I have been involved with Mössbauer spectroscopy technology since 1991 at the then PU for CHE, currently the North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus, which entails the application of mineral and mineral studies. Several publications in international journals and conference presentations flowed from this work.
Since my research is mainly focused on coal, it was decided to use the Mössbauer technique at the North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus as well. By launching an investigation into the iron-bearing minerals in coal, various deductions can be made regarding the changes that the coal undergoes during weathering, gassing or burning.
Another mineralogical project that is done for mining institutions entails the identification of minerals and their change or transformation in lye processes or reduction processes. By means of Mössbauer analyses can be established which changes sulphite ore undergoes for the recovery of the base metals from the ore. The Mössbauer technique is unique in the sense that the different states of the iron show ion in the mineral, which in turn can be used to identify optimal mineral processing processes.
There is cooperation with several universities in the country as well as industry partners, which ensure that the Mössbauer technique is not just applied at the North-West University, but that other institutions can also make use of this facility. At the recently held ISIAME conference (International Symposium on the Industrial Application of the Mössbauer Effect) it was decided to host this quadrennial conference in South Africa, and I will act as organiser of this conference.