and process modelling and it was my good fortune to start the modelling work on comminution. A few years later I went to the University of Queensland and continued the comminution work there. For many years, the main experimental work on the project was carried out at Mount Isa in association with Mount Isa Mines Ltd, although much work was also done at other operating plants. After I retired in 1993, I spent a lot of time at Hacettepe University in Ankara, extending my work to cement grinding circuits. Comminution has been a fascinating topic for 58 years and I believe there is much more to come.”