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The 31st APCOM (Application of Computers in the Minerals Industries) recently concluded in Cape Town. The event was hosted by the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. The organizing committee, headed by Dr Ferdi Camasani-Calzolari and ably supported by SAIMM, set new standards in how to run an international event. The conference attracted almost 200 delegates, and in keeping with its international status, delegates came from 19 countries. APCOM has a proud history, having first been held in the United States over 40 years ago. Despite the fact the computers have long ceased to be novel in the mining industry, the Conference series continues enthusiastically, with commitments already in place for the next three APCOMS. This is because APCOM continues to be both a forum for new ideas and a great international gathering where lasting associations are made.
APCOM 2003 was special because the event was held in honour of a great man and great scientist (if that is the correct term in this case), Professor Danie Krige. Professor Krige has achieved many distinctions. Two of these are his pivotal role in establishing the discipline of geostatistics in the early 1950s and his membership and leadership of the APCOM Conference series for well over 30 years. In recognition of the occasion, the SAIMM produced a CD containing a selection of papers published by Professor Krige over 50 years. As always, Danie was a vigorous technical participant in the Conference.
The Conference featured 80 papers which are available in both printed volume and CD from SAIMM. The Krige collection CD is also available. APCOM has long been known for its sessions on geostatistics, mine planning, investment planning, orebody modelling and process control and these topics were again to the fore. APCOM always provides a venue for the new developments. On this occasion, there were papers on virtual reality, neural network applications and health and safety issues. The conference concluded with a session which explored the use of E-learning as one means of addressing the growing educational challenges facing the universities and the industry alike.
APCOM continues as a vigorous and viable conference series because it provides a venue for technical papers and presentations of high quality across a range of minerals related topics. Those attending will always find something new in their own area of specialization as well as gaining exposure to related topics. APCOM Conferences also benefit from the different approaches of organizing committees which result from the ever changing host countries.
Don McKee, Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, Australia. Email: email@example.com
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