Southside Thermal Sciences (STS) Ltd, London, UK, plans to begin final trials of its 'smart' thermal barrier coating (TBC) for online non-destructive inspection of gas turbines used in power generation and aircraft. The coating works by embedding the ceramic surface with rare earth ions that have a phosphorescent response under excitation light and will reveal information about temperatures at the surface and subsurface of the coating, as well as erosion and changes of phase composition.
Australia's minerals industry has seen the launch of numerous initiatives aimed at educating, recruiting and retaining high calibre personnel. The BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance has announced a three-year, 'Skills for Growth' package, and The Queensland Government Department of Education and Arts has launched a Minerals and Energy Academy aimed at encouraging high school pupils to take up careers in the minerals and energy sector. Rupal Mehta looks more closely at the skills shortage down under.
The Palabora copper mine in South Africa is using Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry to monitor ground subsidence. The engineering firm AMEC, working with the European Space Agency, tested the new technique, in which multiple satellite images of the same site can be combined to highlight slight changes in surface elevation.
The training benefits and positive experience gained by companies employing the Land Drilling NVQ are described. The NVQ is a properly structured training program that takes place on site and looks at health and safety and best practice.
Mining companies are reporting critical shortages of large, off-the-road tyres. The problem is affecting operations worldwide and is driven by the high demand for commodities of all types that are being consumed at ever-increasing rates and prices, with China leading the way.
Two news items cover the occurrence of an explosion at a privately-owned Chinese coal mine in Anhui which claimed 12 lives, and an agreement with Papua New Guinea which will allow teams of Chinese explorers to search the country for precious and base metals.
The Materials Knowledge Transfer Network, a new partnership between businesses, universities, and research and technology organisations to boost UK manufacturing, was inaugerated by Science and Innovation Minister Lord Sainsbury, on 19 January.
Diamonds are associated with luxury but this image lies in stark contrast to that of African rebel armies who target artisanal diamond mines to fund prolong civil war by trading in the revered stones. Kevin D'Souza of Wardell Armstrong reports on the Diamond Development Initiative. It has been launched by governments, NGOs and industry to help with regulation and empowerment.
The Hard Target Initiative was adopted by the Quarries National Joint Advisory Committee to reduce injuries in the quarry industry by 50% from 2000-2005. The committee comprises members from the Health and Safety Executive, trade unions and professional bodies. A 46% decrease in accidents has been achieved within four years through a number of strategic actions.