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Pursuit of perfection defines expert’s career

China Daily| Updated : October 17, 2022

Practice makes perfect is a strong belief of Pan Congming's. It has taken him nearly 30 years to chase his dream to shine in the precious metals industry.

Pan, squad leader of the metal refining group at Jinchuan Group Copper Co, has been delving into the smelting and purification of precious metals through front-line work and books.

For years, he developed a series of skills such as telling the purity of a metallic solution through its change in color during refinement.

By observing the change in colors, Pan is able to figure out the contents of different materials and then adopt appropriate technology to recycle the waste residue. His expert technique has helped to produce a final metal product with a purity of 99.99 percent.

"This result is partially based on the calculations of my work and practice. It was not achieved overnight," Pan said.

Finding problems in practice and fixing them are essential to every skilled worker, he added.

"Skills are fundamental to every front-line factory worker. Our country is promoting high-quality development. Thus, factory workers like us should work to contribute to the country's manufacturing. No matter how advanced a technology is, it requires front-line workers to carry forward a craftsman's spirit."

China's precious metal resource reserves only account for 0.39 percent of the world's total, with 90 percent of them extracted from slag.

"Our resources cannot be taken away," Pan said. By persevering in honing his skills and expertise, he has developed a technique for extracting more than eight rare and precious metals from the slag of copper and nickel smelting. He also developed a technology to extract platinum, palladium, rhodium and iridium metals from the anode material of nickel.

Pan was honored as a national skilled master and is the first factory worker representative in Northwest China to win a prize at the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award.

"It is Jinchuan's sound innovation atmosphere, which encourages everyone to blaze new trails everywhere and at every moment," Pan said. He credited his achievements to the group's support.

"Now I not only want to improve myself, I want to pass on my skills and knowledge to students and new employees in Jinchuan," he said.

Over the past three years, Pan has tutored more than 100 students, who range from college graduates, postgraduates and PhDs to vocational school students.

"I ask every student to hand in at least 20 pages of intern or practical reports every month," he said.

In recent years, Pan has devoted himself to compiling books and documents with more than 300,000 words. He has also summarized more than 600 technological results, as part of efforts to develop the precious metals industry and boost talent cultivation.

"Practice without a theoretical basis is unsustainable," Pan said.

To date, he has engaged in nine scientific and research projects at national and provincial levels. On top of this, he has completed 218 innovation projects and secured 30 authorized patents. Pan has also published 19 scientific research papers. All of these contribute to the group's economic profits of more than 1.2 billion yuan ($172 million).

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