Platinum 2010

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Fourth International Platinum Conference

'Platinum in Transition - 'Boom or Bust'

Sun City, South Africa, 11-14 October 2010

The Fourth International Platinum Conference follows on from the first three such events held two years apart.

Platinum 2010

Platinum mining in South Africa was for many years the younger brother of gold mining in South Africa.

Both industries have similar mining methods and require similar skills. Skilled people moved from one area to another as the health and profitability of one area improved over the other. Both industries have operated in a boom or bust mentality with operating costs continuously squeezing up against selling price of the product and hence cutting margins.

Early this decade things looked to be changing with platinum sales exceeding gold sales for the first time. This, together with the argument that platinum was a commodity rather than a store of wealth looked to create a more stable narrow reef mining environment.

Then in early 2008 there was a massive increase in the platinum price followed in late 2008 by a more massive decline in platinum price. We know that as a mining industry we have to change and progress but this boom or bust scenario generates the thinking that ‘when prices are low we cannot afford to change and when prices are high there is no need to change.

For Platinum in Transition—Boom or Bust the SAIMM is looking to promote change.

Firstly, to make the 2010 conference more inclusive with a ‘cradle to cradle’ approach to the platinum business and that means the business associated with all the minerals mined in association with platinum.

The conference will cover all aspects from exploration, feasibility studies, mine development, mining, metallurgy, customers and customer demands to recycling and interaction with society. Secondly, to learn from this latest boom and bust experience and through increased understanding continue to build a strong viable mining industry that will benefit all stakeholders.

Papers are invited that integrate the following topics:

  • Risk management and safety initiatives
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Impact of increasing cost of utilities
  • Exploration and ore body delineation
  • Project valuation and funding
  • Current and future mine design and layout
  • Current and future mining operations
  • Mineral processing, smelting, and refining
  • New technologies for mining and processing
  • Mining Charter and legislation
  • Platinum marketing, uses, and applications
The conference is planned to begin on 10 October 2010, to allow for some introductory social activities (on the Sun City golf course, for example) on the Sunday preceding the three-day conference. Post-conference plant visits will be arranged for those interested on Thurday 14 October.

Of significance to South African participants who are registered professional engineers, is the fact that this conference will provide 3 points towards the Continuing Professional Development that is required (as of 1 January 2006) to maintain registration with the Engineering Council of South Africa.

Further details and registration information can be found on the SAIMM website at'boom-or-bust/'

Copyright © 2006-2010, Rodney Jones,, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 22 April 2010)