The Wits Mining Institute's DigiMine
The University of the Witwatersrand’s Mining Institute (WMI) is set to host a three-day seminar on mining technology, from September 27 to 29, on the theme of “Turning research curiosity into twenty-first-century minerals industry performance, relationships and technology”.
The seminar, to be held at the Wits Club on the university’s Johannesburg campus, will showcase the work of the WMI and its partners, demonstrating the value of investing in research and development, as well as building associated capacity.
The focus will be on three key topics: technology and innovation for a sustainable, responsible and competitive minerals sector; skills development for twenty-first-century mining; and environmental, social and governance issues in mining.
Day one will feature a keynote address by Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman, after which delegates will be introduced to two new South African Mining Extraction Research, Development and Innovation (Samerdi) research centres hosted by the WMI.
WMI director Professor Glen Nwaila, as well as the research centres’ leads and students, will also present their research.
The second day will open with a keynote by Sibanye focused on some of the company’s strategic imperatives. This will be followed by WMI’s technology partners, who will share their projects, including 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.
Nwaila says the event will strengthen collaboration between Wits, industry, technology providers and other research institutions.
“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 twenty-first century. The seminar also builds on the success of [the WMI’s] ‘Digital Technology Trends for Twenty-first Century Mining’ seminars over the [p]ast three years.”
The seminar will provide knowledge-sharing, networking and friendship-building opportunities with academic and industry peers.
FOCUS ON MINING DEVELOPMENT
The WMI includes five centres which work towards a sustainable, responsible and competitive mining industry:
- The Sibanye-Stillwater Digital Mining Laboratory conducts tests, research and innovation to transfer surface digital technologies into the underground mining environment;
- The Samerdi Successful Applications of Technology Centred Around People 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 Research Centre conducts fundamental research into technical, technological, and strategic issues in pursuit of Fourth Industrial Revolution technology readiness in the South African minerals sector;
- The Responsible Mining Laboratory promotes responsible mining – mining that achieves zero harm, realises net positive environmental impacts, improves social performance and leaves a positive legacy; and
- The Skills Accelerator supports the other research units through skills development and training programmes, providing people greater mobility within mining and other sectors.