An active year for Sanire’s Coalfields branch saw students being encouraged to play a greater role in the branch’s running. Branch chairman Dr Bernard Madden filled RockTalk in on what the branch achieved. Read his summary here.

Coalfields got students involved

The Coalfields branch’s annual general meeting in January included a technical talk on the Texan Computer Code by Dr Francois Malan.

The 2010 committee rung the changes by including two student members in its ranks. The thinking behind including students was to increase potential candidates’ exposure to varying strata conditions and technical presentations to boost their chances of successfully completing the Chamber of Mines Strata Control and Rock Mechanics examinations.

The branch made two underground visits.

The first, in April was to see very poor ground conditions at Forzando South, where a dolerite sill had affected the coal seam as well as the roof and floor strata. Following a technical presentation by Dr Bernard Madden into the design and construction of the incline shaft and portal access to the coal reserves, an underground visit was made to the incline shaft. Mining through strata affected by the dolerite sill was still being conducted, using a support installation of full column resin roofbolts, oslo-straps, cable anchors, wire mesh and Fibrecrete to support the roof and sidewalls. Seven aspiring candidates got to see this.

The second underground visit was held in October, prior to the Chamber of Mines examinations. It involved 11 candidates visiting the Khulata Colliery. They saw the areas where delamination of the roof strata has occurred over time in the main travelling roadways used to access the workings, as well as the remedial measures being taken. Dave Neal presented the technical background to the remedial work, including the design and testing programme undertaken to solve the fall of ground problem.

A presentation on the development of roofbolting in South African Collieries was held in November, including a visit to a supplier of roofbolts.

The year-end function in December will offer members technical presentations from guest speakers.

The committee is: Dr Bernard Madden (chairman), Dave Neal (vice-chairman), Steve Ploczik (treasurer/secretary), Danie Bierman (student member), Sibusiso Mazibuko (student member), Frans Cronje (suppliers’ representative) and Duncan Lees (co-opted member).

The committee is:

Dr Bernard Madden (chairman)

Dave Neal (vice-chairman)

Steve Ploczik (treasurer/secretary)

Danie Bierman (student member)

Sibusiso Mazibuko (student member)

Frans Cronje (suppliers’ representative)

Duncan Lees (co-opted member).