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         Coalfields Branch


The SANIRE Coalfields Branch will have the pleasure of hosting the annual SANIRE Symposium on the 11th of September 2014 at the Maccauvlei on Vaal. Additional details will follow shortly.




Chairman: Sandor Pethö                                                       Vice Chairman: Steve Poczik
Secretary: Duncan Lees                                                        Student Members: Olwethu Swakamisa & Marc Henderson
Supplier Representatives: Danie Blom & Frikkie Kaap
       Treasurer: Mandla Mazibuko



The Southern African Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (SAIMM) in collaboration with South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE) presents the . . .

6th South African Rock Engineering Symposium
SARES 2014

'Creating value through innovative rock engineering'

12–14 May 2014 | Misty Hills Country Hotel and Conference Centre, Cradle of Humankind

Have you booked your seat yet?

Recent developments in the global mining industry have led to the conclusion that it is time for significant change. Mining needs to become yet safer and more efficient while addressing the challenges of rising costs, skills shortage, marginal ore, complex geology and greater mining depth. The easy pickings have been taken. Innovative rock engineering design is therefore essential for the future of the mining industry. Creating value through innovative rock engineering

Preliminary Programme

The preliminary program is jam packed with very interesting topics addressed by speakers from Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Iran, USA and across South Africa.

Day 1 Keynote Speaker is Peter Kaiser (Mining Excellence) who will be talking about ‘Deformation-based support design for caving operation’. The sessions on the day will dwell on different numerical modelling and fracture analysis approaches.

Day 2 Keynote Speaker is Terry Wiles (Mine Modelling Pty Ltd) discussing ‘Three ways to assess mining induced fault instability using numerical modelling’. The days’ sessions will cover aspects of slope failures and innovative support and monitoring systems.

Day 3 Keynote Speaker is G.S. Esterhuizen (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) on ‘Extending empirical evidence through numerical modelling in rock engineering design’. The day’s sessions will cover geotechnical data modelling in design and mine seismicity.

To view full programme visit SARES 2014

Who Should Attend

Rock engineering practitioners from all back grounds should book and diarise this event. Young practitioners are also encouraged to come learn from and network with the various seasoned practitioners. The event is also very much applicable to the DMR inspectors, Researchers, Academics, Mining engineers and Civil engineers.

To make your booking visit SARES 2014

For more information

For more Information visit: SARES 2014 or contact:
Raymond van der Berg
Head of Conferencing
Tel: 011 834 1273
Email: raymond@saimm.co.za

Exam season is just around the corner. Make sure you know what to do.

Now would be a good time to go to www.comcert.co.za to check up on the step-by-step examination application process, the relevant closing dates and the examinations programme for the May and October 2014 Chamber of Mines Rock Engineering exams.

Please ensure that you register before the closing dates and remember that your registration form needs to be accompanied by proof of payment.

Please also remember these other important dates:

  • The results of the May 2014 exams will be available on the Chamber of Mines website on 2 July 2014.
  • The closing date for registration for the October cycle of the rock engineering practical exam is 16 July 2014.

Yolande Jooste is the head of the Exams Committee. Please send her any questions or alert her to problems directly at yolande.jooste@harmony.co.za.

SAYREF members will be taking one another on in the first ever RockBowl, a trivia competition for rock engineers in training.

During the 2014 SANIRE Symposium, SANIRE and SAYREF plan to run the first ever RockBowl, a trivia competition for young people being trained up in the rock engineering discipline.

Each branch is expected to participate in two ways: adding to the questions in the question bank and then selecting representatives to compete against other branches in the Bowl. RockBowl will have a knockout format, with two teams battling it out in each round.

This year’s winners will be the first ever SAYREF RockBowl Champion.

Please send your comments and questions to Jannie Maritz at  Jannie.Maritz@up.ac.za or via the SAYREF Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-African-Young-Rock-Engineering-Forum/290066337814334. Jannie represents young members’ interests on the SANIRE Council.


Due to unforeseen circumstance beyond our control, the Strata Control Practical Exam has been postponed to 27th March 2014.

