New technology development in the primary sector
An Anglo American case study

Page 1: Introduction

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Anglo American is a UK public limited company that operates on a global scale, with mines in Africa, Europe, South America, Canada, Australia and Asia. It is one of the world's leading mining companies in the primary sector involved in the exploration, extraction and processing of metals and minerals. The commodities it mines include platinum, diamonds, copper, nickel, zinc, phosphates, iron...
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Page 2: New technology development

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New products, processes and services are created through innovation. Anglo American focuses its research on improving the performance of its existing processes, developing new competitive processes and supporting the wider organisation through specialist mineralogy and analytical services. This enables its customers to benefit from shared best practice, as well as from the development of...
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Page 3: Research and development

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Research is the first stage in new technology development. Research starts with a problem and gathers, records and tests data to find a solution. Development involves working out the details of the solution, such as what materials for construction are needed or if the new process will integrate with existing systems. Anglo Research uses its expertise to develop ideas and identify solutions to...
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Page 4: From testing to launch

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New processes need to be developed and tested before being implemented at full scale. Computer modelling may be used for testing a new idea with little cost before production starts. As part of the new product development, it may be necessary to create samples, prototypesor working models for testing. At Anglo American, a new process idea is first tested at 'beaker scale'. This means very small...
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Page 5: Influences on process development

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A number of factors affect the research and development process. Cost is perhaps the most influential factor. Research does not come cheaply; introducing new technologies is expensive. Investment may be needed for a long time before introduction. It is important that there is a return on investment from the new products or processes once they are launched in order to justify the expenditure...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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Anglo American is not the only mining company in the world. To compete, it depends on being able to access a constant supply of mineral deposits. These resources must be extracted in a cost effective way. In order to remain competitive it also has to take into account the actions of its competitors. In order to keep its market position, Anglo American constantly seeks to develop new products...
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