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Johannesburg, South Africa

Mintek is an autonomous research and development organisation specialising in all aspects of mineral processing, extractive metallurgy and related technology.Mintek was originally established as a Minerals research laboratory by the government of South Africa in 1934. It is still partly funded by the state with a mandate to “promote mineral technology and to foster the establishment and expansion of industries in the field of minerals and products derived from them”.In collaboration with minerals and metal producers locally and internationally, Mintek develops and transfers new technology to industry for processing, extracting, refining and utilising minerals and mineral products.Mintek offers R&D expertise, service test work, and technologies for the gold, platinum-group metals , base metals, ferro-alloys, and industrial minerals sectors. Extensive laboratory and pilot-plant facilities are available for investigations in the following fields: Analysis , Minerals processing, Hydrometallurgy, and Pyrometallurgy. Wikipedia.

Gericke M.,Mintek
Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy | Year: 2012

Over the past few decades the commercial application of heap bioleaching technology for the extraction of base metals has become increasingly important, due mainly to the depletion of high-grade ore reserves. Heap bioleaching is widely used for the extraction of copper from secondary copper sulphide ores. The design and engineering aspects of the process have received considerable attention, but issues related to the microbiology of the process have been subjected to less rigorous scrutiny. The major role of micro-organisms in bioleaching processes is to catalyse the regeneration of ferric iron and protons, from ferrous iron and by sulphur oxidation respectively. It is accepted that even the most carefully engineered heaps are heterogeneous in terms of temperature, pH, the presence of anaerobic pockets, irrigation efficiency, and dissolved solutes. Since interactions between solution chemistry, mineralogy, and microbial populations exist in heaps, a better understanding of the correlation between microbial numbers and types with changes in these chemical and physical profiles with time would be beneficial during process design and operation of heaps, and could result in faster start-up times and higher metal recoveries. This paper reviews the role of microbiology in heap bioleaching processes. Aspects such as microbial diversity, identification and monitoring of cultures, inoculation strategies, colonization behaviour, and tolerance to metals and salts are discussed, and the potential contribution of the knowledge to the improvement of the operation and design of heap bioleach processes assessed. Conclusions are drawn with respect to the role of genetic engineering, heap inoculation practises, and remaining areas for future heap bioleaching research and development. © The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2012. Source

Keter F.K.,Mintek | Darkwa J.,University of Johannesburg
BioMetals | Year: 2012

Pyrazoles are widely used as core motifs for a large number of compounds for various applications such as catalysis, agro-chemicals, building blocks of other compounds and in medicine. The attractiveness of pyrazole and its derivatives is their versatility that allows for synthesis of a series of analogues with different moieties in them, thus affecting the electronics and by extension the properties of the resultant compounds. In medicine pyrazole is found as a pharmacophore in some of the active biological molecules. While pyrazole derivatives have been extensively studied for many applications including anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiglycemic, anti-allergy and antiviral, much less has been reported on their metal counterparts in spite of the fact that metals have been shown to impart activity to ligands. Thus this perspective is intended to demonstrate the potential of pyrazole and pyrazolyl metal complexes in the areas of drug discovery and development. Several examples, that include palladium, platinum, copper, gold, zinc, cobalt, nickel, iron, copper, silver and gallium complexes, are used to bolster the above point. For the purposes of this review three areas are discussed, that is pyrazole metal complexes as: (i) anticancer, (ii) antibacterial/parasitic and (iii) antiviral agents. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Performance of froth flotation recovery plants for platinum group minerals (PGMs) is usually monitored by means of routine chemical assays of samples taken at various locations in the plant. Whilst these assays can alert the plant metallurgist to variations in recovery, the reasons for changes in recovery are not adequately revealed by the assay results. Assay-by-size analyses can help to diagnose whether PGM and/or base metal sulphide (BMS) liberation issues exist, but do not provide any information on mineralogical changes in the plant feed material. The flotation performance of an ore is determined by its mineralogy. Mintek's Mineralogy Division is currently developing PGM flotation prediction software that uses data from automated mineralogy systems to provide valuable information to the plant metallurgist. Each PGM-bearing particle detected by the automated mineralogy system is individually evaluated. Particle floatability, based on the mode of occurrence of the PGM, the proportion of floatable component/s and the composition of constituent minerals in each PGM-bearing particle is calculated. These data provide a direct output that highlights the metallurgical properties and recoverability of the PGM-bearing particles in samples gathered from strategic locations in the recovery plant. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-11e-2015 | Award Amount: 7.84M | Year: 2016

The INTMET approach represents a unique technological breakthrough to overcome the limitations related to difficult low grade and complex ores to achieve high efficient recovery of valuable metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Ag) and CRM (Co, In, Sb). Main objective of INTMET is applying on-site mine-to-metal hydroprocessing of the produced concentrates enhancing substantially raw materials efficiency thanks to increase Cu\Zn\Pb recovery over 60% vs. existing selective flotation. 3 innovative hydrometallurgical processes (atmospheric, pressure and bioleaching), and novel more effective metals extraction techniques (e.g. Cu/Zn-SX-EW, chloride media, MSA, etc) will be developed and tested at relevant environment aiming to maximise metal recovery yield and minimising energy consumption and environmental footprint. Additionally secondary materials like tailings and metallurgical wastes will be tested as well for metals recovery and sulphur valorisation. The technical, environmental and economic feasibility of the entire approaches will be evaluated to ensure a real business solution of the integrated INTMET process. INTMET will be economically viable thanks to diversification of products (Cu, Zn, Pb), high-profitable solution (producing commodities not concentrates), with lower operation and environmental costs (on-site hydroprocessing will avoid transport to smelters) and allowing mine-life extension developing a new business-model concept based on high efficient recovery of complex ores that will ensure EU mining industry competitiveness and employment. INTMET is fully aligned with EIP-RM validated in the PolymetOre Commitment where most of INTMET partners take part on and the market up-take solutions are guaranteed by an exploitation from industrially-driven consortia composed by 3 Mines, 2 SMEs (AGQ -waste&water tech provider; MINPOL -policy & exploitation expert), 2 tech providers (OUTOTEC and TR) and 5 complementary RTDs with expertise in leaching and recovery metals processing

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: WASTE-4b-2014 | Award Amount: 1.64M | Year: 2015

Urbanization is on the rise in Africa and this trend is expected to continue in the future. The fast growing use of technology is creating a rising e-waste stream, for which there is limited recycling capacity. Waste management infrastructures and public awareness of the health issues is largely non-existent. Basic environmental precautions are almost absent and health and safety regulations are loosely enforced. Improvements are therefore urgently needed to combat related health issues, alleviate poverty and develop the local recycling sector. EWIT projects aim is to address these challenges, assisting African municipalities in the implementation of effective e-waste management systems for their communities. The project will develop a comprehensive mapping of the baseline data of African metropolitan areas related to e-waste management, analyzing the most relevant experiences, processes and legal tools available. It will then deliver a dynamic and easy to use information and service portal to offer guidance and practical support for the design and development of e-waste collection and recycling systems. EWIT will generate the expected impacts through 5 coordinated work packages. The working model is based on two different set of workshops, one led by Cities and the other by Experts. Tools, implementation models, policies and procedures will feed a dedicated information and service platform called E-waste implementation toolkit. This dynamic and easy to use internet portal will be a strategic source of knowledge for decision makers at industry and local government level. Dissemination will play a key role to assure that the projects deliverables are well understood and ready to be applied. EWIT will define the conditions and actions necessary to implement effective waste recycling systems in metropolitan areas, increasing recycling opportunities for entrepreneurs, generating new jobs and improving environment and health protection of local communities.

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