Michael Valenta - Managing Director

BSc (Eng) Metallurgy, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1990
Diploma, Project Management, Damelin Business School, 1997
Professional Affiliations
Professional Engineer: South Africa – Reg. no. 970402
Professional Engineer: International Register (Washington Accord) – Reg. no. 200360005
Past President and Council Member, Mine Metallurgical Managers’ Association
Fellow : Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Summary of Experience
• Planning and management of metallurgical test work from laboratory to pilot plant to full-scale operations;
• Experience in the beneficiation of Platinum, Gold, Copper, Nickel, Zinc, Lead, Uranium, Phosphate,
Graphite, etc.;
• Modelling and simulation of metallurgical processes. Development and application of mass balancing and
simulation tools;
• Operation and management of milling and flotation concentrators in Platinum Group Metal, Base Metal,
Gold and Industrial Mineral Applications. Introduction of control systems and Scada systems on
Brownfields operations. Installation, operation and calibration of on-line analysis equipment and on-line
particle size indicators. Plant design and unit selection for plant expansions;
• Design and development of plant information systems from instrumentation level integrating through
Scada, Production Information Management Systems to executive Enterprise Resource Systems;
• Senior management experience as Production Manager of a Platinum Refinery. Introduction of control
systems to batch processes. Inventory management, Process development. Environmental management.
Responsible for overall production function on a complex metallurgical complex encompassing mineral
processing, hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes. Introduction of new technology (ion
exchange and solvent extraction) and novel processes to plant replacing existing processes;
• Consulting Metallurgist on various concentrator projects including Platinum, Gold, Copper, Nickel,
Phosphate, Zinc, Lead, Iron Ore, Coal, etc. Due diligence studies, technical reviews and various peer
reviews of plant designs and operating strategies. Projects include both African and South American
• Operational Consulting on various Mineral Processing Plants;
• Client representative on research projects, interacting with various research organizations, data review and
process design.


Relevant Experience  
Mintek, Randburg, South Africa. Senior Metallurgical Engineer. Various clients. Operation of a milling and flotation pilot plant for Platinum Group Metals, Base Metals, Industrial Minerals and Gold. Plant optimization on Concentrators
Lonmin Platinum, Marikana, South Africa. Concentrator Superintendent. Management and operation of a platinum group metals concentrator
Western Platinum Refinery, Lonmin Platinum, South Africa. Production Manager. Project management, Production management, Senior management. Process optimization. Introduction of control systems to batch processing. Introduction of new and innovative processes (ion exchange and solvent extraction) to replace existing processes. Introduction of new automated technology to replace laborious and costly technology.
Hatch Africa, Woodmead, Johannesburg, South Africa. Consulting Metallurgist. Operations Consulting, Project Manager, Consultant on EPCM projects.
Metallicon Process Consulting, Hartbeespoort, South Africa. Managing Director. Consulting to the mineral industry. Process optimization, peer review, client representative, feasibility studies, due diligence, audits, plant design, process design, new ventures.
Career History  
2005 – Current Metallicon Process Consulting (Pty) Ltd, Managing Director
2003 – 2005 Hatch Africa (Pty) Ltd., Woodmead, South Africa.  Consulting Metallurgist
2000 – 2003  Western Platinum Refinery, Lonplats, Brakpan, South Africa. Production Manager
1999 – 2000 Strategic Services, Lonplats, Marikana, South Africa. Project Manager : Metallurgical Information Systems
1994 – 1998  Karee Concentrator, Lonplats, Marikana, South Africa. Concentrator Superintendent.
1991 – 1994 Mintek, Randburg, South Africa.  Senior Engineer
Technical Papers  
• The development of a transformation function for the measurement of volumetric grade distribution using a
Scanning Electron Microscope;
• The modelling of flotation and the effect of entrainment on flotation circuits;
• Paper presented to industry at an Amira Collaborative Research Venture (CRV) workshop on the selection,
operation and maintenance of flotation cells;
• The development of a flotation control system for the feed-forward control of cell pulp levels;
• “Designing for Operability”, Design Colloquim, Cape Town, 2005 (published in SAIMM Journal);
• “Evaluation of Entrainment in Flotation within a Mechanistic Framework”, Minerals Processing
Conference, Cape Town, 2005
• “Balancing of the Reagent Suite”, Reagents Conference, Cape Town, 2006;
• “Quantifying the effect of entrainment in mineral flotation using a mechanistic model”, Flotation
conference, Cape Town, 2007;
• “The application of flotation test work to plant design and operation”, presented at Mintek 75 anniversary,
Randburg, 2009;
• “Application of fundamentals in optimising platinum concentrator performance”, Platinum 2010
conference, 2010.
Professional Development  
• Plant Design colloquium, 1991, SAIMM• Application of Simulation in Minerals Processing, 1992, Wits
• Minerals Processing Conference, Cape Town, 1996-2005, SAIMM
• Mineral Engineering Conference, Cape Town, 1999
• Plant Design for Optimum Performance Colloquium, 2005
• Reagent Conference, Cape Town, 2006
• Flotation Conference , Cape Town, 2007
• IMPC 2008, Beijing, 2008
• Base Metal Conference, 2011
• Chairman and member of the Editorial Sub-committee, Mine Metallurgical Managers’ Association,
• Chairman and member of the Seminar Sub-committee, Mine Metallurgical Managers’ Association,
English, Afrikaans, Zulu, German  
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