Debswana Diamond Company this week hosted guests from Anglo American and De Beers for the Metallurgical Conference in Kasane where metallurgy specialists converged to dialogue and share insights and learnings.
The theme for the 2018 Conference was Chemical Reaction and Physical Attraction which delivers future mineral processing plants. The theme was aligned to Botswana’s Vision 2036, which sees innovation as a key part of the Nation’s blueprint towards a more prosperous future.
The keynote speaker at the conference, Charles Siwawa, CEO of Botswana Chamber of Mines, stated that “I am particularly intrigued by the fact that metallurgists are actively looking for innovative ways to collaborate and improve their craft. Transformation and progress that we seek will be driven by research and development. Strategic ideas that we come up with have to be underpinned by safety leadership, cost efficiencies and optimised shareholder value.”
The annual conference is hosted on a rotational basis by Anglo American, De Beers and Debswana. It is one of the platforms used by metallurgists to actively seek ways of collaboration and improve their profession.
Edwin Elias, Head of Ore Processing at Debswana stated that, “It has been a great conference with a lot of output in the form of shared thinking and learnings. It is not often metallurgists across the different businesses have an opportunity to discuss innovative means and future technological needs that will improve the overall productivity of their respective businesses. This conference was an opportunity to learn and develop robust plans and relationships that advance our discipline.”
Some of the key learnings shared at the conference included the fact that future technological needs have to take into consideration the challenges that come with, for example, expansion of mines, venturing into underground mining as well as aging processing plants. The challenges vary from increasing costs, aging assets, the quest for recovering large stones, increasing mining complexity, increasing water and energy requirements, external market challenges to mine closure legal requirements.
Metallurgy refers to commercial methods that concern the chemical, physical, and atomic properties and structures of metals. The discipline further explores the principles whereby metals are combined to form alloys, and thus is central to the mining process. The 2018 Metallurgical Conference brought together Metallurgical technical teams, their leadership and strategic partners from around the globe to engage on various areas. Some of the key areas discussed during the conference include: Gender Diversity, Technology and Innovation; and Business Improvement etc.