12 January 1988- 5 May 2018

On behalf of SANIRE, let me pass our deepest condolences on the recent passing of a dear friend and colleague Tiaan Eloff.

To say Tiaan was a larger than life character would be an understatement. He will always be remembered for his vibrant personality and zest for life, living life to the fullest. Tiaan was an exceptional Rock Engineering practitioner and was working at Glencore Western Chrome Mine until 2017 before realising his dream of starting his Rock Engineering consultancy. Tiaan enjoyed the outdoors and socializing with friends. He touched the lives of many people and he will be sorely missed. At this time, our thoughts are with his mother Elmarie Eloff, his sister Janke Eloff and close friend and mentor Wouter van Aarde.

Jannie Maritz

Deep and High Stress 06112018

GO TO WEBSITE >>>>           REGISTER>>>

The Western Bushveld branch will be hosting Strata control practical examinations for SANIRE members working in the area.. All candidates interested in participating in the practical exams must register on the SANIRE website.
Note that the exams will be split into 2 areas due to the geographic locations.

  • Practical (North) will be hosted by Amandelbult. The exam will take place on 19 April 2018
  • Practical (South) will be hosted by Lonmin on 3 May 2018.

The registration process will only allow for registration for the area. Please select Western Bushveld branch. Candidates will only be able to participate in one of the 2 events. Candidates who have participated in any other recent practical exams (past 6 months) will not be able to register. The facilitators of the practicals will contact registered candidates to communicate further details.

For candidates to successfully register for the exam, there are compulsory requirements. These also include having passed the SCO theory exam, paying a R500 registration fee, and being a member of SANIRE.

Registration for these events will close on Friday 13 April 2018.


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


This is your newsletter and I would like to hear from you. If you have any information or stories that we can use, please submit them via email to alida.hartzenberg@lonmin.com

Your feedback will be highly appreciated.

Alida Hartzenberg

When looking at your newly acquired smartphone, that red dot with a numerical value, for some, might be meaningless. For me, suffering with a mild case of FOMO*, I cannot stand it if my phone displays all the notifications on updates, new text messages or unread mails. I need to know what has changed. On an app upgrade, I therefore read the upgrade notes made on the application. I fear missing out on a special feature that will make my life better or easier.

This brings me to message that I would like to leave you with. You will not know what you miss if you do not know what you have. The upgrade from Ver1.0 to Ver2.0 will not bother you if you only downloaded Ver3.0. Once downloaded, you get the full capacity of the new app. In training and life, on the contrary, it does not work that way. Once you “downloaded” your certificate, it does not necessarily provide you with the experience, which unfortunately comes with time. Forty years’ experience, takes forty years – even in the new technology age where the technology gets replaced every 6 months. The question raised here is how do we stay abreast. In life, we need to learn from the past, and how that and our current status will influence the next UPDATE.

Each of us has the responsibility, believe it or not, to UPDATE our companies to a better environment for the sake of each other and the next generation. If we check our desks and To-Do-Lists, we will find some areas that could do with an UPDATE, and even in some cases, a DELETE. We need to know where to aim our energy and where to cut back. In order to reach your destination, you first need to know where you are.

In order to achieve your goals for 2018, consider the words of a famous South African Bank – “What is your next ...?” If you know what you want, determine what you need to do next to get yourself closer to that goal on a daily basis. Keeping STATUS QUO is LOSING GROUND.

To all members of SANIRE, may 2018 be a blessed year. To those attempting exams this year, good luck. To those looking for appointments, good luck. To those currently appointed, GOOD LUCK. May 2018 bring to each member the prosperity that we strive for and the health to pursue this with all our energy.

Keep those red dot numbers down ….


*FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out

Recent developments

A reminder of decisions approved at the ISRM Council meeting, held at AfriRock 2017:

  • The full name of the society has changed to the “International Society of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering”, but the acronym will remain “ISRM”.
  • Prof. Reşat Ulusay was elected as the next ISRM President. He will start his term of office after the 14th Inter-national Congress of the ISRM, which will take place in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, in 2019.

Online lectures

Two ISRM Online Lectures are available for viewing on or downloading from the ISRM website (www.isrm.net):

  • 19th Online lecture: Professor Xia-Ting Feng – Rockbursts at deep tunnels
  • 20th Online lecture: Professor Milton Kanji: – Dam Foundations affected by Geological Aspects

The 21st Online lecture will be presented on the 15th March by Professor Laura Pyrak-Nolte and will be on geo-physical characterisation of fractures.

ISRM Conferences

The following ISRM Conferences are scheduled:

Event title Start date End date Country City
1st International Conference on Advances in Rock Mechanics 2018-03-29 2018-03-31 Tunisia Hammamet
EUROCK 2018 - the ISRM European Rock Mechanics Symposium 2018-05-22 2018-05-26 Russia Saint Pe-
RockDyn-3 - 3rd International Conference on Rock Dynamics and Applications - an ISRM Specialised Conference 2018-06-26 2018-06-27 Norway Trondheim
VIII Brazilian Rock Mechanics Symposium 2018-08-28 2018-09-01 Brazil Salvador
ARMS10 - the ISRM 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium 2018-10-29 2018-11-03 Singapore Singapore
2019 Rock Dynamics Summit in Okinawa 2019-05-07 2019-05-11 Japan Okinawa
ISRM 14th International Congress on Rock Mechanics 2019-09-13 2019-09-18 Brazil Foz do Iguaçu
YSRM2019 - the 5th ISRM Young Scholars’ Symposium on Rock Mechanics and REIF2019 - International Symposium on Rock Engineering for Innovative Future 2019-12-01 2019-12-04 Japan Okinawa
EUROCK 2020 - Hard Rock Excavation and Support - an ISRM regional Symposium 2020-06-00 2020-06-00 Norway Trondheim

Full Name: Dewald Adriaan Wynand Lamprecht

Position: Unit Manager Rock Engineer

Company/ Organisations: Sibanye-Stillwater – Driefontein BU1 (1# & 6#)

Date and Place of Birth: 17 October 1986, Randfontein


First Job: Top Vending – Driver

Personal Best Achievement/s: Obtaining my Rock Engineering Certificate

Philosophy of Life: Never judge anyone; you never know what they went through in life.

