South Africa and Norway both have strong industries focusing on metal production. South Africa has major raw material reserves utilized in the production of manganese ferroalloys and ferrochromium (amongst others). Norway has a strong standing when it comes to renewable energy, and has subsequently developed a related metal production industry which is at the forefront technologically. Presently, the two countries are at the forefront of research and development related to the afore-mentioned research areas. Closer cooperation in the research fields would benefit both countries significantly.

There has been contact between research institutions in these two countries for a long time. Prof. Merete Tangstad supervised a PhD student from the University of Pretoria, now at MINTEK (Dr Joalet Steenkamp). Under her directive, two masters exchange students – one from MINTEK (Buhle Xakalashe, 2 years) and one from NTNU (Håvard Mølnås, 6 months) – spent time in the respective host countries. She also was the main presenter at the 1st and 2nd Schools on Manganese Ferroalloy Production, hosted by the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) in 2012 and 2016 respectively. Dr Joalet Steenkamp was the chairman of the organizing committees of both of these events. In addition, NTNU/SINTEF has had industrial cooperation with industrial partners in South Africa for many years. There have also been people staying at NTNU for shorter time periods, contributing to, and attending, courses at NTNU within Metal production. In the northern hemisphere fall of 2015, a PhD student from NWU stayed at NTNU for approximately 4 weeks and Dr. J.P. Beukes (NWU) also visited NTNU in the same period.

For more information on the two Schools for Manganese Ferroalloy Production hosted in South Africa, refer to the respective chairman’s reports:

Whilst on exchange to South Africa in 2011, Håvard Mølnås wrote a travelogue describing his experiences on a personal and professional level.

Copyright © 2017, Joalet Steenkamp, Randburg, South Africa (Last updated on 12 September 2017)