UON and Wits University join together

Under an agreement between the University of Newcastle and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) in Johannesburg, the expertise of TUNRA Bulk Solids (TBS) is cementing its international reach with the launch of TUNRA Bulk Solids Africa (TBSA) – the only extensive bulk solids testing facility of its kind in Africa.

Established by the University in 1975, TBS is a world-leader in bulk solids, conveying and storing technologies. The new partnership provides clients in Southern and Central Africa the opportunity to tap into this unique and comprehensive expertise.

“Africa, as one of the world’s primary minerals supply regions, is an obvious first choice for TBS’s international expansion,” TBS Director Professor Mark Jones said.

“We have offered our services in southern Africa for many years and this market has grown to such an extent that it warranted the establishment of a company in South Africa to take full advantage of these opportunities.”

Historically, the UoN and Wits have enjoyed a close relationship with both recognised internationally for their strengths in engineering and related disciplines. As a result, the joint venture to form TBSA is a not-for-profit company run on a commercial basis under license from TBS. TBS is a division of Newcastle Innovation, the commercial arm of the UoN.

“As both companies are embedded within universities, the training of post-graduate students in the field of bulk solids handling is of great importance, as these students are the industry’s future experts,” Professor Jones, who is also Head of the School of Engineering at the UoN, said.

The TBSA Laboratory, launched in October 2012, operates out of the Centre for Mechanised Mining Systems (CMMS) at Wits and offers independent comprehensive laboratory test facilities and conceptual design capabilities to aid research and consulting activities.

“TBSA is the leader in providing conceptual solutions to any bulk materials related task or problem that may occur in mines or plants,” Professor Jones said.

“Through its technical expertise, TBSA plays a major role in assisting industries to operate efficiently and thereby maintain and advance their competitive edge.”

Clients who will derive crucial value from TBSA include the mining, mineral processing, metallurgical and power-generating industries: bulk handling equipment design companies; consultancy firms operating in these fields; shipping and transportation companies; and any companies where bulk solids handling forms part of their manufacturing processes.

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