The first annual Strata Control Practical Exam will be hosted by Bokoni Platinum on behalf of the Eastern Bushveld SANIRE Branch on the 27th March 2014


07h00 – Arrival candidates at Bokoni Platinum

07H00 – Visitors induction

08h30 – Underground visit will commence

11h00 – Return from underground (Shower/ Lunch)

12h00 – Oral exam will commence

Venue Details:

Venue: Bokoni Platinum

Date: 27th March 2014

Time: 06h30 for 07h00

R.S.V.P: No later than 14th March 2014

Co Ordinates: S24° 17.144' E 29° 52.000


Confirmation of your attendance and queries must be sent to the following people below before the 14th
March 2014.

Paul Couto at paul.couto@norplats.co.za



Seventh International Conference on Deep and High Stress Mining

16–18 September 2014  |  Radisson Hotel   Sudbury  |  Ontario, Canada


Over 100 abstracts have been accepted!  

View the list of accepted   abstracts and Deep Mining 2014 brochure.


Samantha Espley 

Vale, Canada


David Counter

Glencore Canada Inc., Canada

Keynote address:Kidd Mine – dealing with the   issues of
  deep and high stress mining – past, present, and future

Professor Ray Durrheim

CSIR and the University of the Witwatersrand, South   Africa

Keynote address: Has research contributed to improvements   in
  safety and profitability of deep South African mines?

Dr Stephen Hardcastle

Natural Resources Canada – CanmetMINING, Canada

Keynote address: The continuing challenges to provide
  adequate ventilation and a safe environment in deep mines

Ground Support Subjected to Dynamic
Loading Workshop

15 September 2014
  Radisson Hotel Sudbury  |  Sudbury, Canada

View the preliminary   programme.


Winthrop Professor Yves Potvin

Australian Centre for   Geomechanics, Western Australia

Winthrop Professor Phil Dight

Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Western Australia

Sponsor and exhibitor opportunities available


For more information   please contact the ACG.


SRK Consulting
  3M Canada

  ESG Solutions

  Geobrugg North America, LLC

  Itasca International, Inc.

  King Shotcrete

  Mine Design Technologies Inc

  Normet Canada Ltd.

Spray On Plastics Ltd.

Mining Journal


Contact the ACG via  info-acg@uwa.edu.au






Dear EuroRock 2013 participant,

We invite you and your colleagues to submit and abstract for the International Society of Rock Mechanics 2015 Congress.

Abstract submission deadline is two months away. The attached CALL FOR PAPERS should be
further circulated to your network of Rock Mechanics colleagues.

Initial abstract submissions are requested to be made directly by the authors, and not by the National Committees, to the website of the ISRM Congress at www.isrm2015.com with the final submission deadline being May 1, 2015.

Following receipt of abstracts, it is the intent of the Congress Organizing Committee to provide access for each National ISRM Committee or Group to abstracts submitted by members of that country for approval and abstract selection.

Following National Group selection of member abstracts, the Congress Organizing Technical Committee will perform additional reviews of recommended National Group abstracts, as well as others that may be deemed to be of significant interest for the Congress themes.

On behalf of General Chair, Ferri Hassani - Lise Bujold

Director, Conventions & Trade Shows

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)

Tel.: (514) 939-2710 ext. 1308 | Fax: (514) 939-2714

The first annual Strata Control Practical Exam will be hosted by Bokoni Platinum on
behalf of the Eastern Bushveld SANIRE Branch on the 20th March 2014

· All applicants must have a Strata Control Theory Paper in order to qualify to enroll for the Strata Control Practical Exam.

· All applicants need to register with Joma vd Merwe at accounts@sanire.co.za in order to attend the Practical evaluation.

· Applications will be confirmed with Joma vd Merwe at accounts@sanire.co.za in order to ensure that registration has taken place.

The Strata Control Practical will consist of a compulsory underground visit followed by an oral exam session.


