The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s (SAIMM) Western Cape Branch held a national conference on 3 – 4 August 2017 at Philippi Village, Cape Town. Over 100 delegates attended the conference over the two days it was held. Philippi Village, which is an entrepreneurial business centre constructed in what was a cement factory, was an appropriate place for the conference, which was aimed at providing a platform for young researchers to showcase their talent under the conference theme ‘Resourcing the Future’. Four plenary speakers gave addresses covering the importance of mineralogy in mining, energy utilisation, discovery of new platinum deposits in Limpopo, and sustainability in mining and the future generations. The organising committee comprised of postgraduate students, of whom Janco Strydom from the Department of Process Engineering was the Treasurer.
Postgraduate students from the Department of Process Engineering presented eight of the 41 presentations at the conference. All the speakers gave outstanding presentations. Christiaan Coetzee, a master’s student at the Department, won the prize for ‘best poster overall’ for his poster titled “Characterizing the role of organic additives in copper electrowinning”. The award was handed over by Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Internationalisation at the University of Cape Town. At the conference dinner Marzahn Theart, an alumni from the Department of Process Engineering who now works for Arcelormittal, received the prize for the best mineral processing final year student in 2016.