The School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at Wits held a ceremony on the 7th November 2017 to mark the naming of the Peter King Minerals Processing Laboratory in recognition of the late Prof Peter King’s contribution to the mathematical modelling of minerals processing.

Peter King LabPeter King lab - Mrs Ellen King with her son Andrew, after the unveiling at the ceremony.

A Wits alumnus, Prof King was an accomplished metallurgist who served as the head of the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering for over a decade from 1976 to 1990 before accepting an appointment at the University of Utah in the USA. The lab-naming ceremony was attended by industry, many of Prof King’s former students, and guests of honour, his wife, Ellen and son, Andrew.

Wits Professor Sehliselo Ndlovu, president of the South African Institute of Mining Metallurgy, said the laboratory would ensure the continuation of Prof King’s vision. King was passionate about capacity building and world-renowned for developing useful techniques to quantify mineral liberation, said Ndlovu.

“Metallurgy is key to our economy. For more than 100 years, metallurgy at Wits has been inextricably linked to that of the mining industry,” he said. “Extractive metallurgy plays a critical in role maximising returns from the processing of mineral resources such as gold, platinum, coal, and so on.”

A well-equipped laboratory for teaching and research is essential to continue producing experts in minerals processing. The laboratory will be a dedicated, technology-intensive extractive metallurgy laboratory that serves to meet the needs of industry locally and internationally, through training undergraduate and postgraduate students in world-class facilities and by providing the tools necessary for high-level, applied research. The King family was amongst the first donors and donated R500 000 towards equipping the laboratory.

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