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:: Young Metallurgists Carve Their Place in the Anglo Family
They say engineering-types see solutions where everyone else sees a problem. This is exactly what happened after young metallurgists in AngloGold Ashanti's South Africa Region (SAR) began to find themselves alienated from their peers around the world and feeling uncertain about their career development within the broader Anglo group.
Instead of writing a poem about it and burning incense, they drafted a proposal document with a solution (logo, acronym and all) and sent it to their seniors. This is how the Junior Interdivisional Metallurgist's Colloquium (JIMEC) came to be. The idea behind it was to establish an interactive and interdisciplinary platform for knowledge sharing.
According to the main organisers of the event, Marjorie Ngwenya (Metallurgical Engineer) and Hansie Van Vreden (Plant Production Superintendent), the idea came to them after being invited to attend an annual Senior Metallurgy Conference in October 2004.
The first JIMEC was held at the Park Hyatt hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg between 7 and 9 September 2005.
Head of Metallurgy at Anglo American, Paul Dernpsey. welcomed the delegates and gave them an overview of Anglo American plc. "Although AngloGold Ashanti hosted the first conference, the idea is that the venue will rotate around the different regions and countries in order to preserve its international flavour", he said.
The five divisions (AngloGold Ashanti, Anglo Base Metals, Anglo Coal, Anglo Platinum and Anglo Research) were each represented by six metallurgists from operations in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Ireland, Mali, Namibia, South Africa and Venezuela. Two delegates from each division presented academic papers in their disciplines on the first day of the conference.
AngloGold Ashanti's Johan Steyn (Manager-in-Training: SAR) received the Best Presentation Award for his paper on "Gold Electrowinning: Strategies to obtain easily removable gold precipitates".
Basie Maree, who heads up AngloGold Ashanti's metallurgy in the South Africa Region, said the conference is "the proof of the pudding - the delivery of a promise, which shows that the division is serious about the development of young talent." According to Basie, the event was meant to benefit youngsters and to make them feel like part of the bigger Anglo family. "It is also an opportunity for the young metallurgists to get to know their international colleagues and the networking and sharing of ideas will definitely stand them in good stead in the future", he added.
On Day 2, delegates toured the Mponeng Cold Plant in the West Wits, where they were taken through the different sections, including the Smelt house for a gold pour. A familiarisation visit to the Anglo Research Crown Mine Campus in the South of Johannesburg concluded the conference.
From left: Paul Dempsey (head of Metallurgy- Anglo American pcl), Marjorie Ngwenya (Metallurgical Engineer), Basie Maree (Head of Metallurgy- AngloGold Ashanti), Hansie Van Vreden (Plant Production Superintendent) and Greg Donoghue (Plant Manager)
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