Travelling long distances didn’t prevent Sanire’s Eastern Bushveld branch members from getting together regularly. Here’s a summary of what they got up to and what they hope to achieve next year, by the branch’s new chairman, Peter Lehong. He said:

Bushveld East plans fall of ground forum

We have attracted a lot of criticism for holding our quarterly meetings during the day and not after working hours. However, our members travel far to meetings and we see it as our duty to make sure that no-one has to drive for 200 km in the dark to get home. We have tried to change venues for every meeting.

Most of our attendees seem to be the suppliers, as rock engineers are scarce. This year, we have seen rock engineers from Xstrata, Samancor, Open House and Anglo Platinum, but not from Aquarius or Impala Platinum. In future, we will encourage strata control officers to attend our quarterly meetings.

Apart from hosting the usual demonstrations and presentations of new products and mining/supporting methods, we invited STS, who create interactive 3D simulations, to present to the branch. Their product is already being used, not only for rock engineering, but for all types of safety training, including for conveyors and trackless machinery. This is the future of training on the mines.

The Rock Engineering Tripartite consists of rock engineers, labour unions and government representatives (mine inspectors) and will soon form a fall of ground forum in this area. This will be along the same lines as those in other Sanire branches. The aim is to address falls of ground issues and discuss strategies to be implemented based on geotechnical conditions.

The committee members are:

Peter Lehong (chairman)

Phil Garner (vice-chairman)

Bertus van der Kevie (treasurer)

Nico Meyer (secretary)

Justin Taylor (suppliers’ representative).