Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy]]> vol. 123 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The Competent Person</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b><b>A Culture of Growth - How do we establish a culture of economic growth in South Africa?</b></b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Selling the family silver</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Review on the Book: State Governance of Mining, Development and Sustainability</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>A critical comparison of interpolation techniques for digital terrain modelling in mining</b>]]> Digital modelling of a surface is crucial for Earth science and mining applications for many reasons. These days, high-tech digital representations are used to produce a high-fidelity topographic surface in the form of a digital terrain model (DTM). DTMs are created from 2D data-points collected by a variety of techniques such as traditional ground surveying, image processing, LiDAR, radar, and global positioning systems. At the points for which data is not available, the heights need to be interpolated or extrapolated from the points with measured elevations. There are several interpolation/extrapolation techniques available, which may be categorized based on criteria such as area size, accuracy or exactness of the surface, smoothness, continuity, and preciseness. In this paper we examine these DTM production methods and highlight their distinctive characteristics. Real data from a mine site is used, as a case study, to create DTMs using various interpolation techniques in Surfer® software. The significant variation in the resulting DTMs demonstrates that developing a DTM is not straightforward and it is important to choose the method carefully because the outcomes depend on the interpolation techniques used. In mining instances, where volume estimations are based on the produced DTM, this can have a significant impact. For our data-set, the natural neighbour interpolation method made the best predictions (R² = 0.969, β = 0.98, P < 0.0001). <![CDATA[<b>The necessity of 3D analysis for open-pit rock slope stability studies: Theory and practice</b>]]> Geotechnical models developed during the planning stages of open pit mines are three-dimensional so as to capture the spatial variation in lithological, structural, hydrogeological, and geomechanical conditions. Geological models that describe the lithological and structural (faulting and folding) characteristics of a deposit are always 3D. Likewise, boreholes and piezometers used to develop geomechanical properties and groundwater models are drilled at spatial offsets across the deposit to understand the lateral and vertical characteristics. Yet when geotechnical analysis is completed, often the three-dimensional geological, hydrogeological, and structural models as well as geometrically complex 3D mine designs for optimizing economic mineral recovery and overburden removal are simplified to two-dimensional sections. In this paper we demonstrate that this simplification can lead to the wrong failure mechanism being identified, analysed, and/or a conservative factor of safety being calculated and hence an over-estimation of slope stability. Through case studies we show how three-dimensional analysis methods are more suited to rock slopes, particularly those with anisotropic material strength, when singularities such as geological faults are present, and nonlinear slope geometry. When the same slopes are analysed in two dimensions, the failure mechanism calculated is often fundamentally incorrect. The case studies further reveal that the factor of safety calculated in three dimensions is not always higher than the two-dimensional factor of safety. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of petrographically determined parameters on reductant reactivity in the production of high-carbon ferromanganese</b>]]> In pyrometallurgical processes, metal oxides are reduced from molten slag through carbothermic reduction. It is of interest to evaluate the reactivity of the carbonaceous materials towards substances such as slag. Characterization techniques such as coal petrography can provide insight into the influence of feed coal properties and how they potentially dictate reductant performance. This study aimed to compare the petrographically determined organic composition of coal to reductant reactivity. Two South African medium-rank C bituminous coals and one anthracite sample were investigated together with high-carbon ferromanganese industrial slag. The reductant reactivity tests were conducted at 1500°C in a muffle furnace to assess the potential of carbonaceous reductant in reacting with the main slag components. SEM-EDS was applied to understand the extent of MnO (and to a lesser extent, SiO2) reduction from the slag. Coal 2, consisting of a greater proportion of vitrinite (59.5 vol% on a mineral matter-free basis and 54.7 vol% including mineral matter) was the most reactive reductant. The anthracite sample, with the highest inert maceral proportions (71.8 vol% including mineral matter and 76.8 vol% on a mineral matter-free basis), was the least reactive reductant. <![CDATA[<b>Hyperspectral core scanner: An