APCOM 2021 Minerals Industry 4.0

Date 29 August 2021
- 02 September 2021
Location Misty Hills Conference Centre, Muldersdrift, Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg
Resources Sponsorship APCOM 2021-14052020.pdf

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APCOM (Applications of Computers and Operations Research in the Minerals Industries) is a series of  well established, high-quality international scientific conferences which was started in the early 1960s with the aim
of sharing technological advances by engineers and computer scientists in all fields relevant to the mining industry.



The APCOM events have evolved to become a major driver of innovation in the minerals industry, and over the years, many breakthrough innovations, such as geostatistics and mining process optimisation, have been initially discussed at or originated from the APCOM conferences. One of the success factors of APCOM is the intensive, high-quality dialogue that it promotes between industry and academia. Thanks to the personal commitments of APCOM’s loyal participants and supporters, the symposia continue to be a thriving success.

The APCOM 2021 Conference, the 40th in the series, will be held at Misty Hills, Muldersdrift, South Africa from 29 August – 2 September 2021. Nestled in the foothills of the Swartkop Mountains on the threshold of the beautiful Kromdraai Valley in Muldersdrift, Misty Hills is one of the most popular hotel and conference venues in Johannesburg. This charming stone-built hotel embodies the ethos of Africa. Set in more than 60 acres of lush botanical gardens, Misty Hills is the ideal venue for unctions, conferences, exhibitions, product launches, team-building, getaways, and events. Come and experience the splendour of rich African hospitality in the heart of Gauteng. Johannesburg. An optional tourist visit is planned to the nearby Pilanesberg National Park which presents an opportunity to view the ‘Big Five’.

Who Should Attend


APCOM will be of particular interest to planning, research and operations personnel in industry and government and to managers, engineers, and computer research scientists.

Conference themes:


  • Remote sensing applications
  • Automated data acquisition
  • Geotechnical and geophysical exploration
  • Drilling investment decisions


  • Artificial neural network
  • Automation and robotics
  • Data analytics
  • Digital mining systems
  • Digital twins


  • Tailings management
  • Rehabilitation/reclamation
  • Mine closure
  • Hazardous pollution control
  • Environmental management
  • Impact assessment
  • Water management


  • Orebody modelling techniques
  • Orebody modelling techniques
  • Estimation techniques
  • Geostatistics
  • Computer visualisation
  • Simulation
  • Resource and reserve classification


  • Mine design
  • Strategic, long-term and short-term planning
  • Production scheduling
  • Stochastic mine planning and optimisation


  • SHE Management
  • Ground control/rock engineering
  • Grade control
  • Ventilation
  • Blasting design and control
  • Mining equipment productivity
  • Mineral resource management
  • Validation and reconciliation
  • Mine monitoring and control
  • Access control
  • Supply chain management
  • Project management


  • Sampling and analysts
  • Plant and process modelling and design
  • Automation
  • Process control
  • Real-time data acquisition and application


  • Cost estimation and projections
  • Feasibility analysis
  • Risk assessment
  • Capital projects
  • Taxation implications


  • Economic modelling of mineral sectors
  • Supply, demand and price studies
  • Regional and national environmental planning
  • National and international planning for minerals
  • Information systems
  • Sustainable development
  • Health and Safety projections
  • Sustainable development

General Programme


29 August 2021 — Welcome registration and cocktails
30 August 2021 — Conference Day 1
30 August 2021 — Conference Dinner
31 August 2021 — Conference Day 2
31 August 2021 — Sponsored Dinner at a cultural village (TBC)
1 September 2021 — Conference Day 3
2 September 2021 — Technical Visits
3 September 2021 — Optional Tourist Visits

Important Dates


Call for Papers
26 October 2020 — Submission of Abstracts
16 November 2020 — Acceptance of Abstracts
8 March 2021 — Submission of Papers
10 May 2021 — Acceptance of Papers

Keynote Speakers


Andrew Lane 19052020Andrew Lane

Company: Deloitte
Designation: Africa Energy and Resources Leader, Deloitte Africa

  • Andrew is a senior partner at Deloitte Africa, where he leads the Energy and Resources practice in Africa, leads the Monitor Deloitte corporate and business unit strategy capability and leads the CEO programme at the Deloitte Executive Institute.
  • Andrews professional career spans 33 years – 14 in Industry, mainly in general management in industrial companies; and 19 in strategy and operational consulting
  • Andrew joined Deloitte as a Director following Deloitte’s acquisition of Monitor. He had joined Monitor as a partner, after being a partner and founding member of North Road Consulting
  • Andrew has led strategy, operational improvement, organization redesign and implementation projects in several industries. Andrew has specific expertise in energy, resources, aviation, logistics and manufacturing.
  • His consulting experience spans operational turnarounds, performance improvement, and strategy development for private, listed and parastatal companies. His strategy expertise spans portfolio strategy, corporate and business unit strategy, growth strategy, and sustainability strategy.
  • Prior to founding North Road Consulting, Andrew enjoyed a successful career at Bain & Company in Johannesburg and London. During this time he led client assignments in various industries, including mining, car rental, utilities, revenue collection, general industry and media.

