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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Scholarship Trust Fund


  • Annual General Meeting Thursday, 12 August 2021 at 12:00, via Zoom



    1. Welcome
    2. Confirmation of minutes
    3. Obituaries
    4. Honorary Life Fellowship
    5. Brigadier Stokes Memorial Award
    6. Announcement of awards, medals, and certificates
    7. Announcement of student prizes
    8. SAIMM 5 Star Incentive Programme and Top Advertiser in the Journal
    9. Annual report of the Council and accounts for the year ended 30 June 2021
    10. Declaration of election of Office Bearers, members of Council and other positions for the year 2021/2022
    11. Election of auditors and honorary legal advisors for the year 2020/2021
    12. Outgoing Presidential Award
    13. Induction of President—I.J. Geldenhuys
    14. Presidential address
    15. Vote of thanks


    South Africa’s mining and metals industries have an illustrious and complex history dating back to the Late Iron Age. We live in a complex and data-intensive world that has already fundamentally changed how we work and live. In 2020, the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in immeasurable suffering worldwide, but the crisis also accelerated many technological developments and the way we think about, and experience, technology and work.

    We already know there will be more changes to how we work, how we think, and how we build things. We may not yet understand what these changes will be, but we know that technology and the workforce will evolve. Moreover, this also applies to how we mine, extract, and produce metals. In our selected fields in the minerals industry, we transform data into applied solutions through creativity, insight, and skills. Problem-solving requires new and rapidly changing skills to manage the data tsunami, to name but one megatrend. At the rock face or on the processing plant, fundamentals have not changed, although how we interact with the minerals and their properties has changed dramatically—sustainable processing and design are non-negotiable if we genuinely want to achieve the cradle-to-cradle principle.

    The famous paragraph by Charles Dickens reads: ’It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.’ It almost seems like Dickens time-travelled to 2020 and wrote these words about our experiences, about our history. But, unfortunately, amid overwhelming events and changes, the idea of looking to our scientific history to broaden our ability to problem-solve is often forgotten. So as we venture forth into the season of light and the age of wisdom, what can scientists, engineers, technologists, and mathematicians learn from history?

    Is there, then, still value in the body of knowledge that the SAIMM has curated for more than 125 years of existence? History is just data presented in a context; sometimes, the context is also important. We exist in an age of data, with most of the world’s data created in only the past two years (as indicated by data growth statistics), and machine-generated data will reportedly account for 40% of internet data in 2021. History can enhance our understanding of the present and enhance our future outcomes. History can be valuable in teaching ethics as it provides strong evidence of how the context in which things happened was equally important in shaping the engineers and scientist working to solve problems. Lessons from history can help provide insights into making ethical and sustainable choices related to technology or engineering in the mining and metallurgical industry.

    Shifting the perspective of mining and metallurgy professionals from a narrow focus on complex technical solutions towards a broader context for problem-solving and designs that include the entire ecosystem is crucial. In other words, using or reflecting on historical process development is, at its core, systems thinking.

    Isabel Geldenhuys 15062021 ISABEL GELDENHUYS BIOGRAPHY

    Isabel Geldenhuys was born in 1970 in Pretoria and spent most of her childhood in Clayville, a suburb of Olifantsfontein. Her formative schooling years started at Olifantsfontein Primary School, and she completed her high school career in Centurion in 1988. Isabel holds a BEng degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pretoria and has completed an MEng degree in metallurgical engineering (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch. She is a registered professional engineer and a Fellow of the SAIMM.

    During her final school year, Isabel was selected from many applicants to spend a gap year at the South African Women's Army College as part of the 1989 intake. She joined 220 young women in George for a year of military training, mainly focused on leadership development. The year in George, away from family and school friends, laid the foundation for her lifelong passion for leadership development. After completing the gap year, she was fortunate enough to qualify for the chemical engineering programme at the University of Pretoria, where she was active in charity and community-based projects throughout her studies.

    As a fresh graduate, her career almost took a direction into polymer research, but fortunately, the CSIR opted to release her from her bursary obligations, which led to her appointment in March 1996 in Mintek's Pyrometallurgy Division. At Mintek, as an engineer-in-training, Isabel discovered her passion for pyrometallurgy. Entranced by the subtle science and exact art of pyrometallurgy, she was privileged to work with many leading experts. Mintek's pyrometallurgy group supported her technical development and an in-depth understanding of the engineering and business principles of the metallurgical industry. At Mintek she developed expertise across various commodities, specializing in open-bath smelting processes for ferrochromium, titaniferous magnetite, ilmenite, precious metals, ferronickel, and various waste materials, among many others. In 2021 she started a new career as an independent consultant but continues her association with Mintek as a consulting pyrometallurgist.

    Isabel represented Mintek at numerous conferences as a seasoned presenter with a passion for telling a story. She is the author and co-author of 19 conference and journal papers, over 80 technical reports, the inventor of processes, and frequently presents at technical conferences and events. Her involvement in the SAIMM stems from her passion for her community. She believes that the SAIMM offers professionals a unique opportunity to give back to the community and the country.

    In her early 40s she tackled and completed three Comrades Marathons and ran the Great Wall of China marathon – she believes in regularly challenging herself, both personally and professionally. In the last few years, Isabel has combined her love of running and the environment with plastic litter activism via 'plogging' (picking up litter while jogging). She never leaves for a run or a walk without a bag (and sanitizer) to pick up litter. She shares her life with her soulmate, Carl Bergmann, also a metallurgist. Together they adore their brood of rescue cats and two German Shepherds, and love spending time in their garden or hiking in their local nature reserve.


