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

WASHINGTON — The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected 83 new members and 16 foreign members, announced NAE President C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., today. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,293 and the number of foreign members to 262.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or educa-tion, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

Individuals in the newly elected class will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE's annual meeting in Washing-ton, D.C., on Sept. 30, 2018. A list of the newly elected members and foreign members follows, with their primary affilia-tions at the time of election and a brief statement of their principal engineering accomplishments.

Napier, John A.L., extraordinary professor, department of mining engineering, University of Pretoria, Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa. For contributions to computational simulation of rock fracture around underground excavations.

Prof. Don U. Deere died on 14 January 2018 in Gainsville, Florida. He was born in 1922, in Mt. Etna, Iowa. He was part of a small group of rock engineers that decisively influenced the development of rock mechanics in the 20th century.

Prof. Deere graduated in Mining Engineering at Iowa State University and obtained a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois in 1955. An expert on tunnelling, dam building and design, and the construction of large underground spaces, in 1989 he was appointed as Chairman of the US Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. He received numerous distinctions throughout his career including being elected to both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.

After working as a mining engineer in Arizona and New Mexico, Don moved to the University of Puerto Rico and started the Foundation Engineering Company of Puerto Rico. In 1955 he accepted an appointment as an associate professor at the University of Illinois. In 1972 he moved to Gainesville where he co-founded Deere and Merritt, a consulting firm in geology and rock mechanics, and joined the University of Florida.

He wrote and co-authored numerous papers and was the inventor of the rock mass assessment tool, the RQD – Rock Quality Designation. Together with Prof. Giovanni Lombardi, he invented the GIN method of grouting. He was the President of the Commission on Standardization of Laboratory and Field Tests of the ISRM from 1968 to 1973.

At this time our thoughts are with his close family and friends.

You are invited to the Mining and Tunnelling Seminar.

Agenda: Innovations and experiences in ground support for the mining and hydropower industry

Where: Ruimsig Country Club

When: 15 February 2018 from 8:30 (registrations); will continue until around 16:00

Contact: Mariette Esterhuyse (mariette.esterhuyse@geobrugg.com) on Tel. +27 83 7725564

Cost: Free of charge

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 - mpolokeng.rammutloa@enterprises.up.ac.za
Jannie Maritz - jannie.maritz@up.ac.za

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 info@sanire.co.za but other email addresses with info@sanire.co.za 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 alida.hartzenberg@lonmin.com

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.