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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Gold: Latest News: January 23rd 2009


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:: Mintek wins Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme Award

Mintek's Project AuTEK has been presented with a Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) Achievement Award in the "Advanced Hi-Technology" category. The prestigious award, which was presented to Mintek at a ceremony in Bloemfontein on 31 October 2008, was made for Project AuTEK’s work on the development of gold technology for application in catalysis, nanotechnology, and biomedical science.

One of AuTEK's greatest achievements is its success in capacity-building, particularly via collaborative projects with local and overseas universities.. Since its inception, AuTEK has seen the graduation of 11 PhD and 13 MSc candidates, and Mintek is currently supporting about 29 bursars for post-graduate studies.

Project AuTEK is a successful joint venture formed between Mintek and the three major South African gold mining companies - AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony Gold - to research and develop novel industrial applications for gold and represents a remarkable THRIP partnership," explained Dr Molefi Motuku, general manager of Research and Development of Mintek.

Now in its ninth year, AuTEK has achieved several notable breakthroughs, including:

  • Novel gold-based catalysts for environmental and industrial applications are being produced at pilot scale and marketed to potential end-users in conjunction with the World Gold Council;
  • In an initiative by the Department of Science and Technology, one of South Africa's two Nanotechnology Innovation Centres was instituted at Mintek in November 2007 to research mineral-based technologies for use in health and water nanotechnology applications; and,
  • The biomedical programme was recognised as one of eight biotechnology initiatives showing great promise for future development, successfully making it through the first round of the SA BIOPlan Competition, an initiative of the Innovation Fund and Emory University in the USA focused on the upliftment and investment in promising biotechnology initiatives.




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