rockstarFull Name: Quintin Lennox Grix

Position: Unit Manager – Rock Engineering

Company/Organisations: Goldfields, South Deep

Date and Place of Birth: 7 March 2016, Germiston, Johannesburg

Education: SAMTRAC, COM SCC, COM REC

First Job: HVAC Technician & SHEQ Consultant

Personal Best Achievement/s: Obtaining my REC at a young age!

Philosophy of Life: Today is the beginning of the rest of your life.

Favourite Food/Drink: Red wine & lasagne

Favourite Sport: Rugby!

1. How did your career in the mining industry begin and where are you now?

My mining career started off as a Support Quality Assurance Officer (Observer with mags!) at the old Vaal Reefs 10# (Tau Lekoa). Currently I am the Rock Engineering Unit Manager on South Deep Gold Mine.

2. Why did you choose Rock Engineering?

Rock Engineering faces many challenges, and is very, very far from an exact, solved science. The fact that there are many contributions to be made to the discipline attracted me, and is probably the biggest reason for my choice.

Today is the beginning of the rest of your life.

3. Please tell us a bit more about your career journey?

My mining career started off as a Support Quality Assurance Officer at the old Vaal Reefs, 10 shaft. I soon thereafter obtained my Strata Control Certificate and for a short period moved to Buffelsfontein Gold Mine. Soon thereafter, I moved to a shallow board and pillar chrome mine for approximately two years where I obtained my Rock Engineering Certificate. The company I worked for then moved me to a shallow board and pillar platinum mine for another two years, whereafter I relocated to Potchefstroom to form part of their Consulting Department. In the Department, I gained valuable modelling and consulting experience in a vast amount of commodities and mining methods, including shallow mechanised chromite mining; shallow mechanised platinum mining; open pit, massive and deep level gold mining; open pit and massive iron and copper mining; and open pit coal mining. Currently, I am a Rock Engineer on a deep level mechanised gold mine situated in Westonaria.

4. What are some areas that you believe will become of increasing importance in the near future of the rock engineering discipline?

Many, many challenges can be listed; however, depth is perhaps of particular concern to me. The fact that we are mining deeper and deeper below surface (bearing in mind that depth is relative to the commodity you’re mining) means that less and less knowledge and experience of the specific environments are available. The need for proactive Rock Engineering designs in these conditions requires loads of instrumentation and monitoring. My personal opinion is that we do not do enough (in terms of instrumentation and monitoring) to understand and/or predict the likely problems proactively.

Do whatever you want to do, but when you do it, be the best in it.

5. What advice would you offer people aspiring to be in your position?

The old cliché: Work hard, play hard. It is no secret that the Rock Engineering qualification is extremely difficult to obtain. However, if you persistently work hard, you will succeed. It is important not to study purely by the book, but to understand what you are studying. In this regard, it is extremely to continue asking “WHY?” The other end of the spectrum is also valid; there is no point in achieving success when you’re not able to celebrate it!

6. Who is your role model/mentor?

To single out one specific role model or mentor will be utterly unfair and not necessarily accurate. During my career and up to this point, I have had a large number of colleagues and friends who have made a tremendous impact, not only on my career but also on my life. If I had to list them, we’d have to use an external mail client to be able to distribute the large newsletter ….

7. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Do whatever you want to do, but when you do it, be the best in it.