Teddy Malunga, principal process engineer at Weir Minerals Africa
By giving its personnel the ‘big picture’ of minerals processing, the Weir Minerals Mill Circuit University ensures that customers benefit from a broader, solution-focused approach.
“Offering sustainable solutions to the minerals processing sector – rather than just products – needs insight and understanding of the operational context,” says Teddy Malunga, Principal Process Engineer at Weir Minerals Africa. “The Mill Circuit University gives our customer-facing staff knowledge of the full circuit, as well as where our various products make their specific contributions.”
This has become a vital aspect of the modern mining industry, as customers look increasingly for technology partners who can offer and support integrated solutions, says Malunga. He highlights that Weir Minerals Africa’s comprehensive offering covers processing stages from crushing, grinding, classification, separation and rubber lining to slurry transportation, mine dewatering systems and tailings management.
“The Mill Circuit University ensures that we all grasp the full range of minerals processing fundamentals in addition to our particular product specialisations,” he says. “This allows us to understand the client’s processes better, and collaborate more easily across our own process, CIP, engineering, supply chain and projects departments.”
Holding five-day courses three times a year, the Weir Minerals Mill Circuit University in the Africa and Middle East region enrols about 25 candidates per course. They learn from both internal and external presenters, and are familiarised with plant processes and Weir Minerals products.
The involvement of the University of Pretoria in the minerals processing component of the course adds a special value, including the award of continuous professional development (CPD) points. Course attendees also benefit from a visit to the university’s Department of Material Science and Metallurgical Engineering, which provides more practical insights.
“We also see the value in sharing a range of ‘soft skills’ in our courses,” he says. “This includes communication skills, neuro-linguistic programming and relationship building.”
An important aspect of the course is to empower Weir Minerals Africa personnel to understand the needs of customers more clearly and focus on their key performance indicators (KPI) like plant availability, throughput and recoveries. These factors are then included in the process of identifying the appropriate products and designing solutions that meet the sustainability needs of our clients.