The SAIMM is a professional institute with local and international links aimed at assisting members source information about technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors.
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A monthly publication devoted to scientific transactions and specialist technical topics is unlikely to be on the priority reading list of the majority of the mining and metallurgical community. But it is the ambition of the Publication's Committee to make the Journal of much wider interest to our general membership from technician trainees to mine managers to CEO's of our constituent companies. It is to entice general readership that some 1200 words of valuable space are devoted to the Journal Comment each month. This is intended to highlight some of the features and impact of the papers to excite and activate attention.

To entice this preliminary glance before confining the publication to the book shelf or even the wpb, the author has to call on a large measure of journalistic licence in style, titles and quotations. It is essential to be spicy, controversial and even provocative to separate it from the abbreviated authoritative but necessary scientific style of the bulk of the contents.
The Journal Comment aims to be an enticement to dig into some important feature of the papers in the issue. For this reason it has been decided to include it as a separate item on the Institutes Web Site. This might provoke those who enjoy twittering, blogging and googling to submit comment and criticism, all of which will be welcomed and responded to. At least it is proof that somebody has read it.
R.E. Robinson

Ore Dressing

Everything has its limitations Iron ore cannot be educated into gold - Mark Twain 1906
The papers in this issue are of a pragmatic nature and they provide examples of new applications and improved operating procedures for the well-known physical beneficiation processes.

Wits Mining: moving from great to the exceptional—the road ahead

F.T. Cawood, Professor of Mine Surveying and Head of School: Mining Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand
This SAIMM Wits Special Edition is a special tribute to Professor Huw Phillips, who has led the School for 25 years and has left, as a legacy, the largest Mining Engineering school in the English-speaking world.

Sustainability and slimes dams

‘!ke e:/xarra//ke:’ South African Motto; Coat of Arms.’ ‘Unity in Diversity’
In this August issue, among the papers that give the conclusions of well-done scientific work, we also present a paper that admits defeat in providing a final answer. This is a legal paper on the ownership of slimes dams.

Traditions, transactions, and technology transfer

‘No one should approach the temple of science, with the soul of a money changer.’ Thomas Browne

Appropriately this issue contains papers from the recent International Coal Processing Conference, which was held in Lexington, USA in April. In past decades this aspect of coal mining was not generally considered as a topic of advanced highly scientific opportunity for forefront research.

Nuggets or Nano Gold

‘I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, And express it in numbers, you know something about it; But when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, Your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.’ Lord Kelvin, 1882

The papers in this issue were selected from a conference on sampling and blending held last year. This topic is generally considered by most production industries as a necessary,

Leaner and meaner or keener and cleaner

‘GM will be leaner and meaner’ Barack Obama, President of the USA Comments on the General Motors bailout 2009

We are emerging, I hope, from the most traumatic recession for many an era

Educating entrepreneurs

We have not achieved much. It's a big lesson; we have to learn from that. The principle of the charter was to try to deracialise the mining industry, which has not been achieved’.
Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, talking in New York, explaining why the Mining Charter has to be revised—March 2010

It has been a firm tradition that one of the annual issues of the SAIMM Journal be devoted to publication of papers derived from undergraduate projects in the mining and metallurgical faculties.


‘Keep right on to the end of the road Though the way may be long, let your heart be strong. Keep right on to the end’ Words from a Scottish Ballad...

I must confess to reading the papers in this issue with much interest and a measure of excitement. I have been involved with comminution since 1955, not directly but circumstantially.

Black sands, black swans, and teachers

‘A little neglect may breed mischief’. ‘For want of a nail, the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost. All for the want of a nail’

This issue is devoted to the treatment of the black mineral sands such as those that abound along the east and west coasts of Southern Africa. The papers are from the latest of the conferences that have formed part of a continuing series by the SAIMM over several decades.