– Arrival candidates at Bokoni Platinum

– Visitors induction

– Underground visit will commence

– Return from underground (Shower/ Lunch)

– Oral exam will commence

Venue Details:

Venue: Bokoni Platinum

Date: 20th March 2014

Time: 06h30 for 07h00

R.S.V.P: No later than 14th March 2014

Co Ordinates: S24° 17.144' E 29° 52.000

What is equipment and P.P.E is required?

Please ensure that you bring along the following:

Note book, Pencil, Pen, Scale ruler, Protractor, Refreshments / Lunch

Please note that every person attending the Strata Control Practical Exam is required to bring along their own PPE.

Bokoni Platinum requires the following as PPE:

Overall, Gum Boots, Hard hat, Cap lamp belt, Ear Plugs, Safety Glasses, Socks, Knee pads


In order for your registration to be accepted please complete the registration form. Click HERE

Confirmation of your attendance with proof of registration with Joma vd Merwe at accounts@sanire.co.za must be sent to the following people below before the 14th March 2014.

Paul Couto at paul.couto@norplats.co.za

Please note that the registration for the Chamber of Mines Rock Mechanics practical closes 7 February 2014 and registration for the theory will close 31 March 2014. To register please follow this link http://www.comcert.co.za/ and send proof of payment to Colin.

11th International Symposium on Mining with Backfill

20–22 May 2014 | Novotel Perth Langley Hotel | Australia

For more information please click HERE

To View the ACG event calendar please Click HERE!

View the Deep Mining 2014 brochure!

Deep Mining 2014 abstracts due 24 February 2014! Visit the Author's Portal to submit your abstract online.

The 6th YGE Conference "Cultivating the Future of Geotechnics" is intended to establish a network forum and opportunity for young geotechnical engineers to better acquaint themselves with the industry and products available. This takes place in a young environment where all presenters and most of the delegates are under the age of 35. The conference is held every three years and aims to provide delegates with the opportunity to develop their writing skills and publish a technical paper which will be published in the conference proceedings. In addition presenters can exercise presenting skills in front of
a more forgiving audience and delegates attending can all learn from like-minded peers.

This conference will take place amongst the luscious vines of the Spier Wine Estate in the heart of the Western Cape. Spier is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa with a recorded history dating back to 1692.

While rooted in this heritage, Spier has a vibrant and conscious energy. The winery is one of the most awarded in the country and the four-star Spier Hotel and meeting facilities offer inspiring Winelands getaways in the tranquillity of nature.

Submit your abstract by 31 January 2014!

Who should attend?

Geotechnical practitioners under the age of 35 in the mining and civil construction industry. More experienced geotechnical practitioners are encouraged to motivate the YGE 's working under them to attend the conference and explain the advantages of presenting their work at the conference.

Conference Godfather: Ken Schwartz

Ken Schwartz has a degree and post graduate diploma from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is one of those who were fortunate enough to be inspired by Professor J. E. Jennings who encouraged and fostered his early interest in geotechnical engineering or soil mechanics and foundation engineering as it was called in those days. That interest led to a 40 year career in geotechnical engineering. The first twenty
one years in geotechnical consulting and then eleven years dealing with the significant challenges offered by specialist geotechnical contracting. For the last eight years he has been operating as a specialized geotechnical consultant, now based in Ramsgate on the beautiful south coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION FEES (Register and Pay before/on 6 June 2014)

SAICE / SAIEG / SANIRE Member R4 200.00

Non Member R4 550.00

Full Time Student R1 350.00

FULL REGISTRATION FEES (Register and Pay on/after 7 June 2014)

SAICE / SAIEG / SANIRE Member R4 600.00

Non Member R4 950.00

Full Time Student R1 750.00

For the full announcement & registration form please contact the Conference Secretariat

Yolandé van den Berg

RCA Conference Organisers

+27 11 487 2260/3819


32nd Technical Evening

The SANIRE Gauteng Branch is hosting an evening lecture with a technical talk on Current and Future Mass Mining Methods and Options - Challenges and Opportunities


Professor Gideon Chitombo – University of Queensland, Australia

Drinks and snacks will be provided

Sponsors: AEL Mining Services.

