SANIRE offers you access to global rock engineering excellence through the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM). Find out more about it here.

There are several benefits to being a member of SANIRE. All such benefits are in line with SANIRE’s mission statement, which reads:

  1. Encouraging interest and advancement of Rock Eng. through education
  2. Maintaining professional practice and high standards of ethics
  3. Encouraging networking, collaborating and information exchange
  4. Identifying, promoting and facilitating Rock Eng. related research
  5. Providing access to global Rock Eng. through ISRM

In the spotlight in this issue of RockTalk is point (e), SANIRE’s provision of access to global rock engineering excellence through its affliation with the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM).

To promote the advancement of rock mechanics and rock engineering, the ISRM has established various means of providing leading practice knowledge in the form of; the ISRM Suggested Methods, online video lectures and the ISRM digital library.

Registered members of SANIRE, are automatically ISRM members and thus have full access to the above mentioned sources of knowledge.

The ISRM Suggested Methods

The ISRM Suggested Methods provide a systematic approach of documenting procedures relating to field testing, laboratory testing, site investigations and various other aspects of the discipline. These documents are accessible for download on the ISRM website (

You can also access them in the ISRM Blue Book (publications from 1974 to 2006, Edited by R. Ulusay and J.A. Hudson), various issues of the International Journal for Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences and, of late, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering.

This system was developed in the early 1970s and has records of suggested methods from these early years. The records extend up to 2014. This goes to show how much the ISRM is committed to keeping its members abreast with best practice and the latest standardised developments in the discipline.

Here are just some of the topics on which Suggested Methods have been published in the past three years:

  • Determination of mode II fracture toughness (2012)
  • Determining the abrasivity of rock (2013)
  • Determining the creep characteristics of rock (2013)
  • Drucker-Prager criterion (2012)
  • Failure criterion based on true triaxial testing (2012)
  • Hoek-Brown failure criterion (2012)
  • Introduction to suggested methods for failure criteria (2012)
  • Lade and modified Lade 3D strength criteria (2012)
  • Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion (2012)
  • Determining the mode I static (2013)
  • Laboratory determination shear strength of rock joints – revised edition (2013)
  • Monitoring rock displacements using gps (2013)
  • Rock failure criterion - general introduction (2012)
  • Rock stress estimation - part 5 (2012)
  • Step-rate injection method for fracture in-situ properties (simfip) (2013)
  • Three dimensional failure based on the Hoek-Brown criterion (2012).

Online video lectures

The ISRM website hosts video lectures that you, as a member, can view for free. Four lectures have been presented to date, all of them in 2013:

  • “50 Years of NATM – from a construction method to a system” by Prof. Wulf Schubert (Garz University of Technology, Austria)
  • “Solving the Unsolved Problems in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering” by Emeritus Professor John A. Hudson (Imperial College, UK)
  • “Rock Mechanics Lessons from Dams” by Prof Pierre Duffaut (France)
  • “Catastrophic landslides – The legacy of Vaiont” by Prif Eduardo Alonso (Department of Geotechnical Engineering and Geosciences, Civil Engineering School, UPC, Barcelona, Spain)

To view these lectures, go to .

The SANIRE Council is pleased to announce that, beginning this year, SANIRE will also be producing video lectures on various topics for the benefit of its members. Two lectures are scheduled for the year and the number may increase in future.

ISRM digital library

The ISRM digital library is hosted on, which is run by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. It contains publications from ISRM meetings and congresses as well as publications from various other journals.

As SANIRE members registered on the ISRM website, you are allowed to download, at no cost, up to 100 papers per year. ISRM corporate members can download 250 papers.

The login details to where recently changed. New or old registered members who have not yet upgraded their login details as per the new login requirements can update their details by following the instructions on the ISRM website ( ).

Find out more

For further information or any queries about the ISRM, please contact Jacques Lucas. He is the current Vice-President for Africa on the ISRM board. Back home, Jacques is a former President of SANIRE and now holds the ISRM Liaison portfolio on the SANIRE Council. For Jacques’s contact details as well as some highlights of his career, please visit .