    Navin Singh 2107202114 November 1971 – 12 July 2021

    Navin Singh was born on 14 November 1971 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

    He started his career at South Deep Gold Mine in 1996 as Strata Control Officer, progressing to the position of Chief Rock Engineer (Operations). In 2000 he relocated to Australia, and joined Western Mining Corporation as Senior Geotechnical Engineer at Olympic Dam Mine in South Australia. He returned to South Africa in 2001 to take up the position of Research Manager for Rock Engineering at the CSIR, and subsequently that of Programme Manager for Mining. He served for a time as New Technology Manager at Gold Fields Ltd, then moved to the Mine Health & Safety Council as Chief Research and Operations Officer, remaining in that position for the next 6 years. Navin returned to the CSIR in 2015 as Manager for Mining R&D. He was involved in establishing the Mandela Mining Precinct in partnership with the DST and the then Chamber of Mines and became the Co-Director of the Precinct for the period 2016–2020. He held the position of Head of Technology, Kumba Iron Ore (Anglo American) when he passed on.

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  • Renewable Solutions for Energy Intensive Industry 2021

    Diamonds 2021 Banner 01122020

    The Colloquium on Renewable Solutions for an Energy Intensive Industry will provide an overview of renewable technologies for electricity and process heat commercially available and currently under development. The workshop will host presentations from universities, research institutes and energy supply companies. Presentations from industry on renewable energy applications are also invited.






    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.

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    During this difficult and uncertain time, we know that the health and safety of you, your families and the wider community is of the utmost importance. We as an organisation share both your individual and organisational concerns on the virus’ expanding global reach. SAIMM has been closely monitoring the spread of the disease, especially related to our conference registrants and their travelling. As always, your safety is our highest priority. Due to the increasing urgency of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to inform you that the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Northern Cape Branch has decided to postpone the Student event that was due to take place on the 20th of January 2021 at the Kalahari Country Club. This event will be postponed until further notice.

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  • Obituary - Dr Ferdi Camisani

    Ferdi Camisan10122020Dr Ferdi Camisani,
    July 1939 – November 2020.

    Ferdi Camisani was born outside Parma, Italy just a few weeks after the declaration of World War II
    He was a student of the father of geostatistics, Georges Matheron, in Fontainebleau, France and together with Danie Krige, wrote some of the first papers on the application of geostatistics in South Africa.
    During his long career in South Africa he worked with De Beers, Anglo American, the Atomic Energy Corporation, and Anglovaal.
    Ferdi was a member of the Geostatistical Association of Southern Africa (GASA) and the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM). On his retirement from SAIMM activities in 2012 the President, Gordon Smith, acknowledged his contribution as follows.

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From the President's Corner

  • An agile SAIMM for the agile professional

    ’The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.’ - Milton Friedman I was encouraged to join the SAIMM by senior university staff in the early ‘eighties. Most the students in the industry (about 90%) had bursaries with one or other of the large mining houses, which at the time

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  • Cleaning Up

    ‘It is the worst of times, but it is also the best of times because we still have a chance.’ – Sylvia Earl We have all heard of the term ‘pollution’, but what does it really mean? How do we impact it and how does it impact us? And how do we solve a problem that we aren’t even fully aware

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  • A Vision: Cooperative Support Centres for Rural Communities

    ‘Licence to operate remains the top risk in mining and metals for 2021’ EY – Top 10 business risks and opportunities for mining and metals in 2021 Environmental, social, and governance issues, at both the local and national level, are not only important to our industry, but for our country as a whole. The minerals industry is aware of this and

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From the Journal Comments

  • Sustainable development, digitalization, mineral value chains, and new paradigm shifts

    The sustainable development of the Earth’s mineral resources ensures the continuous supply of the raw materials and metals upon which we rely. It is a critical global problem, particularly given the growth of emerging economies and increasing environmental concerns. Digitalization and related advances have facilitated important technological progress and the emergence of several paradigm shifts in the mining industry. One

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  • A selection of diverse papers

    The five papers in this edition cover a wide range of topics from computationally effective stope layouts to the bulk chemistry of critical elements in a waste product. The papers have been submitted by authors from South Africa (2), Canada, Kenya and Germany and I have tried to summarize them here. The paper by Lohmeier, which examines the potential of

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Market News

  • The revitalization of mining research, development and innovation in South Africa

    The Mandela Mining Precinct is working towards the revitalization of mining research, development and innovation in South Africa, to ensure the sustainability of the industry.

    Meet the two co-directors: Navin Singh and Alastair Macfarlane in the video below. The Mandela Mining precinct is a public-private collaboration between the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation (DHESI); and the Minerals Council

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  • UJ’s Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) facility to be the first in Africa

    For the first time in history, a pathway for ALD-enhanced materials to be rapidly developed and transitioned in a UJ laboratory will be available for nearly any application. The laboratory construction is a natural next step in implementing the strategy to establish national nanotechnology in South Africa.

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  • Research Officers (Comminution & Flotation)

    The Centre for Minerals Research is a multi-disciplinary research centre based in the Department of Chemical Engineering with close associate activities in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Physics. It enjoys an excellent international reputation for its world-class research in minerals processing. The Centre works closely with all of the major global mining companies and is supported in its research

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