Prof.Dr. Muammer KAYA
Osmangazi University, Technological Research Center (TEKAM) Director
Eskisehir, Turkey
email:, tel: 00905324755061 or 0090222 2393750 ext: 3428
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is home of the largest mineral deposits as it
known and the future plans are increasing mining activities. If the Saudi
Geological Survey (SGS) wants to achieve its visions and missions in the
globalizing world, SGS must be competitive and perform significant research
and development (R&D) activities on site with well trained professionals.
Collaboration with Mining Industries and Universities at home and abroad are
necessary for a sustainable development. In order to explore, evaluate and
process natural mineral resources as early as possible, the SGS should have well
developed scientific and technical laboratories.
This report gives some successions in order to improve the capabilities of
Mineral Processing and Industrial Applications Department and Industrial
Applications Laboratory of the SGS.
Some of the recommended
equipments/devices can be purchased in short-term and some of them in longterm to enhance the capability of existing laboratories.
SGS, Jeddah, SA
November 2007
Mineral Processing and Industrial Applications Department
Mining Engineering in its broadest context is devoted to the extraction of raw
materials/minerals and solid fuels from the earth crust. The scope of mining
engineering/activities ranges from the exploration for a mineral deposit through the
finding, proving, developing, mining and mineral processing to marketing the
product. Each step requires a specialized knowledge of many branches of engineering
and sciences. Mining, being one of the primary industries of human civilization, will
continue to play a leading role in bringing prosperity to nations. The activities in
mining operation can be divided into three steps: prior to mining, during mining and
subsequent to mining.
Prior to mining, mineral deposits should be found (regional geology, geo-chemistry, geo-physics, drilling, sampling); proved (close drilling, shafting and tunneling, evaluation); planed (selection of mining method & facility requirements, design
and engineering) and opened&developed (shaft sinking&tunneling, stripping,
underground&surface construction).
During mining (breaking, loading, transportation and cost control), surveying, stability of excavations, design&engineering, maintenance, supply services, power, health
and safety, ventilation, water control and reclamation are important issues.
Subsequent to mining, mineral processing (i.e. conversion of mineral raw materials
to consumer products) and marketing (i.e. products for fabrication or other end uses)
are main operations.
Scope of mineral processing includes size reduction, classification, concentration,
beneficiation, mill&plant design, smelting&refining, environmental control etc.
Scope of marketing covers establishment of grades, standards&specifications,
material science&technology, properties&uses of mineral products and sales
At the Saudi Geological Survey, Department of the Mineral Processing and
Industrial Applications (MPIA) should concentrate on the mainly mineral
processing and also maybe marketing steps of mining activities. Department can
promote the development of mineral resources of the Saudi Arabia by providing
engineering knowledge, technology and training for the mineral industry
required by the growing mining industry
Mineral Processing and Industrial Applications Department of SGS should have
more personnel. It will be necessary to employ more Mining Engineers, Mineral
Processors, Chemical Engineers, Metallurgical Engineers and also some
Geological Engineers to concentrate on the mineral processing problems of S.
Arabia. I also believe that you may also need some technical and scientific
consultancy and advisory from other countries.
Mineral Processing and Industrial Applications Department is able to help to
develop some natural mineral resources in S. Arabia. Feasibility studies of
concentrators/mills, laboratory and/or pilot-plant scale tests for flow sheet
development, mass balance calculations, metallurgical performance
determinations with respect to grade and recovery, equipment sizing, selection
and costing, scale-up from laboratory scale to plant scale studies, concentrator
circuit design, simulation and modeling of unit operations, process automation
and control, plant economy, operating and investment costs calculation using
cost index.
Department should also study on energy requirements/savings, separation
technologies, open/closed circuit calculations, automatic process control and
modeling in mineral processing, new mineral processing equipment design
studies, mining/ quarrying waste recovery/evaluation and waste/scrap recycling
technologies (for mining, paper, plastic, metals and electronic wastes/scraps),
environmental issues/ codes for environment friendly mining operations and
environmental impact assessments in S. Arabian mines.
Also scientific research and development (R&D) work should be carried out
within the Department in the following major research fields; Mineral
processing fundamentals, mineral process engineering, tailings and effluent
management. mine environment, mine economics, reclamation & rehabilitation
The mission statement of the Department is devoted to pursuit and application
of best mining/mineral engineering knowledge for social, cultural, economic,
scientific and technological development of our society/nation and mankind
through achievements in developing sustainable mineral sources, research &
development, consultancy and community service that are of highest international standards.
In accordance with the above statement, the Mission of Department is to provide
education, research, technical advices and consulting pertinent to the science and
technology of mining engineering to the highest international standards. The
department endeavors to prepare projects on vitally important subjects that
provide safe, economical, efficient, environmentally and socially acceptable
mining and processing of mineral raw materials.
In pursuit of our mission, the department should adapt the following objectives:
Provide our staff with a broad foundation in basic sciences, and engineering
sciences needed to understand and quantify effectively the state-of-the-art
mining engineering applications by Professional Development Seminars,
Conferences and Short Courses.
Provide our staff with a creative and global view of the technical knowledge
pertinent to the wide spectrum of the mining engineering profession, with
emphasis placed on general principles, problem-solving fundamentals and design
techniques so as to develop within our staffs the ability to adapt themselves to
changing technologies and to achieve lifelong learning and professional growth.
Provide our staff opportunities through short courses to gain in-depth
knowledge in some technical fields of their own interest. Develop the ability of
our staffs to carry out projects and tests, collect and interpret data, and critically
report results through "hands-on" laboratory experiences.
Encourage our staffs to acquire computer skills in the areas of problem analysis,
design, and information technology for solving mining engineering problems.
Provide our staffs opportunities to develop effective written and oral communication skills, and to work effectively both individually and in a team.
Stimulate our staff awareness and appreciation for professional and ethical
responsibilities, health and safety features, societal concerns with regard to
environmental protection, sustainable development, and contemporaneous
broader issues facing the mineral industry.
Since S. Arabia is a rich country and has a very hot weather, it seems that most
of the personnel working at the SGS (government offices) are reluctant to work
hard. Since the business hours are 7:30 to 15:30 and weekends are on Thursday
and Friday (which are working days for most of the countries in the world),
effective working period in S. Arabia at the government offices seems to be low
as compared to other countries. It may be better for S. Arabia to change its
holidays from (Thursday and Friday) to (Friday and Saturday).
It seems that there is a very good relation between the staff of SGS. Most of the
staff are friendly, warm, shares everything without any expectation, cooperative,
traditional, related and open minded. But, religion has a very strong power in
people's life.
Like in any developing countries, there is need for promotion for the staff to
motivate them. All Middle Easter countries should have REWARD and
PENALTY system for employees. Hard working staff should get monetary
and/or moral rewards, while lazy/inactive staff should get penalty or even
firing/dismissal from the job. Reward and penalty systems are working very well
in the USA and generate competition between employees. Hard working staff
should be awarded by certificates, extra vacations, participation to the
International Conferences/Congresses/Seminars or even extra money for
It seems that there is another problem of over-employment at the SGS. At
crowded offices, people become more reluctant for work. It will be much better if
you have less people working at the SGS. But the staff should be selected for the
job; not the job selected for staff. Advancement in the job should be according
to experience, education, knowledge etc.
I believe that at the SGS, there is a need for training some of the personnel with
Professional Development Seminars or Continuing Education for lifelong
learning to initiate the competition between staff. If there is any demand for
scientific consulting and technical advising, I am and my University are always
ready to cooperate on all subjects in the future.