23 March 2020

To: Candidates/Learners registered for writing the Chamber of Mines Certificate exams
Member Companies,
Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa (MVSSA);
South African Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE);
Institute of Mine Surveyors of South Africa (IMSSA); Other relevant stakeholders


To All Concerned,

In light of the current challenges that the country is experiencing in regards to the COVID-19 virus pandemic and the countrywide lockdown that was recently announced by the State President, the Minerals Council South Africa, after discussion and engagements with relevant stakeholders, professional associations and professional societies, has taken a decision to postpone all the Chamber of Mines Certificate examinations for the Surveying, Sampling, Ventilation and Rock Mechanics disciplines that would have taken place through 2020. We will still have two sittings of examinations in 2020. You are urged to take note of these changes.

May Examination Changes

It has been agreed that the examinations that would have taken place from the 4th May 2020 to 12th May 2020 will now take place from 6th July 2020 to 14th July 2020. Please note that this new examination date could be subject to change, depending on the announcements from government and engagements with stakeholders, in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will update all concerned after the COVID-19 lockdown period. The closing date for registration to these (July) examinations has been extended to 31st May 2020.

October Examinations Changes

The examinations that would have taken place from the 5th October 2020 to 13th October 2020
will now take place from 2nd November 2020 to 10th November 2020. Please note that this new
examination date could be subject to change, depending on the announcements from
government and engagements with stakeholders, in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic. We
will update all concerned after the COVID-19 lockdown period.

The closing date for registration to these (November) examinations has been extended to 30th September 2020.

These changes could unfortunately result in the following: -

a) The venues where the exams were going to written could possibly change as a result of the date change. The Minerals Council will make every effort, that if this were to happen, it does not significantly inconvenience the candidates.
b) The postponement of the October examinations to November will lead to candidate results being issued later than expected. This would be largely due to the December shutdowns. We will make every endeavour to expedite the speedy releasing of results.

You are also advised to regularly interact with the COMCERT website at WWW.COMCERT.CO.ZA where you would find updates on the above matter post the lockdown period.

Further to the above you can contact the following individuals for any further enquiries.

a) Ms. Mbali Mathenjwa – Tel. +27 11 498 7733 or MMATHENJWA@MINERALSCOUNCIL.ORG.ZA
b) Mr Theo Mehana – Tel. +27 11 498 7731 or TMEHANA@MINERALSCOUNCIL.ORG.ZA

The Minerals Council encourages every individual to heed the government announcements and measures during the lockdown period and to be courageous, practice patience, be compassionate and above all, be safe.

Yours sincerely
Tel: 011 - 4987202
Email: mally@mineralscouncil.org.za

Dear ISRM Members and Rock Mechanics Colleagues,

For the 29th ISRM Online Lecture the ISRM invited Professor Francois Malan, from University of Pretoria, South Africa. The title of the lecture is “Rockburst support in shallow-dipping tabular stopes at great depth ”.

The lecture will be broadcast on monday 30th March, at 10 AM GMT and will remain available in the online lectures dedicated webpage .

Prof Malan started his geotechnical career in 1993 and spent the next 11 years at the Chamber of Mines Research Organisation (later CSIR Miningtek). There he conducted research on the rock mass behaviour in deep tabular mines. His particular interest during this period was the time-dependent behaviour of hard rock and he used this as topic for his PhD thesis. In 2011 he joined Groundwork Consulting and worked on pillar designs and layout problems in the South African platinum industry, geotechnical problems in the deep gold mines and instrumentation development for geotechnical applications. In 2011, he joined the gold mining industry and was appointed as Senior Consultant Rock Engineering of Gold Fields South Africa. These mines were taken over by Sibanye Stillwater in 2013 and he remained with Sibanye Stillwater. In 2018, he joined the University of Pretoria as Associate Professor .

Over the years, he has received various awards for his contributions to rock engineering. These include five gold and silver medals from the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and three Salamon awards from the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering for best publications. The ISRM awarded him the Rocha medal in 2011 and in 2017 he presented the Franklin Lecture at the AfriRock Symposium in Cape Town. One of his PhD students, Dr Michael du Plessis, was also awarded the Rocha medal in 2018. Prof Malan has authored or co-authored over 81 technical papers on rock engineering and he delivered 7 invited keynote addresses at national and international conferences .

