Born in Irkutsk on April 18, 1957.
Graduated from the Irkutsk Polytechnic Institute (1981). Mining engineer specialized in ore enrichment. A student of S.B. Leonov, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
When a student, worked as a laboratory assistant in the Scientific-Research Institute of Rare and Nonferrous Metals (Irgiredmet), in the Laboratory of Enrichment of Diamond-Bearing Materials. While working there, he mastered techniques of sample processing in the study of enrichability of ore. After graduating from the Institute in 1981, he worked in this very laboratory as an engineer and junior researcher until 1990. Participated in research and development work on diamond-bearing material enrichment technologies for photoluminescent separation, gravity concentration, slime removal and other fields to improve enrichment technologies for all diamond mines of the USSR (Yakutia, Ural).
In 1990, he was promoted to the position of the Head of Laboratory of Mineral Enrichment at FSUE VostSibNIIGGiMS. Until that time, there had been no technological laboratory at the Institute. The laboratory was organized, with all permissions received, and adequately equipped and staffed within a year.
Under his leadership and with his direct participation, a great amount of work was done in enrichment of almost all solid mineral deposits – diamonds, gold (ore and placer), platinum, titanium, iron, chrome, wolfram, silver, glass-making sands, and others.
Manufacturing of advanced mineral processing equipment – screw-shaped devices, mining and processing complexes for technogenic mineral deposits enrichment activities, – was set up.
From February 2012 to 2014, S.A. Prokopyev was the Director of VostSibNIIGGiMS of “Irkutskgeofizika” PLC.
Since 2014, he has been the Head of Department on Rational Use of Mineral Resources at the Institute of the Earth’s Crust SB RAS.
In 2016, The Irkutsk State University won the tender at Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation for the formation and development of engineering centers in higher education establishments. The tender application was based on the results of technogenic mineral deposits enrichment activities done by S.A. Prokopyev. The tender results provided the basis for the formation of Engineering Center for Technogenic Raw Materials Processing. S.A. Prokopyev is the Director of the Center.
S.A. Prokopyev regularly takes part in the congresses on ore enrichment whose participants are specialists from the CIS countries, in Plaksin Readings and other forums. In 2016, he gave an oral presentation on thermal power plant ash handling technology (co-authored with Academician V.A. Chanturia) at the International Congress on Coal Enrichment in St.-Petersburg. The technology is patented; a project on construction of reprocessor at one of the ash-disposal areas in Siberia is now being prepared.
In 2000, there appeared a classic monograph “Screw-shaped devices for enrichment of ores and sands in Russia”.