Professional institute the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) will host the second Copper Cobalt Africa Conference at the Avani Victoria Falls Resort, in Livingstone, Zambia, in July next year.
This anticipated and prestigious event, the SAIMM enthuses, will be held in association with the ninth Southern African Base Metals Conference and provides a forum for discussion and the sharing of experience and knowledge, as well as networking opportunities for all those interested in the processing of copper and cobalt in an African context.
“The African Copperbelt is again experiencing a resurgence of activity following the commodities downturn of recent years,” the SAIMM notes, adding that a significant proportion of capital spending, project development, operational expansions and metal value production in the Southern African mining industry takes place in this region.
The geology and mineralogy of the ores are significantly different to those in other major copper-producing regions of the world, often having very high grades as well as the presence of cobalt, the SAIMM explains.
“Both mining and metallurgy present some unique challenges, not only in the technical arena but also with respect to logistics and supply chain, human capital, community engagement and legislative issues,” notes the institute.
This conference provides a platform for discussion of a range of topics, spanning the value chain from exploration projects and through mining and processing to recycling and secondary value addition, the SAIMM adds.
This conference offers an ideal opportunity, especially for international participants, to gain “in-depth knowledge of and exposure to the African copper and cobalt industries”, and allows participants to better understand the various facets of mining and processing in Zambia.
Jointly hosted by the mining and metallurgy technical programme committees of the SAIMM, this conference aims to promote dialogue between the mining and metallurgical disciplines on common challenges facing the industry, as well as enhance the understanding of new and existing technologies that can lead to safe and more effective resource use.
The conference also encourages participation and the building of capacity among young and emerging professionals from the Copperbelt region.
Topics to be broached at the second Copper Cobalt Africa Conference will include mineralogy, exploration and new projects, opencast and underground mining, rock engineering and mine planning.
Mineral resource management, mineral processing, pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy, as well as current operational practices and improvements, project development and execution, and novel technologies for this industry, will also be discussed, as will socioeconomic challenges, recycling, waste treatment and reduction, environmental issues and geometallurgical modelling.