Between 2007-2011, Prof Malan served as ISRM Vice-President for Africa. Prior to this, he was also the President of the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering for the period from 2003 -2005. Prof Malan is a Fellow of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a Fellow of the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering and a member of the Society of Mining Professors. He acts as a reviewer for several rock engineering journals and is a member of the publications committee of the Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy .

The lecture will remain online so that those unable to attend at this time will be able to do it later. As usual, the attendees will be able to ask questions to the lecturer by e-mail during the subsequent five days. All online lectures are available from this page .

Date: Friday, 20th of March 2020
Place: Impala Bowling Club
Time: 1:00 pm for 1:30 pm

Agenda: Opening and Introduction|Supplier Presentation|SANIRE National News and Feedback- Paul Couto|Examiner Feedback|Announcements and Games|Closure and Refreshments
All Rock Engineering Department Members are Welcome (SCOs, Rock Engineers, Technicians, Graduates, Learners) and Rock Engineering related Suppliers
RSVP to Edeshni Munsamy by emailing directly to: Edeshni.Munsamy@sibanyestillwater.com

The 11th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium (ARMS11) will be held in Beijing on October 23-27, 2020. The deadline for abstract submission is March 15, 2020. On behalf of the organizing committee, we really appreciate that if you send this email to all the registered members in your country.

2nd Rockburst Workshop - Friday 08 November 2019

Dear Presidents of the ISRM National Groups

It is with deep sadness that we inform all ISRM members that our colleague and friend Prof. Giovanni Barla passed away on 17 November.

Giovanni was a very active member of our Society, former Vice President for Europe (1995-1999), ISRM Fellow (2013), Chairman of the ISRM Commission on Squeezing Rocks in Tunnels (1989-1999), Chairman of Eurock96 and frequent keynote lecturer at ISRM conferences including at the 14th ISRM Congress last September, among many other contributions.

Giovanni was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, former Professor of Rock Mechanics (until 2012) and Department Head (2003-2011) at the Politecnico di Torino, past President of the Italian Geotechnical Society (1997-2003), recipient of the IACMAG award for outstanding contributions, member of the Torino Academy of Sciences and a renowned international consultant. He was one of the most influential rock mechanics researchers of our times.

We will keep warm memories from him for his professional contributions and his friendship.

Our thoughts are with his wife and his close family, to whom we present our deepest condolences.

Luís Lamas
Secretary General, ISRM

Saturday 16 November 2019 at 13:00
Thatch Haven Country Lodge, Brits
If possible, please let us know if you will be able to attend on or before Thursday 14 Nov 2019 as we need a headcount.

Current and Past Presidents of SANIRE and SANGORM.

Please note that the deadline to submit abstracts for the above-mentioned conference is approaching (September 30, 2019). This e-mail is sent to encourage you to submit an abstract as soon as possible. Please follow the instructions given on the following website to upload your abstract. If you run into any difficulty, please send me an e-mail. The conference URL is: www.jxustrmreconference.org

In order to ensure that we have an appropriate process in place which addresses the needs of all our members, SANIRE has launched the new online electronic practical examination registration portal via our website. This will cater for both the registration of the Strata Control Officer (SCO) practical exams. The intent of the system is to ensure that SANIRE can administer the registration process to make sure that any potential irregularities are ruled out in the future. All the practical exams will be coordinated at central venues to cater for the needs of all candidates within their branch areas.

Hosting of a SCO Practical Exam

  • The SCO practical exams will be coordinated and hosted per SANIRE branch thus catering for their members
  • Rock Engineers and mines are not permitted to host exams without the involvement of the SANIRE branch and relative exams committee
  • SANRIE branches may co-host SCO practical examinations if required (especially to cater for various commodities / mining methods that may exist within a SANIRE branch’s region)
  • Approved costs of the practical examination may be claimed for by the SANIRE Branch Chairman from SANIRE Council
  • Exams will be held twice annually

Registration Cost

  • The registration process and fees payable will be managed by SANIRE’s Education Fund
  • R500 for SANIRE member or associate member and R1200 for non-SANIRE member
  • The R1200.00 non-member rate will receive a one-year SANIRE associate membership for free. Should the candidate fail the examination, the following examination would be R500 as part of the free membership. Should the candidate fail a second time, then he/she will need to pay the R1200 and the cycle continues.