effective mineral mapping tool for apatite in the Upper Zone, northern limb, Bushveld Complex</b>]]> The technological advances in efficient, rapid, and non-destructive hyperspectral core logging systems for systematic mineral mapping have led to the discovery and exploitation of new mineral deposits Hyperspectral imaging in the long-wave infrared range has been recently used successfully to identify various phosphate-bearing minerals (monazite, xenotime, and britholite), with limited work on apatite associated with mafic-ultramafic layered intrusions. In this study we investigate the effectiveness of a hyperspectral imaging (HSI) system with long-wave infrared (LWIR) bandwidthsto identify apatite in the Upper Zone of the Bushveld Complex. The accuracy of the HSI results was validated by mineralogical and geochemical data. The two apatite-enriched zones detected by HSI suggesting widespread development of apatite throughout the uppermost 600 m of the Upper Zone. The lower apatite-enriched zone is approximately 40 m thick, while the upper apatite-enriched zone is about 23 m thick, consistent with previous thickness determinations by traditional logging and analytical methods. Spectral mixing observed in the response of apatite is ascribed either to the common association of apatite and olivine in these rocks, or to differences between the spatial resolution of the hyperspectral image and the size of apatite grains. The VNIR-SWIR wavelength region did not show prominent spectral features of apatite. Nonetheless, HSI in the LWIR range is effective in mapping apatite and should therefore be considered as an exploration tool. This research advances our knowledge of the reflectance spectroscopy of REE-bearing minerals, which makes it easier to detect, identify, and quantify REE-bearing silicate minerals by HSI. <![CDATA[<b>Material characteristics of Ti-6AL-4V samples additively manufactured using laser-based direct energy deposition</b>]]> Although additive manufacturing is fast gaining traction in the industrial world as a reputable manufacturing technique to complement traditional mechanical machining, it still has problems such as porosity and residual stresses in components that give rise to cracking, distortion, and delamination, which are important issues to resolve in structural load-bearing applications. This research project focused on the characterization of the evolution of residual stresses in Ti-6Al-4V extra-low interstitial (ELI) additive-manufactured test samples. Four square thin-walled tubular samples were deposited on the same baseplate, using the direct energy deposition laser printing process, to different build heights. The residual stresses were analysed in the as-printed condition by the neutron diffraction technique and correlated to qualitative predictions obtained using the ANSYS software suite. Good qualitative agreement between the stress measurements and predictions were observed. Both approaches revealed the existence of large tensile stresses along the laser track direction at the sections that were built last, i.e., centre of the top layers of the samples. This in addition leads to large tensile stresses at the outer edges (corners) which would have the effect of separating the samples from the baseplate should the stresses exceed the yield strength of the material. Such extreme conditions did not occur in this study, but the stresses did lead to significant distortion of the baseplate. In general, the microstructures and spatial elemental mapping revealed a strong correlation between the macro-segregation of elemental V and the distribution of the β-phase in the printed parts. <![CDATA[<b>Determination of the erosion level of a porphyry copper deposit using soil geochemistry</b>]]> As exploration is time-consuming, costly, and risky, determination of the erosion surface of a metalliferous deposit before geophysical surveying and exploration drilling might be very helpful. Geochemical haloes can be used to determine whether the erosion surface is supra-ore or sub-ore and thus reduce the risk of exploration operations. The aim of this investigation is to determine the erosion surface of the North ROK porphyry deposit (NRPD) in northwestern British Columbia in Canada using linear productivity (LP), which is the content of an element defining the halo multiplied by the width of the halo. A total of 2045 soil samples from the B horizon were analysed using ICP-MS for 36 elements, including Cu, Mo, Pb, Zn, Au, As, Ag, Ni, Co, Fe, and Mn. The data-set was snalysed to obtain the statistical parameters and the elements Cu, Mo, Pb, and Zn were chosen to calculate the linear productivity and the total linear productivity. These four elements were modelled using probability plots to identify and separate subpopulations in terms of anomalous haloes and background, including the threshold values of each subpopulation. The results of the probability plot modelling and thresholds values were then used to map the distribution of each element in a GIS to calculate the linear productivity. The total linear productivity indicated that the erosion surface is supra-ore. Finally, a 3D orebody model of the Cu, Mo, Pb, and Zn distributions was constructed using borehole data and used to validate the results.