by Udo Rypstra, Wynand Roux

Electra Mining: Also a must for students

Exhibitions like the recent Electra Mining Africa show are not just for professionals

Manitou, one of the primary suppliers of material handling and lifting machinery, launched six new machines at the event.

Exhibitions like the recent Electra Mining Africa show are not just for professionals but also for students, says Wynand Roux, of the mining engineering department of the University of Pretoria, who showed many of his students around. This is his overview:

The 2012 Electra Mining Africa show, the biggest in the history of the event, was greeted with much enthusiasm by local and international industry professionals and exhibitors alike. When the show first started out in 1972 there were only 50 exhibitors and 1500 m2 of floor space.  It has grown significantly over the years, this year boasting over 800 exhibitors covering a total of 36 000 square meters and is ranked as the second largest mining show in the world. The show was held at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg from the 10 to 14th of September. 

Electra Mining showcases the very latest developments in not just the mining industry, but in the manufacturing, construction and machining industries as well. Its co-located shows; Machine Tools Africa 2012, Elenex Africa 2012 and Transport Expo 2012 attracts a wider audience and adds more value to the event. The show boasts more than 250 categories of products featured throughout the mining industry; such as mine design, safety, bulk materials handling equipment, manufacturing, construction, surveying, process control, electrical systems and many more.  

In general, the exhibitors at the show were very helpful, friendly and willing to spend time with people even if they are unlikely to buy their products. There are however a few exhibitions that stood out from the rest, with the most impressive being the exhibitions offering live demonstrations.

Machine Tools Africa 2012 showcased a lot of companies showing off Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines which include lathes, milling machines, water jet cutters, punches and laser cutters. Amada’s exhibits showed the capability of their CNC machines by machining souvenirs they produced on site with their various pieces of equipment.

Multotec, one of the South Africa’s leading manufacturers of mineral processing equipment featured their mineral spirals concentrators running four real mineral samples to show the capabilities of the spirals. They had product experts at hand to explain the intricacies of all of the products on display with a few new innovations regarding screening and tramp metal magnets.

A few companies exhibited mine vehicle simulators which drew in quite a large crowd. The most interesting of these simulators were from Immersive Technologies, which as their name states immerses you into the simulation with realistic controls and a motion feedback. 

Outside of the exhibition hall, most of the transport and earth moving equipment was set up. Manitou, one of the primary suppliers of material handling and lifting machinery, launched six new machines at the event. The highlight of their show was their live demo of a new 22.5 ton telescopic lifter that can be adapted for several applications applicable to the African mining industry.

There are too many exhibits to mention in one article so I encourage people to visit the next show in 2014, just make sure you wear comfortable shoes and take an entire day to ensure you don’t miss any of the exiting exhibitions. The show is not just for professionals, I suggest that students that plan on working in the mining industry visit the show since it’s a great learning experience.

 Wynand Roux was co-author of a case study:  Positron Emission Particle Tracking Inside a Laboratory Batch, published in a recent issue of Mining Prospectus. 

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