Full Name: Edeshni Munsamy
Position: Strata Control Officer
Company / Organisations: Lonmin
Date and Place of Birth: 26 September 1990; Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal

Education: Joined Lonmin, as a Mine Technical Services student. I have since, obtained my Blasting Ticket in 2015 and Strata Control Ticket in 2016. I am currently employed as a Strata Control Officer at Rowland Shaft and working towards my Rock Engineering Ticket.

First Job: Personal assistant at Discovery Life

Everything in life happens for a reason, someday it will all make perfect sense.

Personal Best Achievement/s: Obtained 5 distinctions in Matric.
Received the student of the year award for the Mine Technical Services Programme. Qualifying as one of 4 members to represent South Africa at the AfriRock 2017 Rock Bowl. Achieving the best present-er award at the Early Career Forum at AfriRock 2017. Achieving the Rock Star of the year award 2018.

Philosophy of Life: Everything in life happens for a reason, someday it will all make perfect sense.

Favourite Food / Drink: I am a foodie in general. Seafood, especially prawn and crab curries are my favourites but chicken briyani will always have my heart.

Favourite Sport: Cricket

How did your career in the mining industry begin and where are you now?

In 2014, I joined Lonmin as a Mine Technical Services Cadet. The year long program offers young people the opportunity to join the mining industry with little to no knowledge about the industry. The program exposes students to the different fields within the Technical Services banner. Once I have gained the basic knowledge and skills of the different fields, I then chose to build my career in the Rock Engineering discipline. In 2015 I completed my Blasting Ticket. In 2016, I completed Strata Control Practical and was employed as a Strata Control Of-ficer. I have since obtained Rock Engineering Paper 1 and 2 and I am currently working towards completing my Rock Engineering Ticket.

Why did you choose Rock Engineering?

The Rock Engineering fraternity is a relatively new science with excellent scope for new research and contributions. Working in this field therefore inspires me to be pro-active and involved as I have the opportunity to originate new ideas and positively contribute towards strengthening the industry. In addition the Rock Engineer’s contribution towards the Mining Department remains exceptionally relevant and I absolutely thrive on making a relevant contribution in my work.

Please tell us a bit more about your career journey?

My career began in 2014, when I joined Lonmin through a Mine Technical Services Learnership program. During the program I obtained my Strata Control Theory. I then proceeded towards obtaining my blasting certificate in 2015. In January, 2016, I completed my Strata Control Practical and obtained my Strata Control Certificate. In April 2016, I was appointed as a Strata Control Observer on Lonmin’s Rowland Shaft. In October 2016, I obtained my Rock Engineering Paper 1. In April 2017, I was appointed as a Strata Control Officer and completed my first project entitled ‘Support Strategies to Safely and Effectively develop through the Elandsdrift Fault Zone’, the project was presented at the Young Geo-Technical Engineers Conference in September 2017 and AfriRock in October 2017. In April 2018, I was given the oppor-tunity to act as Rock Engineer at Lonmin’s Hossy Shaft (for a month), a challenge which was rewarding in my career development. In May 2018, I obtained Rock Engineering Paper 2. In August and September 2018 I presented my second project at MineSafe 2018 and SAIMMs 4th Young Professionals Conference respectively, titled ‘Large Scale Instabilities pre-empted through pro-active hazard identification and Moni-toring in a UG2 panel on Lonmin’s Rowland Shaft.’

I live by the following phrase: “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential, these are the keys to success.”

What are some areas that you believe will become of increasing importance in the near future of the Rock Engineering discipline?

The influence legislative role players have on the Rock Engineering fraternity remains controversial and is becoming of increasing im-portance. The line between the professional input by a certified specialist and that of a legislative role player should be drawn. Furthermore, the technology available and becoming available in the industry plays an important role in enhancing the service provided by Rock Engineer-ing personnel and if utilised effectively can revolutionise safe, maximum extraction. With the mining industry growing, many shafts are min-ing at their boundaries and mines are getting deeper, it is of paramount importance that the Rock Engineering personnel adapt to this change as our role in this evolution is significant.

What advice would you offer people aspiring to be in your position?

Always aspire to build a solid foundation in your career and formulate a C.V which can compete amongst the talented and industrious indi-viduals in the mining industry and South Africa at large. Furthermore, your career should be multi-faceted, one should focus not only on their daily work but rather broaden their scope and engage in branding themselves and building prestige. The opportunities to share knowledge and actively participate in networking and learning from industry leaders are endless. Set the tone and the rest will follow. But most of all I standby the fact that success is HARD WORK and CONSISTENCY.

Who is your role model / mentor?

My role model is certainly my mother, her exceptionally competitive nature and strength as a woman is what I strive to encompass. My mentors are Willie Liebenberg and Michael du Plessis, these are individuals who have always wanted more for me that I knew possible. Words cannot express the vital role my mentors have played in my development not only in my career but as a person.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

It is inevitable that we all have strengths and weakness and its important that you always capitalise and play to your strengths.
With a little assistance, a mammoth task is much smaller than it appears.
Remain humble and kind despite any success you may achieve.

I live by the following phrase: “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential, these are the keys to success.”