There’s no need to wait until you are “experienced enough” to publish a paper. Thapelo Kolokoto and Halil Yilmaz proved this beyond doubt. Lawrence Rwodzi tells you more about what they did and the David Ortlepp award.

Why not give yourself a challenge: to publish one paper a year, or even one paper, one year?

Every year, SANIRE awards its members for their concerted efforts in publishing technical papers through various journals or conferences. Many younger practitioners may view this as an opportunity intended for older, seasoned practitioners, but that should not be the case. These accomplished practitioners got to where they are today by pushing boundaries, striving to be the best they could be. Being published is something younger practitioners can strive towards from their very early days.

A typical example is a publication by Thapelo J. Kolokoto and Halil Yilmaz in Volume 113 of the SAIMM Journal, published in April 2013 – ‘An investigation into introducing a new support element at Khomanani 2: resin bolts or 1.5m in-stope roofbolts.This project was research work carried out by Thapelo in partial fulfilment of his BSc Mining Engineering Degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. Halil was Thapelo’s project supervisor. Thapelo has since successfully completed his BSc Mining Engineering degree and is a mining engineering graduate trainee at AngloPlatinum.

What stands out is that, Thapelo and Halil’s paper was nominated for the SANIRE 2013 Salamon Award, along with papers by seasoned practitioners Mathew Handley and Les Gardner. The Salamon Award is given to the best publication in a particular year; the paper providing the most advancement and/or best practices each year. Wow! Right?

To distinguish the seasoned practitioners from the young and upcoming practitioners, SANIRE launched the David Ortlepp Award at the 2013 SANIRE Symposium last year. This award commences this year and will be given to the best paper published or presented by a young practitioner (aged 35 or less). The paper must have been published or presented in any journal or at any of the various industry conferences in the year. The award includes a medal and an all-expenses-paid opportunity for the winner to present the same paper at an international conference anywhere in the world.

While putting together a publication may appear a very daunting task, as Chinese philosopher Laozi said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Just take that step! Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  1. Select a project/work that you have or are working on that is interesting, challenging or includes interesting information from which others in the field can learn;
  2. Seek the necessary permissions to publish the work;
  3. You do not have to do the paper alone; you may co-author or work with your colleague/senior/manager/boss/mentor;
  4. Select and approach a peer reviewer to look at and critique your paper;
  5. Identify publications/conferences to which your work could be relevant;
  6. Document your findings/work in line with the requirements of the publication/conference. A common example is the SAIMM Journal guidelines for authors ( .

Bear in mind that, apart from the award, which is only an incentive; publications are a great way of marketing yourself, developing confidence in the trade and contributing to the knowledge base of the rock engineering discipline.

youthrepAs the focus on young members increases across the SANIRE, the Eastern Bushveld Branch has elected a Youth Development Representative (YDR), to join their Branch committee.

Adam Cooper was the winning candidate of three nominees.

Adam says “My main objective as YDR is to assist the junior SANIRE members with their studies such that they can become competent Rock Engineers. I would like to utilise this opportunity to also develop and implement systems for the benefit of the Eastern Bushveld Branch as well as bring the Branch closer with the other SANIRE branches”.

In 2002 Adam obtained a bursary with Anglo Platinum to study towards a BSC Honours Degree in Engineering Geology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal which he successfully completed in 2004. His career in Rock Engineering kicked off the following year when he was deployed by Anglo Platinum to Lebowa Platinum Mine (Bokoni Mine) as a Graduate Rock Engineer. Wasting no time, Adam obtained his Strata Control Certificate in the same year.

In 2009 he was transferred within Anglo Platinum to Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine (Royal Bafokeng Platinum). During the same year, he completed a Graduate Diploma in Engineering (Rock Engineering) from the University of the Witwatersrand.

He went on to complete the Chamber of Mines Rock Engineering Certificate in 2010 and the Advanced Rock Engineering Certificate in 2011. He was also appointed to Shaft Rock Engineer in 2011.

In 2012, he joined Platreef Resources as a Senior Geotechnical Engineer and is with the same company to date.