Venue: CSIR, Johannesburg

Time: 17H00 for 17H30
Date: 5th December 2013

RSVP to Amma Boaduo before the 3rd December 2013 by clicking on one of the boxes or by e-mail directly to aboaduo@srk.co.za

Meet Joma van der Merwe, SANIRE's new Administrator.

JomaJoma van der Merwe is planning to run the SANIRE national office very professionally. She says: "I want this office to be very smooth running, a place members and non-members alike can turn to for answers and great service."

Having completed a three-year payroll diploma in 2012, Joma previously worked as a payroll administrator at Consolidated Murchison Mine.

Her passion in life is rescuing and rehabilitating abused parrots, and she is also the owner of De-Omas, a small-scale specialist clothing import business.

Joma is married to Deon and they adopted their son, Vian, 10 years ago.

She matriculated in Kroonstad and studied at the technical college there, as well as completing several short courses at various institutions over the years.

Joma says: "The most basic choice we have in life is whether to expand or contract, whether to bring our creative and expressive energies out into the world in positive or negative ways. No matter what our circumstances, we have the power to choose our direction."

[Right] Joma van der Merwe, SANIRE's new Administrator.

SANIRE's movers and shakers were recognised at the institute's annual general meeting held at The Village Club at Western Deep Levels on 22 November 2013. Read more about it here.

Ben Kotze receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Ben Kotze receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Peter Terbrugge receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Peter Terbrugge receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Alan Naismith receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Alan Naismith receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Mathew Handley receiving the Salamon Award
Mathew Handley receiving the Salamon Award

The SANIRE Lifetime Achievement Award winners were Peter Terbrugge, Alan Naismith and Ben Kotze. This award is given to long-serving senior rock engineering practitioners who have made significant contribution to the advancement of rock engineering. By virtue of winning this award, Peter, Alan and Ben automatically become Honorary Life Fellows. This brings the number of members in this prestigious SANIRE membership class to 19.

The prestigious Salamon Award was awarded to Matthew Handley, for his paper titled Pre-mining stress model for subsurface excavations in southern Africa. This award is given to the best publication, that is, the paper providing the most advancement and or best practices each year. To read more about this ground-breaking paper, download PDF:  http://www.saimm.co.za/Journal/v113n06p449.pdf

The Practitioner of the Year Award was awarded to Deon Louw. This award recognises practicing individuals who are widely recognised by their peers and subordinates for their contribution both in the work place and in the discipline.

Qualifications celebrated

Chamber of Mines Rock Engineering and Strata Control examination candidates who obtained the highest marks for each of the papers written also walked away with medals. For each of the papers, the highest score had to be a minimum of 75%. The individuals who came out tops were:

  • Calvin Gloster - SCO (81%), October 2012
  • Cornelius Swart - SCO (81%), October 2012
  • Deinol Jones - SCO (81%), October 2012
  • Craig Slement – COMREC Paper 3.1 (88%), October 2012
  • Gorden Rabey - SCO (85%), May 2013
  • Christiaan Rademan - COMREC Paper 1 (85%), May 2013 exam
  • Ruben Coetzer - COMREC Paper 3.1 (94%), May 2013 exam.

While there is no formal award for new Chamber of Mines Rock Engineering Certificates, recognition was given to the following individuals for their hard work and effort in qualifying for these tickets.

  • Coal - Felix Chiramba, Felix Joel, Mandlenkosi Z Mazibuko and Malome L Sekwele.
  • Massive Mining - Pretty B Mzimela.
  • Open Pit - Takenda P Pabwe.
  • Metalifereous - Etienne Swart, Gerald R Gainsford, Gerhardus S Botha, Paul M Couto, Awoa P Boaduo, Matthew G Barnard, Gibson S Khoarai, John D Smith, Christiaan F Rademan, Christoffel T Jooste, Petrus J Wessels, Jean-Pierre Gouvea, Sifiso C Meshile, Narisha Sirrira and Quintin L Grix.

Congratulations also go those who qualified for the Advanced Rock Engineering Certificate: Andries Esterhuizen, Felix Joel and Lawrence Rwodzi.

