Department of Electrical and Mining Engineering

Prof F Mulenga

College of Science, Engineering and Technology
School of Engineering
Department: Electrical and Mining Engineering
Associate Professor
Tel: 011 471 2692
E-mail: mulenfk@unisa.ac.za

Qualifications

  • BEng in Mining Engineering, University of Lubumbashi, 2003
  • MSc(Eng) in Minerals Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, 2009
  • PhD in Minerals Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, 2013

NRF Rating

Y2

Fields of academic interests

  • Comminution (Blasting, Crushing, and Milling)
  • Engineering Simulations (Discrete Element Modelling and Computational Fluid Dynamics)
  • Surface Mine Design and Planning (Surface Mining, Scheduling, Pit optimisation)

Field of Specialisation

  • Comminution
  • Minerals Engineering

Journal articles

Selected Journals

Mulenga, F.K., Mwashi, A.M.M., 2018. An attainable region approach to the determination of the run-of-mine size distribution for optimal downstream processing. Society of Mining Professors 6th Regional Conference 2018, Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre, Johannesburg, 12 – 13 March 2018, The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, accepted

Mulenga, F.K., 2018. An attainable region perspective on the role of residence time distribution in the efficient operation of tumbling mills. Powder Technology, accepted

Lusambo, M., Mulenga, F.K., 2018. An empirical model of the recovery response of the Copper sulphide circuit at the Kansanshi mine. The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Conference contribution, accepted abstract

Mulenga, F.K., 2017. Sensitivity analysis of Austin’s scale-up model for tumbling ball mills – Part 3. A global simulation using the Monte Carlo paradigm. Powder Technology, vol. 322, pp. 195 – 201

Mulenga, F.K., 2017. Effects of slurry hold-up on the pool volume of a batch mill. Minerals Engineering, vol. 111, pp. 124 – 130

Mulenga, F.K., 2017. Sensitivity analysis of Austin’s scale-up model for tumbling ball mills – Part 2. Effects of full-scale milling parameters. Powder Technology, vol. 317, pp. 6 – 12

Mulenga, F.K., 2017. Sensitivity analysis of Austin’s scale-up model for tumbling ball mills – Part 1. Effects of batch grinding parameters. Powder Technology, vol. 311, pp. 398 – 407

Mulenga, F.K., Mkonde, A.A., Bwalya, M.M., 2016. Effects of load filling, slurry concentration and feed flowrate on the attainable region path of an open milling circuit. Minerals Engineering, vol. 89, pp. 30 – 41

Mulenga, F.K., Mwashi, A.M.M., 2016. Preliminary assessment of the comminution circuit of the Kambove concentrator, Democratic Republic of Congo. New technology and innovation in the Minerals Industry colloquium, Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, 9 – 10 June 2016, The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, pp. 113 – 124

Mulenga, F.K., Bwalya, M.M., 2015. Application of the attainable region technique to the analysis of a full-scale mill in open circuit. Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, vol. 115, no. 8, pp. 729 – 740

Chimwani, N., Mulenga, F.K., Hildebrandt, D., Glasser, D., Bwalya, M.M., 2015. Use of the attainable region method to simulate a full-scale ball mill with a realistic transport model. Minerals Engineering, vol. 73, pp. 116 – 123

Chimwani, N., Mulenga, F.K., Hildebrandt, D., 2015. Ball size distribution for the maximum production of a narrowly-sized mill product. Powder Technology, vol. 284, pp. 12 – 18

Mulenga, F.K., Moys, M.H., 2014. Effects of slurry filling and mill speed on the net power draw of a tumbling mill. Minerals Engineering, vol. 56, pp. 45 – 56

Bwalya, M.M., Moys, M.H., Finnie, G.J., Mulenga, F.K., 2014. Exploring ball size distribution in coal grinding mills. Powder Technology, vol. 257, pp. 68 – 73

Mulenga, F.K., Moys, M.H., 2014. Effects of slurry pool volume on milling efficiency. Powder Technology, vol. 256, pp. 428 – 435

Chimwani, N., Mulenga, F.K., Hildebrandt, D., Glasser, D., Bwalya, M.M., 2014. Scale-up of batch grinding data for simulation of industrial milling of platinum group minerals ore. Minerals Engineering, vol. 63, pp. 100 – 109

Mulenga, F.K., Chimwani, N., 2013. Introduction to the use of the attainable region method in determining the optimal residence time of a ball mill. International Journal of Mineral Processing, vol. 125, pp. 39 – 50

