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Anglo American explores 3D printing technologies

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(Kitco News) - Anglo American announced today that it has partnered with the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and US-based technology company, Ivaldi Group, to explore opportunities to digitally distribute spare parts for mining and processing equipment to be manufactured locally using 3D printing.

According to the company's statement, the project includes an analysis of Anglo American's inventory of spare parts, such as impellers for pumps, shaft sleeves, gasket bonnet valves, and mining rock drill bits, exploring the impact of adopting a digitally distributed supply chain, and then digitising, locally producing and testing these parts at Anglo American's operations in South Africa.

Matthew Chadwick, Head of Socio-Economic Development and Partnerships at Anglo American, said, "Our FutureSmart Mining™ approach to sustainable mining is presenting us with new and innovative opportunities to build thriving and resilient communities, now and into the future. Through partnerships like this one with CSIR and Ivaldi, we are re-imagining long-established norms to help deliver enduring value to society."

"The ability to send files - not physical spare parts - will reduce our carbon footprint, delivery lead times and logistics costs. Importantly, this has the clear potential to create industrial and service jobs for host communities and surrounding regions through on-demand manufacturing systems to produce spare parts locally," added Chadwick.

The company said that through the Collaborative Regional Development, Anglo American and its partners aim to be a catalyst for thriving communities that can benefit in new ways directly from mining, while new economic activities such as 3D printing, agribusiness opportunities, biofuels, game ranching and tourism begin to develop - building on mining's contribution to sustainable communities.

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