He is also currently finalizing his project for the completion of his Master’s in Engineering, Mining (Rock Engineering) degree with the University of the Witwatersrand.

As a young and highly motivated individual, with the experience and qualifications, Adam is well positioned for his role as a youth development representative.

Adam can be contacted on or 082 664 2763.




         Coalfields Branch


The SANIRE Coalfields Branch will have the pleasure of hosting the annual SANIRE Symposium on the 11th of September 2014 at the Maccauvlei on Vaal. Additional details will follow shortly.




Chairman: Sandor Pethö                                                       Vice Chairman: Steve Poczik
Secretary: Duncan Lees                                                        Student Members: Olwethu Swakamisa & Marc Henderson
Supplier Representatives: Danie Blom & Frikkie Kaap
       Treasurer: Mandla Mazibuko



The Southern African Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (SAIMM) in collaboration with South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE) presents the . . .

6th South African Rock Engineering Symposium
SARES 2014

'Creating value through innovative rock engineering'

12–14 May 2014 | Misty Hills Country Hotel and Conference Centre, Cradle of Humankind

Have you booked your seat yet?

Recent developments in the global mining industry have led to the conclusion that it is time for significant change. Mining needs to become yet safer and more efficient while addressing the challenges of rising costs, skills shortage, marginal ore, complex geology and greater mining depth. The easy pickings have been taken. Innovative rock engineering design is therefore essential for the future of the mining industry. Creating value through innovative rock engineering

Preliminary Programme

The preliminary program is jam packed with very interesting topics addressed by speakers from Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Iran, USA and across South Africa.

Day 1 Keynote Speaker is Peter Kaiser (Mining Excellence) who will be talking about ‘Deformation-based support design for caving operation’. The sessions on the day will dwell on different numerical modelling and fracture analysis approaches.

Day 2 Keynote Speaker is Terry Wiles (Mine Modelling Pty Ltd) discussing ‘Three ways to assess mining induced fault instability using numerical modelling’. The days’ sessions will cover aspects of slope failures and innovative support and monitoring systems.

Day 3 Keynote Speaker is G.S. Esterhuizen (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) on ‘Extending empirical evidence through numerical modelling in rock engineering design’. The day’s sessions will cover geotechnical data modelling in design and mine seismicity.

To view full programme visit SARES 2014

Who Should Attend

Rock engineering practitioners from all back grounds should book and diarise this event. Young practitioners are also encouraged to come learn from and network with the various seasoned practitioners. The event is also very much applicable to the DMR inspectors, Researchers, Academics, Mining engineers and Civil engineers.

To make your booking visit SARES 2014

For more information

For more Information visit: SARES 2014 or contact:
Raymond van der Berg
Head of Conferencing
Tel: 011 834 1273

Exam season is just around the corner. Make sure you know what to do.

Now would be a good time to go to to check up on the step-by-step examination application process, the relevant closing dates and the examinations programme for the May and October 2014 Chamber of Mines Rock Engineering exams.

Please ensure that you register before the closing dates and remember that your registration form needs to be accompanied by proof of payment.

Please also remember these other important dates:

  • The results of the May 2014 exams will be available on the Chamber of Mines website on 2 July 2014.
  • The closing date for registration for the October cycle of the rock engineering practical exam is 16 July 2014.

Yolande Jooste is the head of the Exams Committee. Please send her any questions or alert her to problems directly at

SAYREF members will be taking one another on in the first ever RockBowl, a trivia competition for rock engineers in training.

During the 2014 SANIRE Symposium, SANIRE and SAYREF plan to run the first ever RockBowl, a trivia competition for young people being trained up in the rock engineering discipline.

Each branch is expected to participate in two ways: adding to the questions in the question bank and then selecting representatives to compete against other branches in the Bowl. RockBowl will have a knockout format, with two teams battling it out in each round.

This year’s winners will be the first ever SAYREF RockBowl Champion.

Please send your comments and questions to Jannie Maritz at or via the SAYREF Facebook page: Jannie represents young members’ interests on the SANIRE Council.