Chimwani, N., Glasser, D., Hildebrandt, D., Metzger, M.J., Mulenga, F.K., 2013. Determination of the milling parameters of a platinum group minerals ore to optimize product size distribution for flotation purposes. Minerals Engineering, vol. 43 – 44, pp. 67 – 78

Katubilwa, F.M., Moys, M.H., 2009. Effect of ball size distribution on milling rate. Minerals Engineering, vol. 22, no. 15, pp. 1283 – 1288

Katubilwa, F.M., Moys, M.H., Glasser, D., Hildebrandt, D., 2011. An attainable region analysis of the effect of ball size on milling. Powder Technology, vol. 210, no. 1, pp. 36 – 46

Katubilwa, F.M., Moys, M.H., 2011. Effects of filling degree and viscosity of slurry on mill load orientation. Minerals Engineering, vol. 24, no. 13, pp. 1502 – 1512

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

Professional Affiliations

  • Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
  • South African Institution of Chemical Engineers/Institution of Chemical Engineers

Awards

  • 2009 Exceptional Student Award, University of the Witwatersrand
  • 2014 Principal’s Award for Excellence in Research, University of South Africa
  • 2016 – 2021 NRF Incentive Funding for Rated Researchers
  • 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, University of South Africa

Projects

Completed Projects

  • Ndhlala, B., 2017. Modelling, simulation and optimisation of a crushing plant. Magister Technologiae dissertation, University of South Africa
  • Nawej, M.C., 2016. Evaluation of virtual private network impact on network performance. Magister Technologiae dissertation, University of South Africa
  • Molepo, I.K., 2016. Data acquisition system for pilot mill. Magister Technologiae dissertation, University of South Africa

Current Projects

  • Ndhlala, B., A control model for the optimisation of ball milling circuits based on internal process behaviour. PhD project started in 2018
  • Nkomo, F., A multi-physics model for the numerical simulation of wet ball mills. PhD project started in 2018
  • Dikgwathle, I., Developing a framework for classification of strategic and critical minerals in South Africa. PhD project started in 2018
  • van der Walt, W.J., Characterisation of the blast damage zones during overburden removal for the conservation of coal as an energy resource. PhD project started in 2018
  • Dlamini, M.T.B., Construction of the attainable region candidates under down-stream size constraints. MTech project started in 2017
  • Makgoale, D.M., Effect of rotational speed on the milling kinetics of a laboratory batch mill. MTech project started in 2017
  • Lusambo, M., An integrated model of milling and flotation for the optimal recovery of sulphide ores at the Kansanshi mine. MTech project started in 2017
  • Mutunda, A., A predictive model of concrete corrosion due to sulphuric acid using artificial neural networks. MTech project started in 2017
  • Ngobeni, T.F., Empirical prediction model of the total methane emission rate around a coal cutting heading. MTech project started in 2017
  • Kamba, K.C., Multiphysics simulation of the load behaviour of a laboratory mill using LIGGGHTS. MTech project started in 2018
  • Khodumo, M.M., Reconstruction of the feed size distribution to a crusher from its product for use in surface mine blasting applications. MTech project started in 2018
  • Malatji, T.E., Development of a predictive performance model for the Palabora milling circuit using historical process data. MTech project started in 2018

Selected available projects

  • Optimisation of the classical semiautogenous-ball milling circuit using the attainable region technique
  • Alignment of planning and scheduling of surface mining activities with downstream comminution practices for optimised pit
  • Opportunities for other research projects can be explored between the prospective candidate and myself. These include industry-sponsored projects

Other

Short Biography

François Mulenga is an Associate Professor with the Department of Mining Engineering, University of South Africa (UNISA). He has published scientific articles covering various aspects of comminution operations. He is currently supervising 15 postgraduate students at Master’s and Doctoral levels with research projects scattered across the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

His core expertise lies in what he refers to as ‘integrated comminution’: a holistic modelling, simulation and optimisation of the blasting, crushing and milling chain. He also has an interest in engineering simulations as well as surface mine design and planning.

Prof Mulenga has extensive expertise in the development of mathematical models for minerals and mining engineering applications. He has been involved in the design of software package using various computer programming languages as well as in the engineering, construction and commissioning of mining laboratories on the African continents.

Over the last two years, Prof Mulenga has embarked on a programme aimed at revisiting the way in which energy is been used along the mine production chain with a particular focus on the interrelation between surface mining activities and comminution operations. He takes advantage of his formal educational training and his wide experience in mine-to-mill optimisation to achieve the identified goals. The Kansanshi project, an operation of First Quantum Limited in the Republic of Zambia, and the Palabora operation in the Republic of South Africa have been identified to be the initial case studies.