When Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was delivering his mid-term budget speech in 2016, he made reference to the following Pedi quote which is relevant to one of SAIMM’s strategic initiatives: ‘Ditau tsahloka seboka di shitwa ke nare e hlotsa’ (translated into English as ‘Lions that fail to work as a team will struggle to bring down even a limping buffalo’). This quote cannot be any truer when one reflects on the need for collaboration for a common purpose. In the October 2015 edition of the SAIMM Journal our Immediate Past President, Rodney Jones, wrote about a 2011 inaugural meeting in London which ultimately resulted in the formation of the Global Mineral Professionals Alliance (GMPA). I am happy to share with you a positive development – in February 2017 the SAIMM hosted the Annual GMPA Meeting in Cape Town, where we formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Some of you may wonder what the GMPA is, and why it is important that the SAIMM participates in such a collaboration.
The GMPA is currently composed of six sister institutes: the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), the Institute of Materials, Mining and Metallurgy (IOM3), the SAIMM, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Inc. (SME), and the Instituto de Ingenieros de Minas del Peru (IIMP). Each of these six professional organizations is active in its specific geographic area in order to advance and promote the professional development of its members. This common goal brings us together under the GMPA umbrella to share challenges and solutions. We are able to move towards this goal collectively through sharing institutional information and benchmarking, and sharing technical information via OneMine.org and the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG). I urge you to visit the OneMine.org website to see the wealth of technical papers hosted on that platform. Through our collaborative partnership with the GMPA, we are able to enhance a mutually beneficial relationship among member associations. Standing alone, we would run the risk of starving like the independent-minded lions that fail to bring down the limping buffalo.
The SAIMM is fully committed to the GMPA initiative as its members stand to benefit from the reciprocal arrangements that exist among the member institutions. For example, any SAIMM member in good professional standing who visits any of the GMPA geographical locations for no more than 12 months qualifies for ‘Visiting Member’ status. This allows the member, among other things, to register for conferences, seminars, and workshops conducted by the host society at the host society’s member rate, and to have access to the host society’s facilities. SAIMM members can login via the SAIMM website to the OneMine.org website and view, download, and print documents at no charge. Is this not a great leap forward in benefits for our members? Is this not a global approach to dealing with global challenges? As you read this edition of the Journal, which is dedicated to papers from UNISA, the New Technology Conference, and other selected papers of topical interest, I would therefore like to leave you with this thought on collaboration. If a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved, then a joy shared is a joy doubled. Will challenges shared not be challenges halved, and success shared be success doubled?