Due to unforeseen circumstance beyond our control, the Strata Control Practical Exam has been postponed to 27th March 2014.

The first annual Strata Control Practical Exam will be hosted by Bokoni Platinum on behalf of the Eastern Bushveld SANIRE Branch on the 27th March 2014


07h00 – Arrival candidates at Bokoni Platinum

07H00 – Visitors induction

08h30 – Underground visit will commence

11h00 – Return from underground (Shower/ Lunch)

12h00 – Oral exam will commence

Venue Details:

Venue: Bokoni Platinum

Date: 27th March 2014

Time: 06h30 for 07h00

R.S.V.P: No later than 14th March 2014

Co Ordinates: S24° 17.144' E 29° 52.000


Confirmation of your attendance and queries must be sent to the following people below before the 14th
March 2014.

Paul Couto at



Seventh International Conference on Deep and High Stress Mining

16–18 September 2014  |  Radisson Hotel   Sudbury  |  Ontario, Canada

Over 100 abstracts have been accepted!  

View the list of accepted   abstracts and Deep Mining 2014 brochure.


Samantha Espley 

Vale, Canada


David Counter

Glencore Canada Inc., Canada

Keynote address:Kidd Mine – dealing with the   issues of
  deep and high stress mining – past, present, and future

Professor Ray Durrheim

CSIR and the University of the Witwatersrand, South   Africa

Keynote address: Has research contributed to improvements   in
  safety and profitability of deep South African mines?

Dr Stephen Hardcastle

Natural Resources Canada – CanmetMINING, Canada

Keynote address: The continuing challenges to provide
  adequate ventilation and a safe environment in deep mines

Ground Support Subjected to Dynamic
Loading Workshop

15 September 2014
  Radisson Hotel Sudbury  |  Sudbury, Canada

View the preliminary   programme.


Winthrop Professor Yves Potvin

Australian Centre for   Geomechanics, Western Australia

Winthrop Professor Phil Dight

Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Western Australia

Sponsor and exhibitor opportunities available


For more information   please contact the ACG.


SRK Consulting
  3M Canada

  ESG Solutions

  Geobrugg North America, LLC

  Itasca International, Inc.

  King Shotcrete

  Mine Design Technologies Inc

  Normet Canada Ltd.

Spray On Plastics Ltd.

Mining Journal

Contact the ACG via





Dear EuroRock 2013 participant,

We invite you and your colleagues to submit and abstract for the International Society of Rock Mechanics 2015 Congress.

Abstract submission deadline is two months away. The attached CALL FOR PAPERS should be
further circulated to your network of Rock Mechanics colleagues.

Initial abstract submissions are requested to be made directly by the authors, and not by the National Committees, to the website of the ISRM Congress at with the final submission deadline being May 1, 2015.

Following receipt of abstracts, it is the intent of the Congress Organizing Committee to provide access for each National ISRM Committee or Group to abstracts submitted by members of that country for approval and abstract selection.

Following National Group selection of member abstracts, the Congress Organizing Technical Committee will perform additional reviews of recommended National Group abstracts, as well as others that may be deemed to be of significant interest for the Congress themes.

On behalf of General Chair, Ferri Hassani - Lise Bujold

Director, Conventions & Trade Shows

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)

Tel.: (514) 939-2710 ext. 1308 | Fax: (514) 939-2714

The first annual Strata Control Practical Exam will be hosted by Bokoni Platinum on
behalf of the Eastern Bushveld SANIRE Branch on the 20th March 2014

· All applicants must have a Strata Control Theory Paper in order to qualify to enroll for the Strata Control Practical Exam.

· All applicants need to register with Joma vd Merwe at in order to attend the Practical evaluation.

· Applications will be confirmed with Joma vd Merwe at in order to ensure that registration has taken place.

The Strata Control Practical will consist of a compulsory underground visit followed by an oral exam session.


