BIH endowment an innovatory collaborative BIUST research project proposal in mining technologies

The principal investigator Dr.Tirivaviri Mamvura

By: Tshegofatso Teseletso

Botswana International University of Science and Technology Dr. Tirivaviri Mamvura has been awarded a grant by the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) for the project on the “Extraction of Cobalt and Nickel from BCL slag metallurgical waste”. The grant amounts to BWP 650,000 and project implementation timeline is expected to be 17 months. The project shall be a joint effort with Prof. Freeman Ntuli (CoPI), Dr Thierry Betsi (CoPI) and Mr Tlotlo Gabasiane (PhD Candidate).

According to the principal Investigator, Dr.Mamvura this project is about recycling metallurgical waste. "We want to use the metallurgical waste as a raw material to extract base metals, our focus is on nickel (Ni) and cobalt (Co) and if possible rare earth elements (RRE)” said Dr.Mamvura. The fervent Dr. went on to emphasize that the aim of this initiative is reusing waste, reclaiming land, reducing water pollution, and enabling Botswana to attain UN’s Sustainable development goal where it achieves a circular economy.

Prof. Freeman Ntuli explained that his main role involves coming up with a process flow sheet for the leaching and recovery of Nickel and Copper as metallic powders from leach solution using reductive precipitation.

Dr. Mamvura delineated that Dr Betsi’s vast knowledge in mineral characterization background will help with completing this project successfully. "His key knowledge will allow the team to characterize the metallurgical waste, find possible and ultimately the best route to extract the metals we want”, said Dr.Mamvura. He also highlighted Mr Gabasiane is key in this project because his work so far in his PhD is along some of the areas that they will need to look at.

As an expert this award means that trust and faith has been put in me and my colleagues to set to achieve our goals”, said Dr.Mamvura. The revered team leader
went on to explain that this award came at the right time and it is already assisting in fulfilling the project goals, aim and objectives .”This success of this project will result in a more circular economy for Botswana where even metallurgical waste will be recycled to achieve value-added products” he said