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Metso Enters Into Collaboration with Academia

April 24, 2009
Metso is making a significant donation of equipment and services to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa, Ghana. This is expected to benefit current, as well as future, students of the Mineral Engineering department. The equipment, which is valued at $50,000, will be officially presented to the university on May 7 and will be installed in the laboratory of the department. 

The equipment will consist of a D12 complete flotation cell/scrubber, a Model 2000 4 x 6 in. jaw crusher, a Marcy 6-in. Gyroll cone crusher, a Denver vacuum filter, several Marcy pulp density scales, a Denver pulp density scale, a Denver 4 x 6 in. mineral jig, and all spares and operating manuals required to maintain the equipment.

Each machine or item offered is a sample from the laboratory equipment product line that Metso offers. With the exception of the mineral jig, which was made obsolete about five years ago, all of the equipment is brand new and currently part of the company’s product portfolio. A service agreement will also be entered into by the two parties.

Fifty copies of mineral processing textbooks will also be presented as part of the donation.

Metso will also launch the following on the same day: The annual best student award which consists of a cash price donation to the best mining and mineral engineering student starting from this year’s congregation; An annual ‘mining school’ to train and update the mining industry professionals and students in technological developments in the mining industry.

According to associate professor, Richard Amankwah, who is on the UMaT Planning Committee and also the Dean of the Engineering department, this donation has come out of initial discussions between Metso, represented by Mike Wallen, vice president-mining, Middle East and Northern Africa, Ronald Schonleitner, customer service-Europe, Middle East, Africa, Seth Quaye regional manager-Western Africa, and the mineral engineering department in July 2008. “David Renner, the managing director of AngloGold Ashanti’s Iduapriem mine, contacted Metso to discuss the possibility of forming an alliance with the department,” said Amankwah. “Because Mr. Renner is an industry partner of the department, we see this as a win-win situation for all concerned.” The Iduapriem mine accounts for about 20% of Metso-Ghana’s annual sales.

Amankwah points out that the Metso equipment will be valuable to the continuing progress of his department. “We are involved in research areas such as geometallurgy, biohydrometallurgy, microwave processing of minerals, and environmental biotechnology, monitoring, and management,” he says. “The equipment will assist us greatly in developing these areas and more importantly I see the department being abreast with technological advances through this collaboration.”

This donation will serve as an important link between the university and the mining industry. It not only demonstrates corporate social responsibility but also serves Metso’s future plans. Paul M. Heaton, services product manager, laboratory equipment and standard products, Metso – USA, points out that “we’ve placed our equipment in an everyday learning environment. When the student graduates and moves on to employment, they will recommend Metso to their employer for future equipment requirements. They can make firm decisions based on equipment with which they are already familiar.”

This view is reinforced by Raymond Ackabah, manager, mill lining systems and process technology support, Metso – Ghana. “Our alumni from the Mineral Engineering department are running processing plants and service laboratories in all mining centers in Africa,” he says. “These former students visit the school and liaise with lecturers so Metso would be introduced to them.”

“The department would like to be considered as Metso’s research arm in the African mining industry,” says Amankwah. “We would complement Metso with our broader vision of UMaT as the leading mining and minerals research institute in Africa.”

The relationship with UMaT is expected to boost Metso’s presence in Ghana further, especially since the company is currently the only one involved in such an undertaking. “Metso is making a contribution to the future,” says Ackabah. “With our commitment to the education of engineers, we are also raising confidence in customers who will ultimately order and use our products. They will become familiar with our local expertise in both operation and servicing of equipment they already have or intend to purchase.”

Amankwah sees this donation as a means of positively affecting recruiting efforts at UMaT. “Prospective students would be confident about the program, knowing that the department is affiliated with a world class mining, mineral processing, and instrumentation company. And, of course, it becomes easier for the company to recruit the best students for their projects in Africa and beyond.”

Metso is a global supplier of sustainable technology and services for mining, construction, power generation, automation, recycling, and the pulp and paper industries. It has over 29,000 employees in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.metso.com.