Sometimes the grandest of designs have the most unassuming exteriors. Our intrepid group of young engineers found this to be true in more ways than one when we pulled up to the industrial area which Metanza Mineral Processing shares with a number of other industrious entrepreneurs. The brick buildings which populated the vicinity did nothing to betray the technological and intellectual marvels contained therein. Metanza was founded in 2007 and has become a well-established engineering consultancy and a specialist in outsourced engineering solutions. While the business is young, it was founded by a senior management and executive team made up of individuals with an extensive expertise in metallurgical and mineral process engineering who yearned to escape the drudgery of office management in favor of further advancing their fields from the front lines.
As we were warmly welcomed into an introductory presentation about the company and its mission, it readily became apparent that the technology we were privileged to learn about and query was so much more than its initial impression related. While we had all had some experience or at least some familiarity with ore sorting technologies, particularly with regards to dense media separation (DMS), we were both impressed and initially surprised by the robustness of Metanza's proprietary technology which utilizes X-Ray Florescence (XRF) to analyze a feed of crushed ore and to supply a sorting heuristic with instructions acted upon by actuated paddles which physically "kick" materials of interest apart from the gangue with a degree of accuracy considerably greater than that of traditional DMS technologies. This was substantiated in the presentation with an overwhelming number and variety of real-world applications across several ores and minerals of interest. Metanza's technologies robustness comes in part from the modular nature of its systems, but principally from the site-specific design and customer tailored support provided by its resident experts, both during implementation and downstream, with guarantees of product quality delivered to clients that stunned a few in the audience.
To conclude, we all left Metanza feeling considerably enriched (and well fed!). But even this had a deeper richness to it that we had not initially anticipated. While we learned a great deal about the potential of new technologies and the need for tailored solutions to achieve optimum value in any mining project, the greatest wisdom imparted to us was of a broader nature. Out esteemed guide extolled in us the importance of questioning the status quo in industry as well as ourselves. To strive to be honorable in our business dealings as well as in our lives. And, though some might find this peculiar, we were encourage to read and learn as much as we could outside the field of engineering. The solutions of the future will require solutions that the systems of the day cannot yet conceive, and we as the new guard are responsible for being thoughtful human beings who work in engineering, and not merely professionals of a single dimension. Our sincerest thanks to everyone at Metanza!
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