Dundee laboratory technicians get in-depth training

Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb laboratory technicians with Allan Fraser (centre), a South African natural scientist.

Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb (DPMT) recently had a two-week training session for its laboratory technicians.

The training was conducted by Allan Fraser, a South African Professional Natural Scientist from Allan Fraser. The training started on June 22 and ended on 30 June.
“DPMT’s laboratory is central to all smelting processes in the operation, for instance, when concentrate material arrives on site, a sample of the concentrate is taken to the laboratory for quantitative and qualitative analysis before it is introduced to the various processes, as the material moves through the plants, samples are taken to the laboratory to provide analytical data for process control and monitoring purposes and finally before we ship out our final product, copper blister, a sample is also taken to the laboratory for analysis, so it is fair to say, everything starts and ends at the laboratory,” said Caleb Mukono, the Senior Production Chemist for the laboratory.
“Therefore it is critical that the laboratory and its staff maintain a high level of competence, by continuously training it’s most valuable resources, the employees,” he added.
As part of skills development in the laboratory, DPMT Management invited Allan Fraser, a specialist in the field of Analytical Chemistry to conduct on-site training to the laboratory team on the following areas of interest: sample preparation, wet chemistry (acid digestions), Instrumental analysis, application ISO17025 in a testing laboratory and principles of Gold and Silver Fire Assay.
This training mainly targeted the analysts and sample preparation operators. One of the benefits of this training is that the team received exposure to some of the current best practices in analytical laboratories.
Mukono acknowledged the smelter management for the investment made through training of its employees, the training department and Laboratory management for ensuring the training was a success. He further acknowledged the laboratory technicians for the continuous energy and willingness to learn, and the passion for continuous improvement, cost consciousness and efficiency. Above all in terms of health, safety and environment the laboratory has had zero lost time injury year to date and we intend to keep it this way, thus still ensuring safe and healthy working conditions.
These training programmes are part of Dundee’s long term goal to become a world class facility. More than 200 Dundee Precious Metals employees have participated in a variety of external training programmes in recent years.
Dundee Precious Metals is located in Tsumeb. The smelter was constructed in the early 1960’s to process concentrate from the Tsumeb copper mine and is one of only five commercial-scale smelters in Africa.