OBITUARY: DENNIS LAUBSCHER
PIONEER OF BLOCK CAVING
A legend in the mining industry, Dennis Laubscher, South Africa’s and the world’s foremost authority on block caving techniques, died 3 February at the age of 91 at Bushman’s River Mouth, Eastern Cape. He is survived by four grown-up children (Susan Stampanoni, Dionne, Tessa, and Robert Laubscher) from his first marriage to Patricia May (nee Binnie) who died on 29 August, 2002; their elder son Carl having also passed away. On 27 February 2004, Dennis married Michelle (nee Broster).
Born in Tulbagh, Western Cape, on 1 October 1929, Dennis Laubscher earned a BSc (Eng.) in mining geology in 1952, and a PhD in 1964, both from the University of the Witwatersrand. His career was highlighted by numerous awards: the South Africa Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) Gold Medal in 1995; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the South African Institute of Rock Engineering in 1998; the De Beers Mass Mining Award at Massmin 2000; and the Brigadier Stokes Platinum Medal from SAIMM in 2007.