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Systemic Projects

Process Optimisation

Harshad Bhika
MSc Project title - Completed

A systemic approach for the optimization of water usage in zinc processing
This project involved a systemic optimisation of the water balance of the Skorpion Zinc refinery, with the aim of reducing water consumption. Read more...

Zethu Dlamini
MSc Project title

Techno-Economic comparison of three process routes in order to refine zinc sulphide ore at Gamsberg
(Duration: 2013 to 2014)
There is an abundant availability of sphalerite ore (160 million tons at 7.40 % Zn) at Gamsberg, in South Africa. This is South Africa’s greatest unexploited base metal resource. Sphalerite is currently processed by crushing-milling-flotation, followed by the roast-leach-electrowinning (RLE) process. Read more...

Bridget Fundikwa
MSc Project title

A pre-pilot feasibility study on the use of froth flotation for coal recovery and sulphur removal from fine coal waste
(Duration: 2014 to 2015)
Currently the coal mining industry produces approximately 12 million tonnes of coal ultrafine wastes each year, most of which is dumped in tailing slurry dams. Read more...

Yousef Ghorbani
PhD Project title - Completed
Characterization of chemical and biological leaching from large particles
(Supervisors: Dr J Petersen, Dr A Mainza, Dr M Becker, Prof J-P Franzidis)
This PhD project, started in 2009, aims to systematically investigate the chemical and bio-leaching behaviour of large particles in a typical sulphide ore. 15 tons Zn ore from the Northern Cape, South Africa have been crushed using both High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGR-Köppern) and a Cone crusher at Mintek. Read more...

Mondli Guma
MSc Project title - Completed

Developing minerals beneficiation flowsheets for eco-efficiency: A systems approach
This project was aimed at assessing the strengths and limitations of eco-efficiency indicators as performance metrics in guiding environmentally sustainable decision making during minerals process design. Read more...

Mark Jones
MPhil Project title
Improving the sustainability signature of mining assets:  An integrated approach
(Duration: Feb 2014 to Nov 2015)
Over the past 100 years the mining industry can be characterised by its focus on increasing financial returns often to the detriment of social, human, manufactured and environmental capitals. Read more...

Chucky Kunene
Project title

Life cycle assessment of the production of xanthate salts and of their application for ARD mitigation
Xanthate salts are commonly used as collectors in the mineral processing of sulphide ores. In more recent studies conducted at the University of Cape Town and in Canada, xanthate has been used in the desulphurization flotation of copper sulphide tailings and coal waste to mitigate acid rock drainage (ARD) risks. Read more...

Dion Lusinga
MSc Project title - Completed

A combined techno economic and environmental analysis of the different copper processing routes
(Supervisors: Dr J Petersen, Dr J Broadhurst, Prof J-P Franzidis)
The systems oriented project seeks to develop a methodology for comparing the techno/economic and environmental performances of the different process configurations that exist within the complex framework of copper extraction, which traditionally follows pyro-, hydro-, and / or bio-hydrometallurgical routes. Read more...

Glen Nwaila
Project title - Completed
A Geometallurgical Study of Gold at Kusasalethu Mine, Carletonville: RSA
(Supervisors: G Nwaila, M Becker, J Petersen, DL Reid, FC de Beer, R Nshimirimana, and J-P Franzidis)
Gold mining and beneficiation at Kusasalethu mine is typically complex due to the high degree of mineralogical variability and stratigraphic complexity of the two gold bearing ores (Ventersdorp Contact Reef and Elsburg Reefs) exploited at the mine. Read more...

Phumzile Nwaila
MPhil Project title

The assessment of possible soil and water contamination by heavy metals in the West Rand area
(Duration: Jan 2014 to Dec 2015)
The study aims to assess the possible soil and water contamination by heavy metals, the impacts of heavy metals contamination on both the environment and communities; and how the communities can be educated about heavy metal contamination. Read more...

Veronica Munyongani
MPhil Project title

Can Life Cycle Based Indicators Enhance Eco-efficient Processing of Platinum Group Metals?
(Duration: Jan 2014 to Dec 2015)
Very limited research has been done to investigate what environmental value could be created if strategic and design decisions in minerals processing were life cycle based, particularly in the context of PGMs. Read more...

Nobert Paradza
MSc Project title - Completed
Understanding the hydrodynamics in a nickel reduction autoclave
This project aims to characterize the different impeller speeds required for attrition, breakage and suspension of nickel particles in an autoclave. This is important during nickel reduction where crystals become too large through growth and agglomeration, causing operational problems. Read more...

Cornelia Ras
MSc Project title - Completed
An Industrial Ecology Approach to Salts-related, Environmental Sustainability Problems at the Large, Inland Secunda Complex
(Supervisors: Assoc Prof H von Blottnitz, Prof AE Lewis, Prof J-P Franzidis)
The South African economy relies primarily on the industrial activities of several large industrial growth centres located around mineral deposits and harbour sites. These complexes are typically simultaneously large consumers of water and located remote from the country’s major river systems. Read more...

Nomonde Solomon
MSc Project title - Completed
Effect of HPGR on Platinum Bearing Ores and the Flotation Response
(Supervisors: Dr AN Mainza, Dr M Becker, Dr J Petersen, Prof J-P Franzidis)
The application of comminution devices such as the ball mill in the beneficiation of platinum group minerals (PGMs) makes this a highly energy inefficient process. Excessive energy is required to sufficiently liberate the very fine grained PGMs. Read more...