Winfred Assibey BonsuWinfred Assibey-Bonsu

Company: Gold Fields Corporate Office, Perth
Designation: Africa Energy and Resources Leader, Deloitte Africa

Winfred Assibey-Bonsu is the Group Head Geostatistician and Evaluator, Corporate Technical Services at Gold Fields Corporate Office, West Perth, Australia, with PhD from University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; EDP, Wits Business School; MSc from University of Zambia; Post-Graduate Diploma and BSc (Hons) from the UST School of Mines (now UMaT), Ghana. Winfred’s experience spanning over 30 years in the mining industry includes mineral resource assets assessment for mining companies as well as new business associated work including prospects in South Africa, Australia, South America, Zaire, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Philippines, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Russia, Finland, Romania, Papua New Guinea. Winfred is currently the Chairman of the International APCOM Council.

Themba MoyeniThemba Moyeni Mkhwanazi

Company: Kumba Iron Ore
Designation: Chief Executive Officer

Themba is the CEO of Kumba Iron Ore and a member of the Group Management Committee (GMC) at Anglo American. Prior to joining Kumba, he held the position of CEO of Anglo American’s coal business in South Africa from May 2014 to 1 September 2016. He has extensive experience in the resources industry, including 20 years in his native South Africa, as well as in the USA and Australia.

Themba was a Managing Director of Huntsman Tioxide in South Africa until 2007 when he was appointed COO of Richards Bay Minerals, a joint venture between Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.
In 2011, Themba was seconded to Rio Tinto’s Australian coal business, before taking up the role of Regional General Manager for the Americas in 2012.

Leonardo_MachadoLeonardo Machado

Company: Visagio Consulting
Designation: Managing Partner

Leonardo has over 17 years of experience. He is one of the co-founders and managing partners of Visagio Consulting. Has developed over 120 projects in management engineering, mainly focused on operations and supply chain management, business process reengineering and organizational design.

Has been working for industries such as Mining, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Logistics and Transportation, Retail, Tobacco, Steel, Banking, Chemical, Telecommunications and Services, with experience in projects in Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Turkey, United States and New Caledonia. Has extensive experience working in the mining indsutry.

He holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from UFRJ (Brazil).

The main areas of expertise are: Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Statistical Forecasting, Simulation and Optimization.

He is the co-author of the book ”Optimising the Supply Chain”. He was the lead developer of the ARRISCA Simulation Tool – Spreadsheet Simulation Add-in. Leonardo Machado is fluent in English, Portuguese and, to a lesser extent, Spanish.

Leonardo_MachadoErkan Topal

Company: Curtin University
Designation: Professor
Qualifications: PhD

Prof Erkan Topal is a mining engineer with a Master of Science Degree (MSc) in Mineral Economics, MSc and PhD. Degree in Mining Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in U.S.

He has worked in several different countries on different projects and positions including U.S, Canada, Sweden, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Australia. He has recently being seconded to Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan as a founding dean where he has established a new School named School of Mining and Geosciences. He has also previously served for five years as Head of Mining Engineering Department at the WA School of Mines, Curtin University.

His main research interests are in mine planning and optimization, mineral and energy economics. He has been a principal investigator on numerous research projects. He is a world leading expert in the field of mine planning and optimization. Some of his internationally recognized research includes underground mine scheduling with stope boundary optimization, mine waste dump design with pit optimisation, Application of the Real Options in Engineering Design and Decision Making. Prof Topal’s work on optimum waste dump planning was the winner of the science and engineering prize at the 2015 Curtin Commercial Innovation Awards.

He has recently organized and chaired the “28th International Symposium on Mine Planning and Equipment Selection - MPES 2019” conference in Perth and conference proceedings was published by Springer. He is in the editorial board of five scientific journals in the area of mining including editor-in-chief role for the International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment Journal as well as being in the international advisory board of Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metalurgy (SAIMM) and has published well over 100 papers in reputed journals and refereed conference proceedings.



Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Companies wishing to sponsor should contact the Conference Co-ordinator.



Prospective authors are invited to submit abstracts of their paper, extended abstracts or presentations, in English, and to indicate the topic under which the paper should be categorised. The abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted to:
Head of Conferencing,
Camielah Jardine
Tel: 27 (11) 834-1273/7
Facsimile: 27 (11) 838-5923
Email: camielah@saimm.co.za

International APCOM Council


Dr Sukumar Bandopadhyay

Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc., USA

Dr Ernest Baafi

Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australia


Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Canada

Dr Winfred Assibey-Bonsu

Council Chair, The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, South Africa


University of Arizona, USA

Dr Kadri Dagdelen

Colorado School of Mines, USA


Pennsylvania State University, USA


Institute of Mining, Geotechnology and Environment, Solvania


University of Chile, Chile


China University of Technology, Beijing, China

Dr Christoph Mueller


Dr Cuthbert Musingwini

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Dr Joao Felipe

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Dr Julian Ortiz

Queen's University, Canada

Dr Andrea Brickey

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, USA

Nelson Morales University of Chile, Chile

Organising Committee


  • Cuthbert Musingwini - University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Gary Lane - Vuuma Collaborations, South Africa
  • Christina Dohm - University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Theunis Otto - Anglo American, South Africa
  • Hennie Grobler - University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Rudrajit Mitra - RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • Antonio Nieto - University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Mike Woodhall - MineRP, South Africa
  • Paseka Leeuw - University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Isaac Mabala - University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Johnny van den Berg - MineRP
  • Antony Mello - Vuuma Collaborations, South Africa
  • David Rose - University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Luan Mai - Visagio, Australia
  • Sezer Uludag - University of Pretoria



For further information contact:

Head of Conferencing,
Camielah Jardine
Tel: 27 (11) 834-1273/7
Facsimile: 27 (11) 838-5923
Email: camielah@saimm.co.za