The SAIMM is a professional institute with local and international links aimed at assisting members source information about technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors.
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  • SAIMM Banquet 2018

  • World Leader in New Steel Research Visits the University of Pretoria

    world leader11dec17

    Photo: Prof Roelf Mostert, Sir Prof Harry Bhadeshia, Prof Charles Siyasiya, Prof Pieter Pistorius and Dr Johan Westraad

    Next-generation bainitic steel with remarkable properties was the central theme of a colloquium hosted by the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Pretoria on the 4th of December 2017. Sir Harry Bhadeshia, a global leader in metallurgy and the Tata Steel Professor at Cambridge University, was the main speaker. Sir Prof Bhadeshia was on a visit to South Africa as a result of an application made by the Microscopy Society of Southern Africa and the trip was funded through a NRF instrument.

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  • Report Calls for Open Standard for 3D Applications in Mining Industry

    Image result for gmsgUser Interviews and Analysis Highlight Common Challenges

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – A new report released by Global Mining Standards and Guideline Group (GMSG) says a survey of more than 18 3D software applications shows the users experience significant difficulties and delays working with the software, collaborating with peers and learning multiple proprietary programs. A solution to these difficulties is an Open Mining Format (OMF) that would encompass a set of guidelines and recommended steps.

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From the President's Corner

  • A Christmas gift for the Institute

    It is the end of the year and Christmas is in sight. We have all had a busy year and thus look forward to a restful break, which we will fill with new memories with our families and friends. Above all, we all look forward to receiving that well-chosen wonderful gift from loved ones. A gift is always treasured. It

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  • Women in the mining and minerals industry

    Summer is finally here and Christmas is around the corner. I do hope that you are all enjoying the warm weather that is prevalent in Southern Africa at this time of the year and, at the same time, have started shopping for those elusive but perfect Christmas gifts for friends and families. Since taking over the reins as the President

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  • Singing the praises of our SAIMM members

    I would like to welcome you all to the new 2017/2018 term of the SAIMM. I hope you are all as excited as I am about what lies ahead. I am greatly looking forward to spending the next twelve months with you as we discuss and delve into different topics that interest us as members of this marvellous Institute. As

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From the Journal Comments

  • The SAMREC/SAMVAL Companion Volume Conference

    This edition of the Journal features papers that were presented at the SAMREC/SAMVAL Companion Volume Conference held on 17 and 18 May 2016 and attended by some 100 people. The intention of the conference was to provide Competent Persons and Competent Valuators with the opportunity to prepare and present details of recognized standards and industry benchmarks in all aspects of

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  • The 6th Sulphur and Sulphuric Acid Conference

    The 6th biennial Sulphuric Acid Conference and Workshop was held in Cape Town between 9 and 11 May 2017. Approximately 90 delegates attended with regional representation from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and the DRC and from further afield with delegates from Germany, the USA, UK, The Netherlands, Canada, and Denmark. Delegates representing plant operations management, technical experts, traders, transporters, and

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  • Advanced Metals Initiative (AMI)

    It is with great pleasure that we once again present the annual conference of the Advanced Metals Initiative (AMI). The AMI was established jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the science councils, namely, Mintek, NECSA and the CSIR and has received generous funding from the DST since 2003. The principal objective of the AMI is to

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Some important links from SAIMM


Recognised Overseas Professional Organisation (ROPO)

Developments In International Reciprocity Of Competent Persons South African Entities Accepted By The Australian Stock Exchange (Asx) As Recognised Overseas Professional Organisations (Ropo)

The South African Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (The SAMREC Code) and the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (The JSE) recognize a number of International Institutions, whose members may report on Resources and Reserves to the JSE under the SAMREC Code.

In a further move towards the International reciprocity of Competent Persons, the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (the SAIMM), the Geological Society of South Africa (the GSSA), and the South African Council for Professional and Technical Surveyors (PLATO) have recently been accepted by the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) as members of their Recognised Overseas Professional Organisation (ROPO) list. The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), and the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) have previously been accepted as ROPO’s by the ASX.

The ASX ROPO scheme was introduced in 2003 as a joint initiative between the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee (“JORC”), the parent organisations of JORC (The AusIMM, AIG and Minerals Council of Australia), and ASX. The latest list of ROPOs, as at September 2006 (updated since orignal publication), thus includes the following South African entities.

Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy AusIMM
Australian Institute of Geoscientists AIG
Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists CCPG
European Federation of Geologists EFG
The Geological Society GS
Institute of Geologists of Ireland IGI
Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining IMMM
Mining and Metallurgical Society of America MMSA
Society for Mining Metallurgy and Exploration SME

Members of a ROPO may thus sign off as a Competent Person on the ASX, under the JORC Code, without having to join one of the sponsoring entities of the JORC Code itself (ie the AusIMM or the AIG). Further information on the ASX ROPO list can be obtained at:
The criteria for a ROPO are that the organisation must:
1. be a self-regulatory organisation covering professionals in the mining and/or exploration industry;
2. admit members primarily on the basis of their academic qualifications and experience;
3. require compliance with the professional standards of competence and ethics established by the organisation; and
4. have disciplinary powers, including the power to suspend or expel a member.

The ROPO initiative complements the similar moves implemented in Canada and South Africa in recent years, and has significantly advanced the development of true international reciprocity of Competent (in Canada, Qualified) Persons.

Chairperson: SAMREC/SAMVAL Committee
17 May 2005

Brigadier Stokes Memorial Award


In 1980, the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy instituted a prestigious award to commemorate Brigadier Stokes for his outstanding and unique contribution to the South African mining industry over a period of many years. This award consists of a platinum medal. The award is made to an individual for the very highest achievement in the South African mining and metallurgical industry, and is not necessarily based on technical considerations.

Former Recipients

1980 H.F.Oppenheimer 1980 H F Oppenheimer 2001 T.L.Gibbs 2001 T L Gibbs
 1981 Dr.W.Bleloch 1981 Dr W Bleloch 2002 J.Ogilvie Thompson 2002 J Ogilvie Thompson
 1982 Dr.F.G.Hill 1982 Dr F G Hill 2003 P.V.Cox 2003 P V Cox
 1983 Dr.A.Whillier 1983 Dr A Whillier (Posthumously) 2004 H.J.Smith 2004 H J Smith
 1984 Prof.D.G.Krige 1984 Prof. D G Krige 2005 P.Motsepe 2005 P Motsepe
 1985 Dr.R.E.Robinson 1985 Dr R E Robinson 2006 Prof.G.T.vanRooyen 2006 Prof. G T Van Rooyen
 1986 Prof.M.D.G.Salamon 1986 Professor M D G Salamon D.H. Laubscher Brigadier Stokes 2007 Dr D H Laubscher
 T.F. Muller 1987 Dr T F Muller 2008 Prof.T.R.Stacey 2008 Prof. T R Stacey
 1988 Dr.W.J.deVilliers 1988 Dr W J (Wim) de Villiers 2009 Dr.C.J.Fauconnier 2009 Dr C J Fauconnier
 1989 R.A.Plumbridge 1989 Dr R A Plumbridge 2010 Prof.C.T.O'Connor 2010 Prof. C T O'Connor
 1990 W.G.Boustred 1990 W G Boustred 2011 B.C.Alberts 2011 B C Alberts
 1991 P.duP.Kruger 1991 P du P Kruger 2012 R.P.Mohring 2012 R P Mohring
 1992 E.Pavitt 1992 E Pavitt 2013 Prof.H.R.Phillips 2013 Prof. H R Phillips
 Prof D A Pretorius 1993 Prof. D A Pretorius 2014 B.Godsell 2014 B Godsell
 1994 Dr.H.Wagner 1994 Dr H Wagner 2015 S.Nkosi 2015 S Nkosi
 1995 Dr.O.K.H.Steffen 1995 Dr O K H Steffen  May Hermanus   2016  M A Hermanus
 1996 B.E.Hersov 1996 B E Hersov      
 1997 D.W.Horsfall 1997 D W Horsfall (Posthumously)       
 1998 B.P.Gilbertson 1998 B P Gilbertson       
 1999 L.Boyd 1999 L Boyd       
 2000 A.H.Mokken 2000 A H Mokken       

brigadierBrigadier Stokes

Ralph Shelton Griffin Stokes, son of Francis Griffin Stokes, was born in England on 31 July 1882. Stokes, who was privately educated, interrupted his studies to come to South Africa to take part in the Second Anglo-Boer War as a trooper in Paget's Horse, and after the war went to Johannesburg to try his luck on the gold mines. He joined H. Eckstein and Company (The Corner House) in 1902 and his first appointment was as a sampler and assistant surveyor on the Crown Reef Mine.