Last but by no means least, congratulations go to the people who qualified for their Chamber of Mines Strata Control Certificates (names not available at time of publication).

Contact the ACG for a full list of our underground geotechnical literature

Website www.acg.uwa.edu.au/shop

Contact the ACG via info-acg@uwa.edu.au


SANIRE branches will soon be asked to nominate a young member to represent the branch on the envisaged South African Young Rock Engineers' Forum (Sayref). Read on to find out what it is all about.

The South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE) and the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) are collaborating to better address the needs of young rock engineers. Good progress is being made towards this and soon it will be over to each SANIRE branch to make this initiative work for its members.

Thus far, the ISRM has commissioned a task group to increase the participation of their young members, starting at national group level.

As paid-up SANIRE members automatically become ISRM members too, each SANIRE branch will soon be asked to nominate a certified member who is 35 years or younger to represent the branch on the envisaged forum, the South African Young Rock Engineers' Forum (Sayref).

This forum will facilitate discussions and come up with ideas to start engaging the younger generation of rock engineers, encouraging them to become involved in the institute and in the greater rock engineering fraternity.

It will also enable recognition of the younger generation by their peers and superiors. Competitions such as the 'Rockbowl', quizzes and sponsorship to attend international conferences are some of the benefits likely to be offered.

A mentorship programme is also envisaged. Sayref will provide a platform for experienced people from the industry to share their expertise and offer guidance to the younger professionals.

Jannie Maritz is SANIRE's representative at the helm of this initiative. He says: "For a start, keep reading Rock Talk. It's where you will find rock talk!"

janniemaritz(Left) Jannie Maritz is SANIRE's representative working on getting Sayref off the ground.

SANIRE Symposium 2013 Best speaker Naomi Ayres
Best speaker Naomi Ayres at the SANIRE Symposium 2013
SANIRE Symposium Guest  Speaker Koos talks about support design
Guest  Speaker Koos talks about support design
SANIRE Symposium 2013 delegates
Delegates at the 2013 Symposium
SANIRE Symposium 2013 Young practitioners at the symposium
Young practitioners at the 2013 Symposium

A broad-ranging 2013 SANIRE Symposium emphasised the importance of data and closed with news of a new award aimed specifically at young rock engineering practitioners. Read on to find out more.

Delegates from diverse backgrounds - rock engineers, seismologists, scientists and product suppliers from all over South Africa – gathered at the Meropa Conference Centre in Polokwane, Limpopo, for the 2013 SANIRE symposium. It was hosted by the SANIRE Eastern Bushveld Branch on 7 and 8 November.

The guest speaker, Koos Bosman, opened proceedings with a trip through the history of underground stope support design, from the very early days, when support design was intuitive, through to present-day established practices. A common challenge, as he highlighted, is the lack of geotechnical data for design purposes. In concluding, he suggested that the way around this handicap, and thus a way of catering for unknowns, is to use probabilities of failure and a risk/consequence approach to stope design.


A total of 14 papers were presented. Topics varied from support design under challenging environments, rockfall risk, and different aspects of seismicity to seismic monitoring and innovative approaches to numerical modelling. All papers alluded to the importance of the requirement to collect data and then interpret and understand the data, thus providing the basis for sound rock engineering practice.

The best paper and presenter award went to Naomi Aryes of Impala Platinum for Investigation into performance capability of hydro pre-stressed tendon support. This paper demonstrated, through a series of tests, an investigation into the performance of hydro pre-stressed tendons under combinational loading (tensile and shear) at varying installation angles while taking the influence of geological features into account.


In closing, SANIRE President William Joughin remarked: "It can only be good for the industry if we encourage young rock engineering practitioners to investigate and design, and then present their work at forums such as this."

In support of this statement, a new award, the David Ortlepp Award, was announced. It will be awarded to the best paper presented by a young practitioner (under the age of 35) from 2014. The award will include an all-expenses paid opportunity to go to present the same paper at an international conference anywhere in the world.

If you would like to know more about the syposium proceedings, please click here to download the PDF files.


IMS Seminar

Click here:

IMS Seminar Programme