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Journal President's Cornerpages

Time Marches On

This is the month of the year when we say that ‘time is marching on’ and ‘we can’t believe how quickly it is going’. Just a personal observation regarding the passage of time, with perhaps a lesson in relativity, is that I notice that the older you get, the longer the weeks become but the shorter the years.

The environment is not ignored

This edition of the Journal again covers a wide range of subjects related to underground mining. Safety features strongly, with topics covering the spectrum from the helicopter view of the probability-based likelihood of successful outcomes of the systems to the
detailed design of rock support elements. Accident prevention utilizing advanced technology receives attention, as does the design and implementation of mining methods. The environment is not ignored either.

What happens in the world influences South Africa

Mining cannot be viewed in isolation from the community in which it is performed. There are several levels of community. The broad South African mining industry takes place in the broad South African community. As such, it is a vital part of the broad South African economy which is in turn linked to the world. What happens in the world influences South Africa and in turn our mining industry.

SAIMM President's Year End Message - Time is not Renewable

At this time of the year, it is customary to reflect on the past 12 months and invariably, to remark that we cannot believe that another year has gone by. By this time, we should know that there are no slow years. They all fly by, each year quicker than the one before.

Geographic Spread of Authors

This edition of the Journal covers a wide variety of subjects. There should be something of interest for just about everyone. It is also gratifying to note the geographic spread of the authors contributions came from: Canada, Iran, China, Australia, and of course South Africa.

Growth

Ayear may be a long time in politics, but for me it has passed in a flash. For all that the Office Bearers Committee and I set out to do, there is always so much more still to be done. Nevertheless, I do feel that, by building on the hard work of my predecessors, we have maintained your Institute in a good situation, despite the chaos and uncertainty in the world we live in.

Milestone

This edition of the SAIMM Journal is a milestone in the sense that it is the first edition fully dedicated to discussing and opening debate on issues related to the economics of the mining industry in southern Africa.

The Face of Mining in Africa

The face of mining in Africa is changing rapidly and is becoming increasingly complex. More so than ever, the competition for strategic resources is critical to the economic growth of the emerging economies as they posture to challenge the suzerainty of the long established developed states. This once again places the African minerals industry at the centre of the global geopolitical stage.

Changing Needs & Interests

The Constitution of our Institute states that the Institute must identify, represent and promote the interest and needs of its members. Like the industry in which we all work, these needs and interests change continuously.

Water Resource

Irecently attended the water resource conference that was organized by the SAIMM and held in Mpumalanga. Given the sensitivity about the use of water resources, I felt that my opening remarks bear repeating.

Insatiable Demand for Minerals

The recent and apparently almost insatiable demand for minerals, stimulated largely by demand from the East, represents a huge opportunity for the Southern African mining industry.

A Stark Reminder

The dreadful mine disaster in New Zealand is a stark reminder to us all of the risks our industry faces to feed the voracious appetite for minerals. It is, therefore, good to record the much improved 2010 South African safety statistics, which show a significant decrease in underground fatalities in our mines.

New Economic World Order

In reviewing 2010, one cannot but observe that the renewed growth following the recession of the past two years has been accompanied by an encouraging freshness in thinking. Increasingly it is realized that the resurgence in demand for the world’s mineral resources, as stimulated by population growth and urbanisation and concomitant economic growth, in China and India and other emerging economies.

Student Colloquium

It has become an SAIMM tradition to present a Student Colloquium every year. This year’s Student Colloquium took place in early November at the Vaal University of Technology in Vanderbijlpark.