– Arrival candidates at Bokoni Platinum

– Visitors induction

– Underground visit will commence

– Return from underground (Shower/ Lunch)

– Oral exam will commence

Venue Details:

Venue: Bokoni Platinum

Date: 20th March 2014

Time: 06h30 for 07h00

R.S.V.P: No later than 14th March 2014

Co Ordinates: S24° 17.144' E 29° 52.000

What is equipment and P.P.E is required?

Please ensure that you bring along the following:

Note book, Pencil, Pen, Scale ruler, Protractor, Refreshments / Lunch

Please note that every person attending the Strata Control Practical Exam is required to bring along their own PPE.

Bokoni Platinum requires the following as PPE:

Overall, Gum Boots, Hard hat, Cap lamp belt, Ear Plugs, Safety Glasses, Socks, Knee pads


In order for your registration to be accepted please complete the registration form. Click HERE

Confirmation of your attendance with proof of registration with Joma vd Merwe at must be sent to the following people below before the 14th March 2014.

Paul Couto at

Please note that the registration for the Chamber of Mines Rock Mechanics practical closes 7 February 2014 and registration for the theory will close 31 March 2014. To register please follow this link and send proof of payment to Colin.

11th International Symposium on Mining with Backfill

20–22 May 2014 | Novotel Perth Langley Hotel | Australia

For more information please click HERE

To View the ACG event calendar please Click HERE!

View the Deep Mining 2014 brochure!

Deep Mining 2014 abstracts due 24 February 2014! Visit the Author's Portal to submit your abstract online.

The 6th YGE Conference "Cultivating the Future of Geotechnics" is intended to establish a network forum and opportunity for young geotechnical engineers to better acquaint themselves with the industry and products available. This takes place in a young environment where all presenters and most of the delegates are under the age of 35. The conference is held every three years and aims to provide delegates with the opportunity to develop their writing skills and publish a technical paper which will be published in the conference proceedings. In addition presenters can exercise presenting skills in front of
a more forgiving audience and delegates attending can all learn from like-minded peers.

This conference will take place amongst the luscious vines of the Spier Wine Estate in the heart of the Western Cape. Spier is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa with a recorded history dating back to 1692.

While rooted in this heritage, Spier has a vibrant and conscious energy. The winery is one of the most awarded in the country and the four-star Spier Hotel and meeting facilities offer inspiring Winelands getaways in the tranquillity of nature.

Submit your abstract by 31 January 2014!

Who should attend?

Geotechnical practitioners under the age of 35 in the mining and civil construction industry. More experienced geotechnical practitioners are encouraged to motivate the YGE 's working under them to attend the conference and explain the advantages of presenting their work at the conference.

Conference Godfather: Ken Schwartz

Ken Schwartz has a degree and post graduate diploma from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is one of those who were fortunate enough to be inspired by Professor J. E. Jennings who encouraged and fostered his early interest in geotechnical engineering or soil mechanics and foundation engineering as it was called in those days. That interest led to a 40 year career in geotechnical engineering. The first twenty
one years in geotechnical consulting and then eleven years dealing with the significant challenges offered by specialist geotechnical contracting. For the last eight years he has been operating as a specialized geotechnical consultant, now based in Ramsgate on the beautiful south coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION FEES (Register and Pay before/on 6 June 2014)

SAICE / SAIEG / SANIRE Member R4 200.00

Non Member R4 550.00

Full Time Student R1 350.00

FULL REGISTRATION FEES (Register and Pay on/after 7 June 2014)

SAICE / SAIEG / SANIRE Member R4 600.00

Non Member R4 950.00

Full Time Student R1 750.00

For the full announcement & registration form please contact the Conference Secretariat

Yolandé van den Berg

RCA Conference Organisers

+27 11 487 2260/3819

32nd Technical Evening

The SANIRE Gauteng Branch is hosting an evening lecture with a technical talk on Current and Future Mass Mining Methods and Options - Challenges and Opportunities


Professor Gideon Chitombo – University of Queensland, Australia

Drinks and snacks will be provided

Sponsors: AEL Mining Services.

Venue: CSIR, Johannesburg

Time: 17H00 for 17H30
Date: 5th December 2013

RSVP to Amma Boaduo before the 3rd December 2013 by clicking on one of the boxes or by e-mail directly to

Meet Joma van der Merwe, SANIRE's new Administrator.

