Sponsored by: Nasaco International

Nasaco & Betachem - Developing Young Engineers in our Analytical Method 

The most important benefit in mineral processing is to maximize production time and minimize maintenance. GIW understands that uptime is everything! That is why in this time of uncertainty and change we are more committed than ever to providing our partners with an uninterrupted supply of pumps and parts. 

We have been developing, formulating and supplying chemicals for flotation and associated mineral processing operations for 25 years. We work with mining companies throughout Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. And together with our sister company in South Africa, Betachem (Pty) Ltd,  two principles have shaped our work in this industry. 

More than half of the country’s coal mines are managed by pro-Russian separatist militia.Credit: DmyTo/Shutterstock.

More than half of the country’s coal mines are managed by pro-Russian separatist militia.

Credit: DmyTo/Shutterstock.

Firstly we recognise that no two orebodies are exactly the same. So we work hand in hand with the end-users to develop new formulations to address the industry desire for more specific and selective frothers, collectors and depressants. Modern analytical tools form the basis of our research efforts here. We have three quantitative scanning electron microscopes which, together with our proprietary software, produce mineral liberation data, allowing us to identify the cause of client issues. The depth of our engineering experience then allows us to provide our clients with informed decision making for their operational recovery.

Abel Mokadze studying for MSC in process Engibeering

Secondly, we perceive that there is a lack of young engineers who really understand our method of improving recovery analytically. To address this we train and develop young engineers in our analytical method. In South Africa we fund a scholarship for a few brilliant students who have been supported through their studies and have been incorporated into the company for both work experience and subsequently as engineers working in development and technical sales capacities. In the Philippines and Latin America, our engineers provide consultation with undergraduate and post-graduate students for research topics and undertakings. They provide the much needed industry perspective which normally is lacking in these research projects.

Bernard Fundikwa studying for MSC in Process Engineering

This has lead us to increase our use of fine analytical techniques which are only available at universities. We have close ties to prestigious universities in the countries that we are operating. Our engineers and associated engineers help to manage these projects and we support the project through both government and private funding. This has a benefit to the university, as it provides support to the students performing the work and also to the students themselves, as they are directed by reputable industry professionals. These projects are currently looking at new dispersants to improve collector and frother performance. Novel depressants with activity towards certain mineral types and new formulations of collectors. In the Philippines, we are also installing testing equipment, to support part of a teaching post. The benefits to the students are evident as they have an opportunity to learn from the practical experience. Nasaco and Betachem benefit from the enthusiasm and application of motivated students in a well managed project.

Beverley Malinga who after completing Process Engineering degree has just completed an MBA

As an industry we need to support the development of new engineers coming to work in support areas, as well as in operations. Our experienced engineers are looked upon by these young engineers in the industry for expert guidance and advice. This mentoring together with the experience gained working with customer engineers in their operations develops a well rounded skill set which makes talented colleagues.

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