An offer from Abe Bailey to work as the part-time mining editor of the Rand Daily Mail enabled Stokes to continue his studies and to tour the mines of the British Empire. A series of articles described his travels and appeared in the Rand Daily Mail between June 1906 and September 1907. His book Mines and Minerals of the British Empire was published in 1908, followed by Text Book of Rand Metallurgical Practices in 1912. His second term of employment with H. Eckstein and Company, commencing in 1907, coincided with a period of intense activity on the gold mines of the Witwatersrand. It was not only the beginning of the great amalgamations, but also of considerable change on many mining properties. Stokes assisted the well-known William Wallace Mein with the valuation of the New Modderfontein Gold Mining Company Ltd, and worked on the Robinson Mine, Crown Mines, and in Eckstein's central administration. During this time he obtained the government's Surveyor's Certificate.

From 1912 to 1914, he was employed as a field engineer by the International Nickel Company of New York. In 1912, while inspecting the newly discovered Arkansas Diamond Mine he met, in one party, Henry Cleveland Perkins, Hennen Jennings, Sidney J. Jennings and Willie Mein, the four American engineers who had played such a significant role in the history of H. Eckstein – Werner Beit and Company and the development of the Witwatersrand gold fields.

Stokes returned to South Africa as superintendent of mines and assistant general manager of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd at Kimberley. Eight years after this, he resigned to join his old firm in Johannesburg which had become the Central Mining and Investment Corporation Ltd. During his term of office as consulting engineer and technical director of Central Mining, he played a major role in the acquisition and development of its gold mines in the Orange Free State. He was chairperson of the Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mining Company, and witnessed the sinking of the first boreholes at the Harmony Mine in 1949. He was appointed as director of Central Mining in 1944, a position he held until he retired from the board in 1959. He was also a director of Transvaal Gold Mining Estates Ltd and chairperson of Trinidad Leaseholds Ltd from 1944 to 1947.

In addition to his remarkable capabilities as a mining engineer, Stokes has a distinguished military record. During the First World War he was in France with the tunnelling companies and as controller of mines with the rank of colonel of the First Army. He was chief engineer of the Expeditionary Forces in north Russia from 1918 to 1919. In recognition of his work during the war, he was awarded the Military Cross (MC, 1916), the Distinguished Service Order (DSO, 1917) and the Order of the British Empire (OBE, 1919). Undeterred by the fact that he was 57 when the Second World War broke out, he returned to England to offer his services to the War Office. He was first sent to Narvik, and then to the Western Desert as chief engineer in charge of construction of airfields with Montgomery's Eighth Army. He rose to the rank of brigadier and was honoured as Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE 1942). In the course of the two world wars, he was mentioned in dispatches no fewer than seven times. He recorded some of his war-time experiences, entitled 'Our Arctic Campaigns Archangel 1918-1919; Narvik 1940' in the Royal Engineers Journal.

Stokes served on the council of the Geological Society of South Africa from 1929 to 1939, and as its president in 1934; his presidential address was entitled 'The geological surveys and societies of the world'. In 1937–1938, he served as the president of the Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society (having been a corresponding member of council since as early as 1913) which became the South then Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. His presidential address dealt with the financial aspects of mining on the Witwatersrand, and he wrote some outstanding papers on various aspects of the Witwatersrand gold mining industry. He was elected as an honorary life member in 1946. He was also a member, and in 1954 president, of the (British) Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, and published material in its bulletin. His presidential address, 'Future Resources and Problems of the Witwatersrand Gold Field' was acknowledged as a remarkable piece of work. After his death on 24 February 1979 (in Dorset, United Kingdom), the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy established the Brigadier Stokes Memorial Award which recognizes outstanding achievement in, and contribution to, the mining industry.

Stokes was a remarkable and resilient man with a superior intellect, inexhaustible energy, and an insatiable curiosity, who travelled widely, had many friends, and was informally known in his later years as 'The Brig'. In 1921 he married Lora Mary (Molly) Bradford, with whom he had four daughters. He retained a dry sense of humour and an agile mind until his death at the age of ninety-six.

Acknowledgements to Don Visser, The Encyclopedia of South African Biography, and the S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

SAIMM Branches

Branch Johannesburg
Name Company Position
Mike Woodhall Gijima AST Chairperson

Branch Pretoria
Name Company Position
Oupa Mothibi University of Pretoria Chairperson

Branch Zululand
Name Company Position
Wynand Erasmus Downer EDI Mining Chairperson

Branch W Cape
Name Company Position
Jenni Sweet University of Cape Town Chairperson

Branch Bushveld
Name Company Position
Clem Sweet   Chairperson

Branch Mpumalanga
Name Company Position
- Vacant - -

Branch Free State
Name Company Position
- Vacant - -

Branch Zambia
Name Company Position
Sixtus Mulenga - Chairperson

Branch Namibia
Name Company Position