The Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis (CIMERA), under the umbrella of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa was launched on the 24th April 2014. Although CIMERA is still in its formation stage, it has, nonetheless, organized and held its first scientific planning meeting. The meeting was attended by 20 geoscientists who reported on their current research activities, and their plans for further research under the CIMERA umbrella. Of particular significance is the Karoo Research Initiative (KARIN) that has already attracted interest from energy companies. The successful one-day meeting has fast-tracked CIMERA’s research focus as required of the CoEs, and CIMERA will soon disburse research grants after the formal research agreements are signed.
CIMERA is one of five prestigious CoEs that have been established this year, and is the first to be hosted by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) as co-host. The founding Director of CIMERA is Professor Nic Beukes of UJ who is an A-rated scientist, with Professor Judith Kinnaird, the Director of the Economic Geology Research Institute at Wits being the co-director. Professor Kinnaird is also the incumbent President of the prestigious Society of Economic Geologists, publisher of the renowned journal Economic Geology. CoEs are “virtual” research centres with inter-institution collaboration a vital cog in their functionality. CIMERA has Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University, the University of Fort Hare, the University of Venda and Pretoria University as founding research partners, and seeks further collaborators in the future as part of its sustainability mandate. Although research is the main objective of CIMERA, human resource training and development, information brokerage, networking with international institutions and service rendition to Government, business and civil society are important facets of its operation.
CIMERA’s research focus is the study of the origin, distribution and character of Earth mineral and fossil energy systems, with the aim of ensuring their sustainable utilisation, not only in South Africa, but throughout Africa as a whole. CIMERA goal is to serve as a central hub for research and human resource development in mineral and energy resource analysis in Africa. The research focus is of particular relevance to South Africa because of her vast mineral wealth. The country ranks top in resource concentrations of gold, chromium, manganese, fluorite, aluminoslicates, vanadium, zirconium and the platinum-group elements, as well as hosting world class deposits of iron, uranium, diamonds and coal. In addition, Africa has large untapped resources of bulk commodities such as iron, manganese and bauxite, and is largely under-explored for most other critical and valuable commodities. For further information, please contact Dr George Henry (CIMERA Administration Manager) at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 011 559 4715