Wits Mining School

Sampling award for Wits Mining School stalwart

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Professor Dick Minnitt (third from left), JCI Professor of Mineral Resources and Reserves at Wits University’s School of Mining Engineering, received the Pierre M Gy Sampling Gold Medal at the Eighth World Conference on Sampling and Blending 2017 in Perth, Australia. The award was sponsored by Australia’s government research agency CSIRO and the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM).

Photographed with Professor Minnitt are previous award winners: Professor Pentti Minkkinen (far left) from Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland; Dr Francis Pitard (second left) of Francis Pitard Sampling Consultants in the US; Professor Kim Esbensen (third right) of KHE Consulting in Denmark; Dr Dominique Francois-Bongarçon (second right), President of AGORATEK International Consultants in Canada; and Dr Ralph Holmes (far right), Chief Research Scientist at CSIRO Mineral Resources Australia.

The award – given in recognition of excellence in the teaching and application of the theory of sampling – celebrates the contribution of Paris-born chemist and statistician Pierre Maurice Gy, who had made huge strides in sampling theory since the mid-1900s. His work was driven initially by the need to be more exact in the sampling and valuation of minerals – to ensure the fairness of financial transactions in mined products.

Professor Minnitt teaches sampling theory at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at the Wits University School of Mining Engineering, and is busy writing a book on the subject – with Dr Pitard – which will be published by the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, (SAIMM).

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