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Wits Mining Institute to host mining research, technology seminar

The importance of research in the development of mining technology will be highlighted at Wits University from September 27 to 29, 2022, at a three-day symposium held by the Wits Mining Institute (WMI).

The three-day event, themed ‘Turning research curiosity into 21st Century minerals industry performance, partnerships, and technology,’ will highlight the work of the WMI and its partners, illustrating the value of investment in R&D and capacity creation. The event will increase collaboration between Wits University, industry, technology providers, and other academic institutions, according to WMI director Professor Glen Nwaila.

“As Wits celebrates 100 years of academic and research excellence, it is fitting that we share and discuss cutting-edge research on topics critical to mining in the 21st century,” said Nwaila. “The seminar also builds on the success of our ‘Digital Technology Trends for 21st Century Mining’ seminars over the last three years.”

To be held at the Wits Club on the university’s Johannesburg campus, the seminar will provide exceptional knowledge-sharing, networking and friendship-building opportunities with academic and industry peers. The focus will be on three key topics: technology and innovation for a sustainable, responsible and competitive minerals sector; skills development for 21st-century mining; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in mining.

Day one will feature a keynote address by Sibanye Stillwater’s CEO, Neal Froneman. Delegates will then be introduced to two new South African Mining Extraction Research, Development and Innovation (SAMERDI) research centres hosted by the WMI. Professor Nwaila, as well as the research centres’ leads and students, will present their research.

The second day will open with a keynote from Sibanye Stillwater focused on some of the company’s strategic imperatives. This will be followed by WMI’s technology partners, who will share their projects. This will include exhibiting their technologies and exchanging ideas on the next generation of technological innovations in the mining industry.

On the third day of the seminar, a range of papers will be presented on the conference topics.

Delegates to all three days will receive certificates of attendance from Wits University, which count for 10 NQF level 6 CPD points in line with ECSA requirements.

The cost for the three-day seminar is R9,000 per person; delegates may also register for any of the days, at a cost of R 3,000 per day. To register, or for any other queries, contact Lileen Lee at Lileen.Lee@wits.ac.za or (+27)11 717 7037.

Working towards a sustainable, competitive mining industry

The WMI includes five centres which work towards a sustainable, responsible and competitive mining industry. The Sibanye-Stillwater Digital Mining Laboratory (DigiMine) is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that conducts tests, research and innovation to transfer surface digital technologies into the underground mining environment. The SAMERDI Successful Applications of Technology Centred around People (SATCAP) Research Centre contributes to a productive industry through sustainable relationships and shared value for people in a modernising minerals sector. The SAMERDI Real Time Information Management Systems (RTIMS) Research Centre conducts fundamental research into technical, technological, and strategic issues in pursuit of 4IR technology readiness in the South African minerals sector. The Responsible Mining Laboratory (RML) promotes responsible mining – mining that achieves zero harm, realises net positive environmental impacts, improves social performance and leaves a positive legacy. Finally, the Skills Accelerator supports the other research units through skills development and training programmes, providing people greater mobility within mining and other sectors.

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