The Journal had a flying start in the October issue when we were privileged to publish a collection of papers to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Mintek. It was of great interest to record the latest work demonstrating their position as one of the forefront national research institutes, specifically in hydrometallurgy and DC arc smelting techniques in pyrometallurgy.

This was followed by papers from the base metals conference illustrating the need for new developments in resin in pulp, heap leaching, and bioleaching to offer low cost processing methods to contend with the ever decreasing grade of the base metal ore resources. December produced many fine papers in the field of physical metallurgy and materials science, an area of expertise that is essential for added value to mineral resources and job creation.

In the new calendar year, attention was given to safety in the hard rock conference. In the mineral sands issue in February, attention was given to the importance of maintaining a centre of excellence at Richards Bay and specifically in the role of school teaching and development of teachers.

In the March issue devoted to comminution, some highly significant applications of the relatively new high pressure roll crushers were reported, with obvious application in hard rock gold mining. The selection of university students’ projects was presented in the April issue with some interesting comments on the remarkable number of mining engineers being produced at SA universities well above those in Australia, Canada and America.

In May a paper from China was published on drymethods of coal beneficiation using samples of South African coals. A most important paper illustrating the potential of integrated gasification in Combined Cycle power production (IGCC) using waste coal fines.

In the June issue devoted to sampling, some fascinating new suggestions were made regarding ‘nuggety gold’ and its influence in sampling of low grade gold ore, which is of high significance in the mine call factor.

The July issue with a range of ‘Transaction’ and ‘Journal’ papers was an occasion to review in the Journal Comment, the long standing principles in refereeing and accepting both categories for publication.

In the August issue a group of legal contributors evaluated the legislation pertaining to the ownership of the slimes dams and waste dumps around the gold mines. Perhaps the most important and complex paper on a proposed Sustainability Code of Practice emphasized the cardinal role of the mining industry in the creation of job opportunities for mines
approaching closure.

In general terms, the publication of the Journal contents on our website is operating efficiently with an great potential to attract more original research papers to the Journal which is considered to be an important function in technology transfer and in attracting more young graduates and diplomats into active membership of the Institute. It is believed that this also could induce greater collaboration with associated R&D activities nationally and internationally.