32nd SOMP Annual Meeting and Conference 2022

The Society of Mining Professors/Societät der Bergbaukunde (SOMP) is a vibrant Society representing the global academic community and committed to make a significant contribution to the future of the mineral’s disciplines. The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) co-hosted the 32nd Society of Mining Professors Annual Meeting and Conference at the Windhoek Country Club Resort, Windhoek, Namibia, from 8-14 September 2022.  The collaboration between the two institutes aimed at taking advantage of scientific, technical, academic and professional knowledge required to ensure a sustainable supply of minerals for mankind through learning, meeting people, world-class mining operations, professional development, enhancing knowledge and experiencing Namibia.  This signified SOMP’s commitment to broaden its global footprint and consolidate its position as a leading community of mining professors.

The conference was chaired by Assoc. Prof Harmony Musiyarira who was the nominated society president (2021-2022), and successfully fulfilled the responsibilities attached to this role with dedication and commitment steering the ship out of a stormy and unprecedented period characterized by the covid-19 pandemic.

The conference programme included adventurous moments like game driving, crocodile ranch visit, mine tours, Ministry of Mines and Energy Museum tour, Windhoek tour, NUST tour, cocktail functions as well as impactful presentations under the following headings: 

  • Importance of the capstone mine design and planning project in addressing graduate attributes for accreditation of mining engineering programmes in South Africa
  • Teaching sustainability in artisanal and small-scale gold mining
  • Educating world class engineers for the development of Mongolia
  • I+MC: Development and Implementation of a modern Mine Closure Course
  • Implementing the online teaching in universities during the COVID-19 pandemic: Experience and lessons from China
  • Introducing mining engineering to first-year students: The benefits of a digital uplift
  • Potential contribution of mining universities to improve the social license to operate
  • Multidisciplinary group project-based courses in mining engineering programme
  • Optimizing the production schedule for transition mines
  • Underground mine safety: An integrated approach for the course and personnel development
  • Future mining education using immersive visualization technologies
  • Developing a framework for blended teaching and learning to enhance the performance of students
  • Developing competitive and soft skills in mining engineering students: Mining games and mining competitions
  • Alignment of tertiary curricula and the needs of the mine of the future: a case study of the world’s top ten mining engineering schools
  • The expansion of mineral education in Southern Africa - an update
  • Influence of controllable factors affecting pre-split quality at Navachab Gold Mine
  • A comparison of discounted cash flow and Monte Carlo discounted cash flow valuation techniques on a gold mining Project
  • Compressive strength and controllable blasting parameters analysis for predicting muck-pile size and heave height at Husab Uranium Mine
  • The role of the pulp-froth/ water-air interface on particle detachment in froth flotation
  • Phytomining pollution at the Tsumeb smelter with the desert tamarisk tree, Tamarix usneoides
  • Raw materials for the energy transition in view of the Russia Ukraine war
  • A generic central information environment framework for mining operations: A plausible alternative
  • Development of an automated roof bolting machine for underground coal mines
  • The ultimate need for copper mining
  • Humanitarian Engineering Colombia: an initiative to provide `formation` to engineering students to serve historically underserved communities
  • Monitoring of land surface movements in a seismically active post-mining area during mine closure - a case study
  • Post-mining for a better future: The development of the research center for post-mining at the TH Georg Agricola University

Welcome remarks were addressed by Mr Z. Botha (SAIMM President) and Dr Erold Naomab (Vice-Chancellor NUST). Mr V. Malango (CEO Chamber of Mines) delivered an overview of Namibia mining. SOMP awards and recognitions (Tim Shaw, Michael Karmis, and the Emeritus Awards) were presented during the meeting. The SOMP flag was handed over to the newly elected president Prof. Oliver Langefeld who will host the 33rd Annual General Meeting in 2023 at Clausthal, Germany from the 10th Sept 2023 until the 15th of Sept 2023. 

In closing, Assoc. Prof Harmony Musiyarira highlighted that we are all conscious of Africa’s role in the global mining industry, particularly as a critical source of minerals and, even more importantly, a growing source of expertise for the same industry. While a lot still needs to be done on multiple fronts, ranging from conflict resolution, policy formulation, capacity development, mineral beneficiation, and access to technology, we remain resolute in building the necessary expertise to address all these issues in a sustainable and gradual manner.

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