Welcome to another edition of papers for the Student Edition. Most of the papers published in this Student Edition are based on the annual Student Colloquium of 2022. The Colloquium, organised by the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) since 2002, aims to identify the best final-year mining and metallurgical engineering students’ presentations. The papers presented at the Colloquium are based on the students’ final year projects. Our mining engineering students at Wits University, the School of Mining Engineering (Wits Mining) have a final-year course called Project Report, usually based on projects carried out by students on a mine during the vacation work session between the third and fourth year of study. It is a good opportunity for the students to showcase what they have learned during their summer vacation work. Wits Mining selects the top three presentations to take part in the Colloquium, similar to the other schools/departments in the country. The best performers amongst the participants were chosen by the panel of judges in the Colloquium and the winners were asked to prepare a paper to be published in the Journal of the SAIMM (JSAIMM). As with any paper submitted to the JSAIMM, the students’ papers are also subject to the Journal’s peer reviewing process.
In the last few years, the quality of the student papers submitted to the JSAIMM for publication has deteriorated, as most of them did not provide anything new. Novelty in a journal paper is essential. In order to address this, an initiative has begun with the help of the mining industry to realign the communication channels between the industry and academia. This initiative has a number of aims and objectives - one of which is to relook at the project topics given to the students; the project topics have a direct impact on the quality of the student report produced. Although it is still early days, this initiative has the potential to help generate more publishable papers in the JSAIMM. Further developments in this regard will be communicated to the SAIMM community.
In this Student Edition of the Journal, five papers have been selected, covering topics ranging from coal washability, contact sorption drying and real-time gypsum quality estimation in an industrial calciner. In addition, papers about electric-powered robotic subsea dredging crawler and electrical resistivity of heat-treated charcoal are some of the interesting reads.
Enjoy the October edition of the Journal!