Registration Process

  1. Complete the online registration here
    1. Candidates are to ensure that they attach all relevant documentation (CV, certificates/qualifications, proof of passing the Strata Control Theory Examination and proof of payment)
    2. All documents must be in the required format (Files allowed: .doc, .docx, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx, .jpg up to 30MB)
    3. Banking details are on the registration page
    4. Candidates are to ensure that all details are entered correctly and that the correct region / branch is selected
    5. There are compulsory fields to complete when registering. If any of the fields are not completed (or proof attached), the registration will be unsuccessful.
  2. Candidates will be notified of registration within seventy two (72) working hours
  3. If candidates do not receive a registration acceptance, then the registration has not been successful
  4. Applications must be completed with all relevant documentation and within the given timeframe to be completed successfully
  5. The SANIRE Council Secretary will keep an updated list of registrations for each Branch of which will be made electronically available for each Branch Chairman
  6. The SANIRE Council Secretary will distribute the candidate list to the Regional Branch Chairman by the next working day following registration closing
  7. Candidates will receive further communication by the Branch regarding the SCO Practical Examination arrangements. Should candidates not receive any communication, they are advised to contact the Branch Chairman immediately

Candidates Responsibilities

  • Successfully register for the examination on time
  • Keep in contact with the branch regarding the examination
  • Be well prepared for the examination
  • Do not be late for the examination. Candidates who are late without a valid reason or who miss the underground trip will not be allowed to attempt the examination; will forfeit their examination and only be able to attempt the following practical examination
  • Candidates will be required to bring along a laptop (with charger), camera, distomat / tape, clinoruler / compass, all required PPE, scale ruler; general stationary and any other daily underground equipment which might be required for the exam
  • Make suitable observations and records of observations for use during the examination
  • Keep up with the group underground and not lag behind or get lost
  • Working safely during the examination
  • Any concerns with regards to the examination must be brought forward to the Branch Chairman within 2 working days of the examination
  • To attempt a maximum of 2 times per year and only one attempt per 6 months (preferably pass 1st time!)
  • Do not cheat or copy other’s work that is not yours. The purpose of the exam is to test the candidates’ competency. Any dishonesty or plagiarism will result in failure of the examination and suspension of up to 2 years from future examinations.

Branch Responsibilities

  • The Branch Chairman will call for the examination prior to the date of the exam
  • The Branch Chairman is responsible to add the event to the website
  • Members of the branch must assist the Chairman with a suitable venue for the examination
  • Prior to the examination, the Branch Chairman must appoint an Exams Committee who will be responsible to set the examination. The Exams Committee must comprise people with suitable experience for the mining method and be holders of the COM Rock Mechanics Certificate or COM Advanced Rock Mechanics Certificate.
  • The Exams Committee may utilise the Youth Development Representative of the Branch to assist with SCO Practical arrangements
  • The exams committee sets the exam in accordance with the syllabus
  • The exam is to be moderated by all members of the exams committee to check relevance and level
  • The strata control practical examination must consist of an underground trip and plan reading, but will also test candidates report writing skills, computer literacy and the ability of a candidate to interpret and use basic data. The exam must comprise a written report, plan reading, observation and general practical question sections.
  • The majority of the examination must take place on a formal template which will be marked by the examiner appointed by the Branch Chairman and Branch Exams Committee. The remaining portion of the exam will comprise an oral question and answer section of which will be marked by a group of examiners (minimum of 2 examiners)
  • Candidates must not be examined by examiners of the same company or where a conflict of interest may exist.
  • The written portion of the examination is to be marked by an appointed examiner of the exams committee and then moderated by an external examiner that is external to the setting of the examination
  • Any concerns raised by examiners or candidates are to be reviewed by the Chairman to ensure fairness
  • The Branch Chairman is to report back to SANIRE Council Education Portfolio Holder of any concerns and outcomes thereof

SCO Practical Examination Requirements

Entry requirements to the SCO Practical examination will require candidates to have passed the Strata Control Theory examination.