Favourite Food/Drink: Medium rib eye steak with mash and vegetables, together with and a glass of wine.

Photo Catgeory

First Prize: Dewald Lamprecht

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Second Prize: Jeanne Walls

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Third Prize: Denisha Sewnun

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Video Catgeory

First Prize: Adriaan van Zyl

See the video here...

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By G.C. More O’Ferrall

Honduras is a Central American country, bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. It has the Caribbean Sea to the Northeast and the Pacific Ocean to the South (Figure 1).

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Figure 1: Location of Honduras in relation to other Central American countries

The Bay Islands, which are a scuba diving and snorkelling destination, are along the 1000 km long Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (more on this later).
Mine visit

Honduras currently has one underground mine, the El Mochito Mine. The mine is situated in a very mountainous area, approximately 2 hours’ drive (88 km) from San Pedro Sula, the primary industrial centre and the second larg-est city in Honduras (Figure 2). Two distinct mineralised zone geometries are mined: the mantos (a blanket-like body formed along a bedding plane) and chimney-type deposits (formed along intersecting geologic structures) Figure 3. Initial stoping operations occurred in chimney-type deposits above a shale layer. The broken ore (containing gold and silver) was hoisted to surface, loaded on carts drawn by mules to be transported to Lago de Yojoa (Lake Yojoa), loaded onto boats for transport across the lake, and then transported to the mills to be pro-cessed.

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Figure 2: Location of El Mochito Mine in relation to San Pedro Sula

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Figure 3: Mineralised zone geometry

Production commenced in 1948 (Figure 4), with zinc and silver being the target minerals. Post-pillar cut-and-fill mining was conducted with jacklegs in the chimney deposits, but with the presence of the mantos not being known at the time.

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Figure 4: Entrance to El Mochito Mine

Since 1948, the mine has had four different owners, although not all of them have had the available capital to conduct additional exploration. A structural geology study was conducted (by SRK) in 1995, and with the better understanding of the deposit, an extensive targeted exploration programme is currently underway by the new mine owners (having purchased the property in 2016).
The travelling way/drift, from the mine entrance to the station where workers are transported to the deeper working levels via mancage, is approximately 200 m long. The mancages are double-deck, with a maximum capacity of 8 per-sons per deck (Figure 5).

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Figure 5: Underground station (mancage to the left and skips to the right)

Current mining methods include longhole open stoping (chimney-type deposits) and post-pillar cut-and-fill (mantos deposit).

The Bay Islands

The Bay Islands are an approximately 45-minute flight (in a twin-engined aircraft) from San Pedro Sula. Being in the Caribbean Sea, the water is warm (approximately 21°C when I was there) and clear (Figure 6).

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Figure 6: Photograph indicating the clear, blue water around Roatan Island

My experience of Roatan Island was surreal – the water was very salty, making it difficult to stay underwater, yet it was possible to swim with my eyes open without them stinging. The beaches are fine white sand and stretch for kilometres. Seafood is abundant and cheap (Figure 7).

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Figure 7: USD50 for this meal for two, including a bottle of wine – absolutely amazing

Accommodation in a 4-star holiday resort was approximately USD75 per room, per night (breakfast included); unfor-tunately, I only had the luxury of having three days on the island, before having to return to work in Zambia (I could easily have stayed there for a couple of weeks).

I took a 3-hour long snorkelling trip (USD25) along the barrier reef. I snorkelled in three different dive locations; it was like swimming in a marine aquarium (the colours of the reef fish were spectacular). Although there are Caribbean Reef sharks along some of the more popular scuba diving locations of the island, there have apparently not been any shark attacks on humans. Fortunately, I did not see any sharks, otherwise I’d have transitioned from snorkelling to running on top of the water.

For those South Africa-based persons who might be interested in visiting this stunning part of the planet, here is an indication of the cost of flights and groceries (as a comparison to what you pay in South Africa), Figure 8.

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Figure 8: Cost of travel and groceries in Rand terms

The trip, both to the mine site and as a tourist to the Bay Islands, is definitely one of my favourite ‘adventures’ that I have been fortunate enough to have undertaken.

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Safe travels!


Full Name: Jeanne Walls

Position: Director; Principal Geotechnical Consultant

Company/ Organisations: Jewal Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Date and Place of Birth: 24 March 1976, Greytown, KZN

Education: MEng (Rock Eng.), GDE (Mining), CoMAREC, BSc (Hons) Geophysics

First Job: Exploration geophysicist (first job in mining)

Personal Best Achievement/s: Discovering after nearly 20 years that I have achieved a meaningful career, accomplished my own financial independence, established my own business, and developed valu-able relationships amongst my peers, superiors, and young up-and-comings within the industry.

Philosophy of Life: Every one of us walks a different path. The world is bigger than we are as individ-uals, but we are each of us uniquely relevant. Most of us deserve a second chance, most of us deserve some considered understanding, and there is always beauty and redemption somewhere, if we’re brave enough to know it.

Favourite Food/Drink: A fine whiskey

Favourite Sport: Mountain Biking