Portfolio: Liason, SIMRAC

lesLes Gardner was born into a mining family in Carletonville on New Year's day 1968. He completed his schooling at Potchefstroom Boys High School and began work as a learner official on Kinross Mine in 1986.

After stints at Kinross and later Oryx Mine, both gold-mining operations, he moved to Impala Platinum in 1999. He consults to the group's mines in South Africa's Bushveld Complex and Zimbabwe's Great Dyke, and is responsible for the geotechnical and rock engineering aspects of mining projects. Les holds a master's degree in engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as various South African competency certificates, and has completed management development programmes with UNISA and GIBS.

Les says: "My interpretation of this portfolio is to play a coordination and liaison role between Sanire (representing members' interests), the Chamber of Mines (representing rock engineering as a specialist service being provided to employers) and SIMRAC (representing the research needs of rock engineers in industry).

"I plan to keep the various bodies aware of what is happening in the others, prevent duplication of activities and allocate challenges facing the discipline to the body or association best placed to handle them."