Prof Grace Ofori-Sarpong, Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Mines and Technology and the first female Professor of Minerals Engineering in Ghana has delivered her Inaugural Lecture on the topic; Mycohydrometallurgy: ‘One-Pot’ Degradation of Double Refractory Gold Ores by Phanerochaete chrysosporium”.

Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong

Prof Grace Ofori-Sarpong delivering her inaugural lecture

The Lecture follows Professor Ofori-Sarpong’s promotion to the rank of full Professor in 2020. Presenting the findings of her research to the public, Professor Ofori-Sarpong proposed a novel alternative pre-treatment process for Double Refractory Gold Ore (DRGO) through the use of the Phanerochaete chrysosporium fungus for increased gold recovery. The lecture was delivered on Thursday, 13th October, 2022 at the University Auditorium.

In her delivery, Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong shared important insight that numerous researchers have succeeded in solving carbonaceous problems through the use of different microbial processes. She posited however, that these microorganisms have only been successful with low-ranked carbons. Thus in her quest to advance research in the area, she explored the use of microorganism. This she said was motivated by the ability of microorganisms to destroy the graphitic planes of carbon, thereby reducing the ability of carbons to preg-rob gold, degrade and disintegrate sulphide to release gold for extraction.

Management of the University and Professorial Members of Convocation

Management of the University and Professorial Members of Convocation

Outlining her contributions to the field of Science, Prof Grace Ofori-Sarpong said that she introduced the term ‘mycohydrometallurgy’ to create a link between mycology and hydrometallurgy in order to expand the frontiers in finding alternative pre-treatment methods for Double Refractory Gold Ore (DRGO). This method makes use of the Phanerochaete chrysosporium fungus in a one-pot process and seeks to break a new ground for researchers to expand their findings in various dimensions.  

Introducing the Professor, the Vice Chancellor, and Chairman for the occasion, Prof Richard K. Amankwah said that Professor Grace Ofori-Sarpong has blazed the trail of being the first woman in the University to attain the highest academic rank of a full professor. He expressed contentment to witness the outdooring of the first female professor in the University. He commended Professor Ofori-Sarpong for her resilience and hardwork on her journey to arrive at academic excellence and expressed optimism that her research will combat the many operational challenges faced by mining operators. 

A section of the audience at the Inaugural Lecture

The inaugural lecture which is the 7th to be presented in the University was well attended by some members of the University Community, invited guests, selected Senior and Junior High Schools, Vocational and Technical Training Institutes, as well as members of the general public.

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