Steve Morrell is the 2018 Comminution inductee into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame. He joined the JKMRC as a Master’s student some 30 years ago. His project was to extend the AG/SAG mathematical model developed by Kam Leung. He continued to a PhD in which he aspired to answer all of the relevant SAG questions i.e.. modelling, ore characterisation, power, dynamics etc. However these ambitions would comprise at least five doctoral projects. After extended debate, he concentrated on measurement and prediction of AG/SAG power mill draw. This was a highly contentious issue at the time. Steve’s project converted power measurement and prediction for AG/SAG mills into “business as usual” and the power model was incorporated into JKSimMet. He also developed the Variable Rates SAG mill model which is still standard in JKSimMet. Steve was a member of the project team which received the Aus IMM Operations Mineral Industry Operating Technique Award for the development of JKSimMet.
With AMIRA, Steve and his team made major contributions to comminution, classification and even to liberation as part of the CMTE Fine Grinding project.
After contributing to the JKMRC Blue Book “Mineral Comminution Circuits – Their Operation and Optimisation”, Steve became co-leader of the AMIRA Mine to Mill project with Andrew Scott. The industry adopted their ideas in record time (AusIMM Mine to Mill Conference, 1998).The more astute mining companies make good use of these ideas to this day. Steve was also a member of the project team which received the Aus IMM Operations Mineral Industry Operating Technique Award for the AMIRA Mine to Mill project.
Now an independent consultant, Steve worked to develop the SMC test. This test could be used on drill cores to estimate the JK A*b parameter. It was later adapted to small samples of broken rock and is now a standard test for what became known as Geometallurgy. The AMIRA GEM projects have pursued application of this strategy to other ore properties with some degree of success. The SMC test is licensed widely to laboratories with JK Drop Weight Testers. Steve was also the co-developer (with Doug Brown) of the JKMRC Drop Weight Tester.
Steve also supervised the development of a JKMRC mathematical model of the High Pressure Grinding Roll. This model is also included in the JKSimMet and has enjoyed broad success and model development is ongoing.