Monday, 21 November 2016

Distance no barrier for this Zeiss-UCT Process Mineralogy virtual seminar

Friday is seminar day in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Cape Town, with back-to-back seminars for the Centre for Minerals Research (CMR), and the Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research (CEBER).
Recently CMR, CEBER and the Minerals to Metals Initiative (MtM) got together for a virtual seminar with Zeiss in the UK. The virtual seminar was presented from Cambridge by Dr Ben Tordoff and Shaun Graham of Zeiss, and James Strongman and Dr Chris Brough from Petrolab in Cornwall, UK. 
Webinar delegates in Cape Town
Ben Tordoff (left ) in Cambridge, Chris Brough and James Strongman in Cornwall
The idea formed at the MEI Sustainable Minerals '16 conference in June when Prof Dee Bradshaw (Director MtM) and Prof Sue Harrison (Director CEBE) met with Ben, Chris and Shaun to discuss new developments at Zeiss and the potential for research interactions between the groupings. This led to the concept of a webinar allowing UCT based researchers, and postgraduate students the opportunity to “Explore the 2D and 3D Mining World”.
Each of the three presentations given in the webinar gave very different aspects to process mineralogy covering the technical, environmental and practical - operational. The first presented on the technical capabilities of the 2D Zeiss Mineralogic for automated mineralogy and the 3D Zeiss X-ray microscopy allowing users the ability to look inside rocks. The second presented on the application of process mineralogy in acid rock drainage (ARD) characterisation, and the third on ‘operational mineralogy’ as a case study for the implementation of on-site mineralogy using a case study from a copper mine in Zambia.
Dr Megan Becker of CMR, and consultant to Process Mineralogy '17, said "it was really encouraging to see our UCT graduates as fully fledged professionals in industry – Dr Chris Brough having been the first postgraduate student in process mineralogy at UCT (MSc 2008) and then Monica Kalichini (MSc 2015) and Tamara Habile (BSc Chem Eng. 2013) who are the proud operators of the Zeiss system currently installed at the Zambian copper mine site highlighted in the case study. Likewise, Tamzon Jacobs (MSc 2016) is part of the process mineralogy team at a sister copper mine in Zambia (also owned by the same parent company), the three girls routinely working together".
Special thanks go to Gaynor Yorath (UCT) and Randall Crisp (Zeiss South Africa) who ensured that connectivity was in place in Cape Town for the webinar. The webinar is the first of many and is hopefully paving the way for future research collaborations where distance is effectively ‘no barrier’ to process mineralogy.

The webinar will be followed up with a dedicated workshop exploring the opportunities of XCT, just prior to the Process Mineralogy '17 conference in March next year. Both Zeiss and Petrolab are sponsors of the conference.

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