Q&A with Duncan Bennett, joint recipient of MetPlant 2019 Best Presentation Award
Duncan Bennett, Principal Consultant at Mineralis, shares his reflections and experiences at MetPlant 2019. Duncan strongly encourages others to present at #MetPlant2023, as it opens the door to network with other industry professionals, share knowledge and grow your business.
How did it feel being the recipient of the Best Presentation Award at MetPlant 2019? How has this impacted your career to date?
Winning the award was truly an honour. I have presented many times at AusIMM conferences but hadn’t previously been awarded either best paper or best presenter. It is hard to know how well you have done, so the best presenter award was great feedback.
The combination of the topic of my paper and winning the award has certainly helped Mineralis win more work – the topic of the paper was gravity processing and we are often securing gravity jobs since the MetPlant 2019 conference.
Can you tell us more about your award-winning presentation?
The paper was titled “A Simple Recipe Guide to Gravity Concentration”. The presentation was designed to present a key message in a simple and hopefully amusing way, therefore rendering it memorable. The key message was to “eliminate the competition!” which is an important one for gravity processing – my final slide pictured famous figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan which was the most memorable example of “eliminate the competition” I could think of!
Do you have any advice for others considering submitting an abstract for the MetPlant Conference in 2023?
We see excellent work being conducted on mine sites, but there is often a perception that it isn’t interesting or important enough, or that it has to be a raging success in order to warrant being mentioned.
MetPlant is a great conference because it covers development and improvement, which encompasses technology, plant design (and the preceding work) as well as the incremental improvements. So there is not much that doesn’t fit somewhere into the MetPlant themes.
Presenting is a great opportunity to share knowledge, with the added benefit that you will be noticed.
What were some of your key highlights from MetPlant 2019? Would you recommend it to others?
I have presented twice at MetPlant - in 2015 and 2019. Besides the honour of winning the award in 2019, I always love to do it because it is an opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new people. Presenting is a fantastic icebreaker, people you don’t know will come up and introduce themselves, and that is how I’ve met some great people who I still communicate regularly with.
I would strongly recommend presenting at MetPlant to anyone. I believe that writing and presenting papers is integral to achieving AusIMM Fellow status. Besides that, everyone has something to contribute, as an industry we are too siloed and we need to share our knowledge.