Dr. Brian R Hart

Surface Science Western at the University of Western Ontario

Adjunct Professor, Department of Earth Sciences; Research Scientist, Surface Science Western


Professor Hart is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Western and the Manager of the Mineral Processing Group at Surface Science Western where he manages over 25 annual contracts valued at $150 - $200K. Many of these contracts are long-term with collaborators from various parts of Canada, the United States and Australia. Dr Hart is actively engaged in defining testing protocols with the analytical tools to meet the needs of the mineral processing industry. He has championed the application of TOF-SIMS and XPS for identifying discriminating factors linking mineral chemistry to recovery performance and pioneered the use of principal components analysis (PCA) for mineral recognition analytical surface chemistry.


Dr Hart is currently the PI on a NSERC funded R&D project: The application of advanced surface characterization technologies towards process optimization through diagnosis and problem-solving in flotation and extractive metallurgy, (Sponsors: Agnico Eagle, Glencore-Xstrata Ni and Zn, Barrick Gold Corp, Tecck Metals Ltd., IAMGOLD Corp). The projects seeks to define process optimization strategies through a detailed evaluation of the process chemical fundamentals. Through an NSERC CRD project with SGS Lakefield, he developed a chemical reactivity test where element transfer during grinding is measured and used to predict the degree to which inadvertent flotation of minerals within an ore might be affected. The tool has wide applications in geometallurgy where flotation recovery process design and optimization strategies are linked to the complex and variable mineralogy of ore deposits.


Dr Hart directs the SSW team towards optimizing the capacity of and, developing new applications for the various analytical tools towards the needs of the mineral processing industry. The team has been successfully implementing these tools to commercial metallurgical performance issues for the past 10 years and, annually provides mineral processing contract research to 15 different companies and generates more than 30 detailed reports on various aspects of process optimization. In his tenure at Western, Professor Hart has co-supervised 16 Honours, MSc and PhD students, has co-authored 40 refereed publications, more than 70 conference proceedings and is co-named on 1 patent (Patent No. US 7,462, 819 B2).