Obituary Notice: Prof. Richard Z.T. Bieniawski,

Prof. Richard Z.T. Bieniawski, 81, of Prescott, Arizona died Monday December 11, 2017 at his home. He was born October 1, 1936 in Krakow, Poland.

Dr. Hon. Causa (Madrid, Spain), Dr. Hon. Causa (AGH, Krakow, Poland), Ph.D. M. Sc. Distinguished Professor (ret.) and President, Bieniawski Design Enterprises, Prescott, Arizona.

Paper 1 is a general theoretical paper covering basic rock mechanics theory applicable in all types of mining environments, surface as well as underground. This course will cover the Syllabi for Paper 1, preparing the candidate attempting the certificate of competence examination on the themes of stress & strain, constitutive behaviour, rock properties, stress in rock & rockmasses and rockmass properties.
The course will be presented over 5 days (12-16 March 2018), allowing sufficient time for transferring knowledge and information, resolving misunderstood concepts and practical.
For more information please contact:
Mpolokeng Rammutloa -
Jannie Maritz -

Dear SANIRE Members
In the recent past a couple of SANIRE members have received suspicious emails from unknow email addresses requested a refund with an attached Proof of Payment (PoP). This is currently a scam which is doing its rounds. Please note that the email does not come from but other email addresses with used in the signature section or as an address to send the PoP back too. Please do not reply to these emails. Please note that no personal information is accessible via the webpage and all personal details are safe with the SANIRE Secretary.
SANIRE President
Jannie Maritz

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

Your feedback will be highly appreciated.

Alida Hartzenberg


Firstly, I would like to congratulate the organizing committee from both SANIRE and SAIMM on the recently presented AfriRock 2017 Conference in Cape Town. As in the metaphor of the calm duck on the pond, with feet kicking frantically under the surface, this event was no different. You will be able to read more on the event inside this edition of Rocktalk.

Following a series of events and responsibilities, I was again reminded of a piece I read a while back pertaining to the way people communicate, which I try to follow in my life as well. We are good in telling people what needs to be done; however, the moment we turn our back, nothing changes. We all live and die by the 5 rules concerning safety, but No. 5 – “Will they continue working safe when I leave?” – is seldom positively answered. After the time spent on presenting your case, it is business as usual. The answer as to why might be in the following ques- tion: Are you good as a presenter, or can you persuade people to change?


AfriRock 2017 plenary session

AfriRock 2017, the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) International Symposium for 2017, was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa, from the 3rd to the 5th October 2017. This is the first conference of that name and the first African ISRM International Symposium since the Tuni-sian and Zimbabwean National Groups joined the African Region of the ISRM. The Symposium was jointly organised by the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) and the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE). It was well attended by 264 delegates from 42 countries. Each of the ISRM regions was represented: Africa (135 delegates), Asia (56, with 33 from China), Australasia (10), Europe (36), North America (13) and South Ameri-ca (14). Africa’s proud participation was evident through the number of delegates from Botswana, DRC, Egypt, Ghana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Tunisia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, together with a substantial number of delegates from South Africa.


Prof. Francois Malan receives Franklyn Award

Prof. Francois Malan was honoured by the ISRM board with the Franklin award at AfriRock 2017 where he presented on “Numerical Modelling of Tabular Excavations: Old Problems and New Solutions”. The Franklyn award is presented annually to recognise the achievements of a mid-career ISRM member who has made a significant contribution to a specific area of Rock Mechanics and/or Rock Engineering in the country where the ISRM annual conference will be hosted.


Dr. Michael du Plessis nominated as the Rocha Award winner for 2017

Dr. Michael du Plessis’s PhD thesis titled “The design and behaviour of crush pillars on the Merensky Reef” was announced by the ISRM board as the best PhD thesis for 2017. The Rocha medal is awarded annually by the international committee to the best PhD study in the field of Rock Mechanics or Rock Engineering. Michael will be receiving the Rocha medal for his study at the next ISRM International conference which will be held in Singapore in 2018.

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 Petersburg
RockDyn-3 - 3rd International Conference on Rock Dynamics and Applications - an ISRM Specialised Conference 2018-06-26 2018-06-27 Norway Trondheim
ARMS10 - the ISRM 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium 2018-10-29 2018-11-03 Singapore Singapore
ISRM 14th International Congress on Rock Mechanics 2019-09-20 2019-09-27 Brazil Foz do Iguaçu

personalityFull Name: Rudrajit Mitra

Position: Associate Professor & Chair of Rock Engineering at the School of Mining Engineering, University of Witwatersrand

Date and Place of Birth: 9 August 1978, Kolkata, India

Education: PhD (Mining Engineering), MS (Mining Engineering), BE (Mining Engineering)

First Job: School of Mining Engineering, University of New South Wales

Personal Best Achievement/s: Voted best lecturer by students

Philosophy of Life: Work hard while enjoying life with your near and dear ones

Favourite Food/Drink: Love to eat; Drink white wine

Favourite Sport: Cricket


Full Name: Paul Michael Couto

Position: Rock Engineering Manager at Brentley, Lucas and Associates, Harmony Gold

Date and Place of Birth: 18 May 1987, Johannesburg South

Education: B.Sc. (Honours) Applied Science – Mining Engineering, B.Sc. Geology Degree, and COMREC, COMSCC

First Job: Strata Control Observer at Open House Management Solutions in Klerksdorp

Philosophy in Life: “Never give up because hard work always pays off, perhaps not immedi-ately, but in the long run” and “There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence, don’t confuse the two”

Favourite Food/Drink: Steak, egg and chips

Favourite Sport: Target/ Pistol Shooting, Rugby and Golf