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Centre for Minerals Research

The multi-disciplinary Centre for Minerals Research is focused on the processes of flotation and comminution, arguably two of the most important centre operations in mineral beneficiation.

More than 2000 million tons of over 100 different mineral species are recovered annually through the process of flotation, in most cases preceded by comminution. Inefficiencies in these processes translate into both an enormous loss of revenue and an unnecessary waste of the world's valuable and steadily declining mineral reserves. This is expected to compound in the coming decades as high quality ores become depleted, and mining companies are forced to treat more and more complex and finely disseminated ore bodies.

The primary objectives of the Centre are to investigate the research areas of flotation and comminution at both an industrial (applied) research level and at a laboratory (fundamental) research level so as to develop predictive models for describing the performance of industrial flotation and comminution units and circuits. The Centre also provides high-level human resources to the South African mining industry through rigorous postgraduate research training as well as technology transfer into operations.

The Centre has 27 staff and 30 to 40 postgraduate students, as well as extensive support from mining companies, suppliers and statutory funding agencies. Collaborators include the industrial companies and mining houses Anglo Platinum, Bateman Metals, Hatch Africa, Impala Platinum, Magotteaux, Lonmin, Polysius, Senmin and the research organisations including Anglo American Research Laboratories and Mintek.