The annual SAIMM Student Colloquium has been held at Mintek in Randburg since 2014. The all-new SAIMM Student Colloquium saw some tremendous changes compared with 2011, including parallel sessions for mining students and metallurgy students, thus giving more students a chance to participate in this prestigious event. Moreover, universities from southern Africa were also invited to participate and the SAIMM has since welcomed students from Namibia and Zambia to the Colloquium.

The SAIMM is giving their full support to our future professionals and awards each presenter with a book prize and the top three winners of each session with monetary prizes. The Institute also publishes the papers of the top five presenters from each session, in the April edition of the SAIMM Journal. In 2015 Sandvik also awarded a mining student of their choice with a prize to the value of R7000.

The SAIMM Student Colloquium hosts approximately 130 delegates each year, including a keynote speaker. At the 2015 Colloquium Robin Banks addressed our young professionals about success being a choice during the current very difficult time in the minerals and metals industry. General feedback from the audience indicated that Robin completely changed the students’ outlook on life and redefined their concept of what is possible, re-establishing their faith in their own abilities.

The technical programme for metallurgy varies from hydrometallurgy, including corrosion and leaching topics, to physical metallurgy and pyrometallurgy. The topics in the mining session range from optimization of mechanized stope orepasses to new technology in mining. The technical programmes are always of a very high standard and the final-year students have the opportunity for open discussion with the audience and the judges.

Our young professionals are passionate about their work and have faith in the future of the minerals and metals industry. They have the power to bring about change. The SAIMM fully supports their education and the start of their careers, and will continue to support them as they excel in life. The Colloquium will be held once again on 25 October 2016, at Mintek.

Zelmia Botha