Debswana Diamond Company this week welcomed guests from near and far, comprising Anglo American and De Beers for the annual Metallurgical Conference, 2018 edition. Held in Kasane from 29thJuly to 2nd August 2018, the conference saw leading metallurgy specialists converge to facilitate shared insights, dialogue, and planning towards an even stronger metallurgical discipline. The theme for the 2018 Conference is Chemical Reaction and Physical Attraction which delivers future mineral processing plants.
The keynote speaker at the conference, Charles Siwawa, CEO of Botswana Chamber of Mines, stated that “Innovation and step-change requires bold aspirations and bold action. As they say, ‘Be bold and great and mighty forces will come to your aid.’ We must speak into action what we want to see and do.
The annual conference is hosted in turns by Anglo American, De Beers and Debswana, and is testament to the fact that metallurgists are actively seeking innovative ways to collaborate and improve their craft. The purpose of the conference is aligned to Botswana’s Vision 2036, which sees innovation at the core and which is a key part of the Nation’s blueprint towards a more prosperous future. It is aligned with the future business of Debswana which seeks to be driven by research and development.
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. We aspire for mineral processing plants that address future challenges and leverage technological opportunities. This conference was our opportunity to learn and develop robust plans and relationships that advance our discipline. It has been a privilege as Debswana to host the 2018 edition of the Conference.”
Some of the key sentiments shared at the conference included the fact that future technological needs have to take into consideration the main challenges that come with the next horizon. These are: increasing costs, aging assets, the quest for large stones as a niche, increasing mining complexity, increasing water and energy requirements, and external market challenges as well 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 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 amongst others.