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MEI Online: General Minerals Engineering: Latest News: April 30th 2009


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:: Metso Agrees Collaboration With University of Mines and Technology

Metso is to make a significant donation of equipment and services to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa, Ghana. The move is expected to benefit current and future students at the mineral engineering department.

The equipment, which is valued at $50,000, will be officially presented to the university on 7 May and will be installed in the department's laboratory.

The donation includes a Metso D12 complete flotation cell/scrubber, a Morse Model 2000 4in × 6in jaw crusher, a Marcy 6in Gyroll cone crusher, a Denver vacuum filter, several Marcy pulp density scales, a Denver pulp density scale, a Denver 4in × 6in mineral jig and all spares and operating manuals required to maintain the equipment.

Each machine or item offered is a sample from the laboratory equipment product line Metso offers. With the exception of the mineral jig, which was made obsolete about five years ago, all the equipment is new and currently part of Metso’s product portfolio. A service agreement will also be entered into by the two parties.

Fifty mineral processing textbooks will also be presented as part of the donation. Metso will also launch the following on the same day:

  • An annual best student award, which consists of a cash price donation to the best mining and mineral engineering student from this year's group.
  • An annual "mining school" to educate mining industry professionals and students about technological developments in the industry.

According to associate professor Richard Amankwah, who is on the UMaT planning committee and also the dean of the engineering department, the donation came after discussions between Metso represented by Mike Wallen, vice president of mining for the Middle East and northern Africa, Ronald Schonleitner, customer service for Europe and middle east Africa, Seth Quaye, regional manager for western Africa, and the mineral engineering department in July 2008.

Prof Amankwah said: "David Renner, the managing director of AngloGold Ashanti's Iduapriem mine, contacted Metso to discuss the possibility of forming an alliance with the department. Because Mr Renner is an industry partner of the department, we see this as a win-win situation for all concerned."

The Iduapriem mine accounts for about 20% of Metso Ghana's annual sales.

Prof Amankwah said the Metso equipment would help the continuing progress of the department. He said: "We are involved in research areas such as geometallurgy, biohydrometallurgy, microwave processing of minerals and environmental biotechnology, monitoring and management.

"The equipment will assist us greatly in developing these areas and, more importantly, I see the department keeping abreast of technological advances through this collaboration."

The donation will serve as an important link between the university and the mining industry. It not only demonstrates corporate social responsibility but also serves Metso's future plans.

Paul M Heaton, services product manager of laboratory equipment and standard products for Metso US, said: "We've placed our equipment in an everyday learning environment. When the students graduate and move into employment, they will recommend Metso to their employers for future equipment requirements. They can make firm decisions based on equipment with which they are already familiar."

This view was supported by Raymond Ackabah, manager of mill lining systems and process technology support for Metso Ghana. He said: "Our alumni from the mineral engineering department are running processing plants and servicing laboratories in all mining centres in Africa.

"These former students visit the school and liaise with lecturers, so Metso would be introduced to them."

Prof Amankwah said: "The department would like to be considered as Metso's research arm in the African mining industry. We would complement Metso with our broader vision of UMaT as the leading mining and minerals research institute in Africa."

The relationship with UMaT is expected to boost Metso's presence in Ghana further, especially since the company is the only one involved in such an undertaking.

Mr Ackabah said: "Metso is making a contribution to the future. With our commitment to the education of engineers, we are also raising confidence in customers who will ultimately order and use our products. They will become familiar with our local expertise in operation and servicing of equipment they already have or intend to purchase."

Prof Amankwah said: "Prospective students would be confident about the programme, knowing the department is affiliated with a world-class mining, mineral processing and instrumentation company. And of course it becomes easier for the company to recruit the best students for their projects in Africa and beyond."

UMaT was founded in 1952 as the Tarkwa Technical Institute. It has since emerged as a fully-fledged university. It is located in Tarkwa, which is Ghana’s richest mineral district, approximately 89km from Takoradi, the western regional capital of Ghana.

Known for its mining-related programmes, UMaT offers students a balance of educational excellence and real-world experience. The current student population is 1,200. The minerals engineering department has 180 students.

UMaT strives to become a centre of excellence in Ghana and Africa for producing world-class professionals in the fields of mining, technology and related disciplines. The specific areas include mineral exploration, mining engineering, mineral processing and extractive metallurgy and environmental engineering.




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