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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Furnace Tapping 2014

Date 27 May 2014
- 29 May 2014
Location Misty Hills Conference Centre, Muldersdrift, Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg
We are no longer accepting registration for this event


27-29 May 2014 |

Many a metallurgist fell in love with pyrometallurgy after witnessing a smelter being tapped. There is something magical in the combination of light, energy and danger that simultaneously stirs the primal instincts to 'run for your life' and 'go closer and have a look'.

But tapping a smelter is not an easy task

Much engineering go into the design of the taphole. Due to the aggressive nature of the process, material selection is as important as layout. The design process kicks off with a set of design criteria, which needs to be revised as the results of laboratory, compational fluid dynamics (CFD) and time-and-motion studies become available.

Designers have to design not only for installation and operability but also for maintenance-routine and breakdown. During the design stage, matters such as online monitoring of the taphole wear, handling of liquid products, extraction of fumes and periodic maintenance must be taken into account.

Though taphole life can be improved with good taphole design, a good design can be destroyed with incorrect tapping practices and equipment. Despite the harshness of the tapfloor environment, it requires precision equipment and operating practices. The design and maintenance of the drilling, tapping and plugging equipment and materials plays an equally important role in taphole life and tapfloor safety. As does protective equipment.

Operators want the taphole life to be as long as possible since taphole failures is often the cause for a reline-a very expensive exercise in an upcycle when the cost of a new lining is small compared to the loss in production. Managing the maintenance and reline schedule is a challenge with lessons often learned the hard way.

The first thing students are taught in pyrometallurgy courses is how to compile a mass and energy balance for a smelter. An accounting mass and energy balance is used not only to schedule furnace taps but also to make process decisions. Process variables measured during or after tapping are important inputs to a workable mass and energy balance.

Even though much has been done to make the tapping process as automatic as possible, tapping of smelters cannot be done without labour. Tap floor operators work in harsh environments where safety is of utmost importance. Selection of suitable personnel and intensive training is required.

No pyrometallurgical smelter can operate without some form of tapping system. It is the one thing all smelters have in common. A meeting point of science, technology and skill. 

On behalf of the SAIMM and the organising committee we would like to thank the following sponsors for theit invaluable sponsorship.


Premier Sponsor

 thos begbie co

Premium Sponsor

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TMT Logo_-_Official_Licensee_of2      
Exhibition Sponsor


Angelis Group

Exhibition Sponsors               

Exhibition Sponsor 


Exhibition Sponsor

Banner Sponsor


Sponsorship Opportunities
Companies wishing to sponsor or exhibit should contact the Conference Coordinator
Raymond van der Berg
Conference Co-ordinator
SAIMM, P O Box 61127
Tel: (011) 834-1273/7
Fax: (011) 833-8156 or (011) 838-5923
Co-ordinator Email:

To provide an international forum to present and discuss the design, maintenance, safety and operating practices surrounding the tapping of pyrometallurgical smelters

Who should attend
The conference is aimed at delegates from the pyrometallurgical industry operating smelters or those who support them, and includes:

• Senior management
• Middle management
• Plant/production engineers
• Process/development engineers
• Design engineers
• Maintenance engineers
• Safety practitioners
• Plant managers
• Production managers

Registration Fees
Please note:
- Non-members are entitled to free membership of the SAIMM, up to 30 June 2014, for
   attending this event
- Registration fee does not include accommodation
- Prepayment is required for all Registration Fees on or before the date of the event.
- Delegates who have not paid will not be permitted to attend the event

Key Dates
1 October 2013            Submission of abstracts
11 October 2013          Acceptance of abstracts
29 November 2013       Submission of papers
21 March 2014             Acceptance of papers
27-28 May 2014          Conference
29 May 2014                Technical Visit 

Call for papers
The Conference is being organised by The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and papers are invited for the Conference.

Prospective authors are invited to submit titles and abstracts of their papers, in English. The abstracts should be no longer than 500 words and should be submitted to:
Raymond van der Berg
Conference Co-ordinator
SAIMM, P O Box 61127
Tel: (011) 834-1273/7
Fax: (011) 833-8156 or (011) 838-5923

Raymond van der Berg
Conference Co-ordinator
SAIMM, P O Box 61127
Tel: (011) 834-1273
Fax: (011) 833-8156 or (011) 838-5923
Co-ordinator Email: