Full Name: Michael Rory Conal Kevane
Position: Rock Engineering Manager
Company / Organisations: Lonmin
Date and Place of Birth: 20 April 1958, Harare, Zimbabwe
Education: NDT (Mining)(Wits); CoMAREC; GDE (Min. Eng.); B.Comm (Bus. Man.)
First Job: Learner Official (Mining)
Personal Best Achievement/s: Provincial Swimming Colours; Rescue Brigade (Proto) 10 yrs.
Philosophy of Life: Love, Integrity, Friendship, Enthusiasm
Favourite Food/Drink: Seafood, Red Wine
Favourite Sport: Gym
How did your career in the mining industry begin and where are you now?
I joined Rand Mines as a Mining Learner Official at RMTC and was allocated to Harmony Gold Mine in Virginia, Free State, in 1978.
In 2008 I joined Lonmin.
Why did you choose Rock Engineering?
From production, I was seconded to Technical Services for a project on Non Electric Blast Initiators (Nonel). This resulted in the successful adoption and mine rollout of short stoping panels with throw blasting, particularly at Virginia 2 Shaft.
During this time, I was approached by the Rock Engineering Manager and offered a position in the Department.
Please tell us a bit more about your career journey?
At Harmony, I held Production and Technical Service positions that included Mine Overseer and Rock Engineer. While in the Rock Engineering Department, I received a notice of redundancy (retrenchment not yet being in vogue) due to cost cutting. I elected to remain at Harmony and returned to production as a Miner.
Within a relatively short period of time, I was fortunately reinstated as a Rock Engineer.
I parted ways with Harmony and joined HL&H in 1995. I eventually left as a Regional Manager 10 years later, due to retrench-ment.
After 2 years at Groundwork in Johannesburg, I joined Lonmin in my current capacity.
What are some areas that you believe will become of increasing importance in the near future of the Rock En-gineering discipline?
Obviously, the shortage of Practitioners is of grave concern. The transfer of knowledge is an aspect that must not be left to purely academic means. Mentoring, both official / non-official and theory / practical, is vital to ensure a stable, vibrant fraternity that upholds high ethical and professional service standards with integrity.
We live in an age of technology, and practical meaningful instrumentation is one aspect that requires intense focus to assist in ensuring safe everyday mining activities across the industry.
What advice would you offer people aspiring to be in your position?
There is obviously the learning aspect that one cannot get away from or ignore. You are never too old to learn.
But, passion and drive can develop within a person when the realisation dawns that we, as Rock Engineering personnel, are in the front line. We are responsible for the safety of all underground workers and the stability of the working places.
With hard work and dedication comes success. At all times be humble.
Who is your role model / mentor?
During my career, numerous individuals have had both input into and effect upon my life, in both private and professional ca-pacities.
I do not want to mention any for fear of omission.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Time passes as quickly or as slowly as we let it – it’s up to us how, and how much we fill the one-way moments of a lifetime.