Thursday, 16 February 2012

Major gold and platinum sponsors for Precious Metals '12

One of the world’s largest gold miners, Newmont Mining, has agreed to provide corporate sponsorship for Precious Metals ’12, which will be held in Cape Town in November.

Newmont’s Dr. Rob Dunne will be giving one of the keynote lectures at the conference, reviewing the current status and future of processes used in the gold industries.

The other corporate sponsor is one of South Africa’s major platinum producers, Implats. South African platinum producers are being squeezed between high cost inflation, the strong Rand and metal prices that do not promote new capital investment. Processing of platinum ores is energy intensive, and a looming carbon tax raises the prospect of a further cost impost. PGM concentrators have a constraint imposed on them by the concentrate specifications required by the smelters, which causes a loss in flotation recovery to meet the requirements, and for UG2 ore this is further exacerbated by the need to limit chromite.

The response of the industry to these challenges, and ways to change the current process environment, will be discussed in the second keynote lecture, to be presented by Keith Liddell, the former Managing Director of Aquarius Platinum Limited. Keith developed the Kroondal Platinum Mine as the lowest cost producer in the industry using innovative mining and processing methods. He is currently deputy Chairman of Platmin Ltd, which operates the Pilanesberg Platinum Mine.

Precious Metals ’12 follows MEI’s 3-day Process Mineralogy ’12 conference, and immediately precedes Nickel Processing ’12, all at the same venue, the Vineyard Hotel in Claremont.

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