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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pagesJournal Comment

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

Restoration and rocket science

‘Every revolution evaporates, Leaving behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy’ Franz Kafka 1883–1924
There is no common theme such as a topic of a conference in this issue, but rather a collection of papers from different countries and different subjects.

Student Projects

The alchemists of past centuries tried hard to make the elixir of life: ...Those efforts were in vain; it is not in our power to obtain the experiences and the views of the future by prolonging our lives forward in this direction. However, it is well possible in a certain sense to prolong our lives backwards by acquiring the experiences of those who existed before us and by learning to know their views as well as if we were their contemporaries. The means for doing this is also an elixir of life. Hermann Franz Moritz Kopp.

The papers in this issue are a selection of the best presentations at a colloquium of undergraduate student projects held between the mining and metallurgical orientated faculties in Pretoria and Johannesburg, together with students from the Tshwane and Vaal Universities of Technology.

‘Tickle Four’ Future Foresight

‘In its short commercial life, titanium has been tagged ‘the wonder metal’. As strong as steel, it weighs only half as much; Heavier than aluminium, it is twice as stong’. Time Magazine 11 August 1952

The papers in this issue are a selection from the ‘Advanced Metals Initiative: The Light Metals Conference 2010’, held at the CSIR, the home of much of the materials science work in the last few decades.

The Platinum Group Metals

‘Do you know who made you’ ‘Nobody, as I knows on said the child, with a short laugh I ‘spect I grow’d’. Topsy, in Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)

It was in 1924 that Hans Merensky first reported the presence of the platinum group metals (PGMs) on the rim of the largest and most complex igneous extrusion known.

Safety bonus in blasting

Apuleius, Roman philosopher (124–170 AD).

From the time that mining involved working in holes in the ground, it has been considered a dangerous occupation. It is obviously so because of the possibility of the walls, the hole, or the roof of a tunnel collapsing on the miners.

12th International Ferroalloys Congress: Future sustainability

‘The old order changeth, yielding place to new’

It is appropriate that the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy devote an issue of its Journal to the 12th International Ferroalloys Conference, even though published proceedings are available.

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.