This will continue to be the requirement until such time the additional requirements have been appropriately workshopped by the various commodity / mining method task teams of which will develop a SCO development matrix that is to be signed off by the proposing rock engineer / candidates mentor.

sanire banquet 2019



As per the SANIRE Constitution the following processes where followed and scrutinised in order to ensure that a SANIRE Council is established for the 2019 – 2021 term. The allocation of SANIRE Council members to portfolios was conducted at a Bosberaad meeting hosted on the 13th and 14th July 2019 at Finfoot Conference Centre.

The SANIRE Council should comprise of the following corporate members as per the SANIRE Constitution.

3.2       The council shall consist of:

3.2.1    The President,

3.2.2    The President-Elect, who is also the Vice President,

3.2.3    The Immediate Past President,

3.2.4    The Honorary Treasurer, and

3.2.5    Five Corporate Members,

These will comprise the executive members of council.

In addition, other persons may be invited to attend council meetings to present progress reports and provide liaison between the council and the members. Examples of these include:

3.2.6    The chairperson of any division formed under Clause 3.13.

3.2.7    The chairperson of any branch formed under Clause 3.15.

The results presented in the graph below have been scrutinised by the Northern Cape and Gauteng Branch Chairman and were found to be accurate and in order.

9.2.2 At the council meeting immediately preceding the end of the current council’s term of office, there shall be appointed not less than two scrutinisers, whose duty it shall be to open and examine the ballot forms and to report the result of their scrutiny to the president. Candidates do not qualify to act as scrutinisers.

There was a requirement to co-opt an additional council member for the Organisational Liaison portfolio. The newly elected SANIRE Council agreed that the best suited candidate who has also served on council for the past 8 years under this and numerous other portfolios would be Robert Armstrong.

9.3 Should the nomination list for members to be elected to the council not include the names of as many members as are required to fill the vacancies on the council, the council shall nominate members to complete the list and the members nominated shall be declared elected at a council meeting before the 31st of July.

council2019 graph

The proposed portfolio holders were all elected at the Bosberaad for the following portfolios for the 2019 – 2021 term.

3.4 The vice-president and honorary treasurer for each ensuing term shall be elected by the newly elected committee at the first meeting of the council following the election of council members. This meeting is typically in the form of a strategy session (Bosberaad) or AGM.

Portfolio Portfolio Holder
President / Events and Sponsorship Paul Couto
Past President Jannie Maritz
Treasurer Lizelle Prinsloo
Administrator Raymond van der Berg
Membership Dave Neal
Young members Yerisha Rajpal
Social media, Newsletter Pearl Mosiane

Education, Exams Committee and Awards
     1. Future Education
     2. MincoSA Exams
     3. Rock Engineering Practical Exams
     4. Strata Control Officer Practical Exams

Adam Cooper and Andre Esterhuizen
Jannie Maritz
Adam Cooper
Andre Esterhuizen
Adam Cooper
ISRM/ RETC/ MRAC Dr. Michael Du Plessis

Organisational Liaison
     2. MHSC, RBTT, Seismicity, MoshCOPA

Robert Armstrong
Friedemann Essrich



Dear Member
It is with great sadness that we learnt about the passing of one of our members, Juan Little, from BLA consulting in the Free State region.  Our sincere condolences go out this his wife, Joane, and his family in respect this great loss.  May you all find comfort in this time of mourning.
Yours sincerely

The 2018 edition of the ISRM News Journal is online. You can read it here https://www.isrm.net/gca/?id=206.

Dear ISRM National Groups,
On behalf of the Japanese Society for Rock Mechanics,
I inform you that the deadline of abstract submission of YSRM2019&REIF2019 will be extended to May 14, 2019.
Please forward this email to each member of your national group.
“YSRM 2019: The 5th ISRM Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics & REIF 2019: International Symposium on Rock Engineering for Innovative Future”
from December 1 to 4, 2019.
Important dates:
Abstract Submission Deadline: April 30, 2019 > May 14, 2019
Extended Abstract Submission Deadline: August 10, 2019
Scholarship Application Deadline: August 10, 2019
Early Bird Registration Closes: August 31, 2019
Scholarships for students and young scholars (< 40 years old) will be awarded to selected applicants.
We look forward to welcoming you to Okinawa in December, 2019.
For more information visit the website: https://www.ec-pro.co.jp/ysrm2019
Sincerely yours,
Hide Yasuhara, Secretary General of YSRM2019&REIF2019

Dear Members
Please follow the links to the latest quarterly newsletter.


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