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Percolation Leaching: The status globally and in Southern Africa

Date 07 November 2011
- 09 November 2011
Location Misty Hills Conference Centre, Muldersdrift, Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg
We are no longer accepting registration for this event

The minerals processing industry will always have a need for technologies that make the exploitation of smaller,
lower-grade and complex resources economically viable.
Examples from the southern African minerals industry include efforts to extend the economic life
of ageing gold mines, exploit the low-grade sandstone-hosted uranium deposits,
and treat the copper-oxide caps and lateritic nickel ores.

Heap leaching, and other percolation-leaching adaptations (such as dump-, vat- and in situ-leaching),
is not a single or static technology. Innovation is occurring continuously all over the world, in order to adapt to
an ever increasing number of potential applications, including even attempts at in-situ leaching
of metals from hard rock.

A large number of exploration projects are being undertaken, and several of the new ore resources
may only be economically treatable by some form of percolation leaching.
The southern African region in particular presents new and extensive opportunities to
international percolation leaching engineers and vendors to market their expertise and products.

This conference aims to open a fresh discussion and debate on all forms of percolation leaching,
and its potential future role. Topics would include lessons to be learnt from established international projects,
the latest developments in design and engineering related to percolation leaching projects, and identification
of challenges that still require further innovation. This forum will present an opportunity to
share knowledge and experience in the latest percolation leaching developments from around the world.

A sound understanding of the controlling mechanisms in solution mining will promote more efficient processes
and provide great value to design engineers, investors and mine operators. Percolation leaching may appear
simple to the uninitiated. However its success relies heavily on correct design, since problems
can often not be remedied after operation has started. Case studies therefore provide valuable insights gained from
practical experience, to compliment the fundamental formulations provided by academics


Sponsorship Opportunities

The conference organising committee and SAIMM would like to thank the following sponsors for their invaluable contribution:

Premium Sponsor:



Exhibition Sponsorship:



Lanyard Sponsorship:



Sponsorship Opportunities

Patron Sponsorship
Exhibitor Sponsorship
Banner Exhibitor
Advertisement Sponsor
Cocktail Sponsorship
Lanyards Sponsor
Conference Bags Sponsor
Dinner Sponsorship

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:



Organising Committee

Conference Committee Chairman
Petrus Van Staden


Åke Sandstrom
Amado Guzman
Antony Cowey
Rob Bowell
Dave Dew
F Rundwell
Gabriel Zarate
Giles Searby
Gavin Horscroft
Geysa Pereira
Hans von Michaelis
Jennifer Broadhurst
Jochen Petersen
John Neale

Mariekie Gericke
Petrus Basson
Phil Staley
Prof. D Rawlings
Rob van Hille
Randall Pyper
Prof. Rodney Jones
Roelf F. Sandenbergh
Stefan Robertson
Sue Harrison
Tshepo Malefetse
Willem van der Merwe



Contributions are invited on topics such as:

  • Case studies on the successes and failures of percolation leaching
  • Water balancing in arid climates (such as Chile and Namibia) and wet climates (such as Zambia)
  • The prospects for solution-mining from competent rock, copper extraction from oxide and sulphide ores, and the
    extraction of residual gold and uranium values from slimes dams by percolation leaching
  • Addressing the mineralogy, geomechanics, geochemistry and logistics associated with envisaged projects to exploit
    sandstone hosted uranium and low-grade ores, waste and oxide-coppercaps, and nickel laterites
  • Flowsheet development and engineering
  • Advances in laboratory results interpretation and scale-up
  • Benefits of HPGR in percolation leaching
  • Advances in heap bioleaching and high temperature heap leaching
  • Environmental impact assessment, mitigation, rehabilitation and lixiviants for percolation leaching
  • Mathematical modelling, fundamentals, biology and teaching of percolation leaching
  • How to build sustainable economies from the exploitation of mineral resources
  • The role of patents and other forms of IP in a technical field where a high level of innovation is still anticipated to
    take place.


Who should attend

  • Practitioners, researchers, consultants and technology suppliers in heap-, dump-, vat- and in situ leaching
  • Engineers and scientists working in the extractive metallurgy of gold, uranium and base metals, be it in research and development, design and engineering, or production
  • Exploration companies looking for new deposits of gold, uranium and base metals
  • Role players in the formulation of policy and regulations related to exploration, mining and environmental impact.


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:

Conference Co-ordinator,
SAIMM, PO Box 61127,
Marshalltown 2107
South Africa.

Tel: (011) 834-1273/7
Fax: (011) 833-8156 or (011) 838-5923
Co-ordinator Email:

Key Dates & Publication

2 May 2011 Submission of abstracts

1 June 2011 Acceptance of abstracts

15 July 2011 Submission of papers

7–9 November 2011 Conference

Please note:
All accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings. Selected papers will be published in the Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.



Information will be made available at a later date

Preliminary Programme

Information will be made available at a later date

Social Programme

Information will be made available at a later date

Technical Visits

Information will be made available at a later date


Registration Fees



Registration Fee SAIMM Members



Registration Fee – Non SAIMM Members



Registration Fee – Student/ Retired Members



Please note:
*Non-members are entitled to free membership of the SAIMM, up to 30 June 2012, 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


Accommodation & Conference Venue

The conference will be hosted at the Misty Hills Conference Centre, which is located in the Cradle of Humankind in Muldersdrift.

For more information visit:

Please Note:
Registration fee does not include accommodation


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:


The following items may be downloaded from the download section below:

1) Conference First Announcement & Call for Papers