JomaJoma van der Merwe is planning to run the SANIRE national office very professionally. She says: "I want this office to be very smooth running, a place members and non-members alike can turn to for answers and great service."

Having completed a three-year payroll diploma in 2012, Joma previously worked as a payroll administrator at Consolidated Murchison Mine.

Her passion in life is rescuing and rehabilitating abused parrots, and she is also the owner of De-Omas, a small-scale specialist clothing import business.

Joma is married to Deon and they adopted their son, Vian, 10 years ago.

She matriculated in Kroonstad and studied at the technical college there, as well as completing several short courses at various institutions over the years.

Joma says: "The most basic choice we have in life is whether to expand or contract, whether to bring our creative and expressive energies out into the world in positive or negative ways. No matter what our circumstances, we have the power to choose our direction."

[Right] Joma van der Merwe, SANIRE's new Administrator.

SANIRE's movers and shakers were recognised at the institute's annual general meeting held at The Village Club at Western Deep Levels on 22 November 2013. Read more about it here.

Ben Kotze receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Ben Kotze receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Peter Terbrugge receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Peter Terbrugge receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Alan Naismith receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Alan Naismith receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
Mathew Handley receiving the Salamon Award
Mathew Handley receiving the Salamon Award

The SANIRE Lifetime Achievement Award winners were Peter Terbrugge, Alan Naismith and Ben Kotze. This award is given to long-serving senior rock engineering practitioners who have made significant contribution to the advancement of rock engineering. By virtue of winning this award, Peter, Alan and Ben automatically become Honorary Life Fellows. This brings the number of members in this prestigious SANIRE membership class to 19.

The prestigious Salamon Award was awarded to Matthew Handley, for his paper titled Pre-mining stress model for subsurface excavations in southern Africa. This award is given to the best publication, that is, the paper providing the most advancement and or best practices each year. To read more about this ground-breaking paper, download PDF:

The Practitioner of the Year Award was awarded to Deon Louw. This award recognises practicing individuals who are widely recognised by their peers and subordinates for their contribution both in the work place and in the discipline.

Qualifications celebrated

Chamber of Mines Rock Engineering and Strata Control examination candidates who obtained the highest marks for each of the papers written also walked away with medals. For each of the papers, the highest score had to be a minimum of 75%. The individuals who came out tops were:

  • Calvin Gloster - SCO (81%), October 2012
  • Cornelius Swart - SCO (81%), October 2012
  • Deinol Jones - SCO (81%), October 2012
  • Craig Slement – COMREC Paper 3.1 (88%), October 2012
  • Gorden Rabey - SCO (85%), May 2013
  • Christiaan Rademan - COMREC Paper 1 (85%), May 2013 exam
  • Ruben Coetzer - COMREC Paper 3.1 (94%), May 2013 exam.

While there is no formal award for new Chamber of Mines Rock Engineering Certificates, recognition was given to the following individuals for their hard work and effort in qualifying for these tickets.

  • Coal - Felix Chiramba, Felix Joel, Mandlenkosi Z Mazibuko and Malome L Sekwele.
  • Massive Mining - Pretty B Mzimela.
  • Open Pit - Takenda P Pabwe.
  • Metalifereous - Etienne Swart, Gerald R Gainsford, Gerhardus S Botha, Paul M Couto, Awoa P Boaduo, Matthew G Barnard, Gibson S Khoarai, John D Smith, Christiaan F Rademan, Christoffel T Jooste, Petrus J Wessels, Jean-Pierre Gouvea, Sifiso C Meshile, Narisha Sirrira and Quintin L Grix.

Congratulations also go those who qualified for the Advanced Rock Engineering Certificate: Andries Esterhuizen, Felix Joel and Lawrence Rwodzi.

Last but by no means least, congratulations go to the people who qualified for their Chamber of Mines Strata Control Certificates (names not available at time of publication).

Contact the ACG for a full list of our underground geotechnical literature


Contact the ACG via