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Another technological leap as Mintek unveils AMAZEMET ultrasonic atomiser

Mintek, South Africa's national mineral processing and metallurgical research council, has unveiled its latest technological acquisition - the AMAZEMET rePowder ultrasonic atomisation and alloy development machine. This highly advanced equipment, the only one in South Africa, was presented to delegates from industry, led by Anglo American Platinum and included international industry partners.

Among these notable attendees were representatives from Platinum Guild International (PGI) India and PGI, China led by Fahmida Smith from Anglo American Platinum. PGI is a leading marketing organisation that seeks to develop the global platinum jewellery market. Also in attendance, from the United States, was Josh Helmich, CEO of Helmich Luxury Group, with a keen interest in patented platinum alloys and pioneering jewellery manufacturing technologies. The delegation also included representatives from the University of Pretoria, which is actively engaged in 3D-printed jewellery research.

The rePowder machine possesses the capability to process nearly any material, ranging from alloys with low melting points to those with high melting thresholds. This groundbreaking device produces high-quality metal powder with outstanding particle size distribution and flowability to a level of quality historically imported by South Africa. Its capacity to process small quantities represents a significant advancement for the industry, which allows processing of expensive precious metals.

Commenting on the acquisition, the CEO of Mintek, Dr Molefi Motuku, remarked that this acquisition is an indication of Mintek's commitment to establishing essential infrastructure for industrial development. "This acquisition represents a significant leap forward in our mission to empower South Africa's industries with cutting-edge technology as guided by our strategy. It addresses a longstanding need for high-quality metal powder production and exemplifies Mintek's unwavering dedication to fostering innovation in mineral processing and will be of great value to our partners and industry at large."

Speaking at the tour, Head of Physical Metallurgy at Mintek, Joseph Moema, emphasised the utility of the machine for the industry, "This is pivotal for Mintek, as it will benefit a wide array of industries, including glass, biomedical, aerospace, and jewellery. For instance, in the biomedical field, high-quality metal powder can be used to produce orthopaedic implants, dental prosthetics, and even drug delivery systems. These applications rely on precision and material quality, areas where our technology excels. It aligns with our strategy to foster minerals-based industries in South Africa by providing value-adding technologies and services, thereby expanding the minerals-based value chain.

We believe there are many prospects for forging a mutually beneficial partnership with industry across a diverse portfolio of metals."

Motuku further states that Mintek’s unveiling of the AMAZEMET machine signals a promising era of technological advancement in mineral technology for Mintek. “As industry leaders and innovators, we will continue exploring new and innovative features that contribute to strengthening the minerals-based industries in South Africa”, he concludes.