Good day ISRM Members,

On behalf of the South African Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE), we would like to invite you to attend AfriRock 2017, hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. The event will commence on the 30th September 2017 and conclude on the 6th October 2017.

SANIRE has also arranged, in conjunction with the Southern African Institute and Metallurgy (SAIMM), other short courses and tours in order to showcase South Africa and its Mining History. A brief description of the events is included below:

Afrirock 3

AfriRock 2017

Welcome to our mother city, Cape Town, where the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) and the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE) are proud to host the 2017 ISRM AfriRock International Symposium “AfriRock 2017” at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

South Africa is a world in one country. From the floral city of Cape Town, where the symposium will be hosted, to the South Coast Garden Route, to the mountains of the Drakensberg and the bushlands of the Kruger. Each province promises unique bird and wildlife, stunning vistas and a multitude of fascinating locations of both natural beauty and historical significance. Cape Town is considered one of the top 10 worldwide destinations to visit: highlights include the breath-taking views from the top of Table Mountain, boat trips and tours of Robben Island, walking and shopping in the City Bowl and the Waterfront, and enjoying the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the Cape Winelands, producers of internationally renowned wine and port. South Africa is the land from which the legends of gold and diamonds were born.

There is an exciting selection of courses and activities to enjoy – before, during and after the symposium. Take this opportunity to see the depth and breadth of South Africa at its finest.

ISRM Meetings

The ISRM Commission and Council meetings will take place on the 2nd of October at the CTICC, and the ISRM Board Meetings will be on the 30th September and 1st October. The ISRM Advisory forum will meet on the evening of the 3rd October.

AfriRock 2017 Symposium

The symposium will be held between the 3rd and 5th October. More than 130 papers have been received and are currently being reviewed and refereed. The papers cover a broad range of rock engineering topics which include: fracture, damage and deformation of rock; numerical modelling and constitutive models; ground consolidation and subsidence; specialised blasting techniques; rock testing methods; instrumentation and monitoring; rock mechanics in underground mines; caving mechanics; petroleum rock mechanics; slope stability; ground support; design of tunnels and caverns; risk in rock engineering design; mechanics of fracking; crustal stress and earthquakes; mine seismicity and rockbursts; radioactive waste disposal; and underground nuclear plants. The conference is of value to rock engineering practitioners, researchers, academics, mining engineers, engineering geologists, civil engineers and petroleum engineers.

Keynote lectures will be presented by Dick Stacey, Nick Barton, Luís Lamas, Paul Buddery and Sergio Fontoura.


A networking function will be held on the evening of the 2nd October at the CTICC, which will serve as an ice breaker. You will be able to sample local wine and craft beer. The conference dinner will take place at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town on the evening of the 4th of October. At the dinner, the ISRM fellows will be inducted and an award will be made to the best performing National Group.

Accompanying persons programme

Tours include Cape Town City, Table Mountain, the Noon Gun, Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, the Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach, a Seal Island Cruise, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and tours of the Cape Winelands.

Institute of Mine Seismology Mini-Seminar – 2nd October 2017

The Institute of Mine Seismology (IMS) is the leading provider of microseismic monitoring technology to mines worldwide. IMS is an independent private research organization focused on developing methodologies, technologies and services for monitoring and modelling the seismic rock mass response to mining.

Since its inception in 1990, IMS has held an annual Mine Seismology Seminar at its locations around the globe. After the successful 27th annual IMS Seminar in Sudbury earlier this year, IMS will host a Mini-Seminar on Microseismic Monitoring in Mines in Stellenbosch. The event complements the AfriRock 2017 programme: it is an opportunity for regional and international users, practitioners and researchers to meet and discuss the latest seismological analysis techniques and technology in mining.

The IMS Mini-Seminar takes place on 2nd October, while the AfriRock 2017 technical sessions take place 3rd – 5th October. Transport to and from the Cape Town International Convention Centre to the IMS Mini-Seminar in Stellenbosch can be arranged.

Further information, including costs, technical programme and registration details, are available at

RockBowl AfriRock 2017

The RockBowl competition is based on a drive by the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) to increase Young Membership and grow interest amongst Young Rock Mechanics. The first international competition was hosted in Montreal, Canada in 2015, where South Africa had a team participating. Since this experience, SANIRE has continued to run a local competition, in 2016 and 2017. This has become an annual event and will continue into the future as part of SANIRE’s new vision.

RockBowl is a quiz show where different teams compete against each other in a qualifying round. The questions are a multiple choice format and are presented to both teams at the same time via a protector. The teams then have 30 seconds to answer the question. The question and answers can be discussed amongst the team players; however, they cannot accept any assistance from any external parties. This round then ranks the teams according to the number of correct answers which they have given and allows the judges to then match the teams in a highest versus lowest ranking structure. The second game is played in a knockout format, with the winners progressing to the final.

The winners of the final will be crowned the AfriRock 2017 Champions and the Champions of Africa.

Technical Tours

Presidential Tour 2017 – 25th September 2017 to 29th September 2017

The South African National Institute for Rock Engineering (SANIRE) is hosting its first Presidential Tour in 2017. The Presidential tour is a week-long tour that all ISRM members can attend. The tour starts at a central point in South Africa, depending on the planned route and ends at a predetermined location. The Presidential Tour is a tour based on showcasing different mining methods, locations and commodities to SANIRE members across South Africa. The purpose of the tour is to expose the SANIRE members to mining across South Africa and encourage intern growth within the membership. The Presidential Tour is open to all members, including International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) members.

Chapmans Peak – 6th October 2017

The Chapmans Peak Tour is an excellent opportunity to see rockfall protection strategies. The tour also visits various local attractions and the fantastic geology of Cape Point. The tour takes place on the 6th October.

TauTona Mine – 6th October 2017

Visit the deepest gold mine in the world during the TauTona and Mponeng Deep Level Gold Mine Tour in Carletonville on the 6th October.

Palabora Mine – 6th and 7th October 2017

The Palabora Mine and the Kruger National Park Tour takes place on the 6th and 7th October and includes a visit to the world-class block caving mining operation at Palabora and to the Kruger National Park, home to the Big 5 and the spectacular flora and fauna of the Bushveld.

Palabora Mine
TauTona Mine - Deepest Gold Mine in the World
tau tona


ISRM registration fees for the symposium are ZAR8 999 before the 1st August. To book your place for the symposium, tours and other activities please visit

For more information please contact the following persons with regard to queries:

Enquiries – Camielah Jardine –

AfriRock 2017 – William Joughin –

Presidential Tour 2017/ RockBowl – Paul Couto – /