After 120 years the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) continues to serve its members. This learned society started in 1894, a few years after the invention of the cyanide process had saved the gold mining industry in South Africa. The previously used technology of gravity separation could not economically recover gold from the fine grained ores of the Transvaal gold fields. The Institute's Journal recorded this process and major developments in the industry and has disseminated knowledge ever since.
The SAIMM is a professional institute with local and international links aimed at assisting members source news and views about technological developments in the mining, metallurgical and related sectors as well as embracing a professional code of ethics. The SAIMM also attempts to fulfill what it sees as its obligations to the various communities and the environment in terms of the SAIMM’s Charter. In addition, the institute is active in bringing together the mining and metallurgical fraternity in terms of research, shared-experiences, education, personnel as well as students.
This commitment assists in ensuring that the needs for technological and scientific knowledge of the minerals and metals sectors in South Africa
The key objectives of the Institute are to identify the needs of its members and to initiate and give effect to the means whereby the requirements for technology and scientific knowledge of the minerals and metals section of the South African economy are satisfied; and furthermore to represent and promote the interests of its members.
- Receiving a bi-monthly Journal with a balanced content and of a high standard which serves as a communication medium to keep members informed on matters relating to their professional interests.
- The opportunity to attend congresses, symposia, colloquia, schools and discussion groups at competitive prices. Members attend such events at a discount.
- Participation in technical excursions and social events which creates further opportunities for inter-active professional association and fellowship.
- To make a contribution to the minerals industry in South Africa.
- The opportunity to network with a wide cross-section of professional people in the minerals industry.
- Official recognition of achievements.
The SAIMM actively supports the establishment and maintenance of branches of the SAIMM in Southern Africa to satisfy the local needs of members for professional association and the exchange of technical information. Branches presently exist in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Zululand, Western Cape, Bushveld, Mpumalanga, the Free State, Zambia and Namibia.
Branches form the ideal vehicle for all members of the SAIMM in a particular area to be brought together to participate in the affairs of their profession and to further the interests of the mining and metallurgical sectors. Newly graduated members, in particular, derive substantial benefits through close personal contact and an exchange of ideas with the more seasoned members of their profession residing in the same area. In order to ensure strong and dynamic branches, branch members actively canvass new members in their area with a view to obtaining maximum membership. Members are encouraged to become actively involved in the affairs of their branches.
The branch meeting is a forum by which inter-disciplinary contact of interested parties within the mining, minerals, and metals industry can take place. Communication between mechanical, electrical, metallurgical, and mining engineering and other branches of science and disciplines is thus stimulated, and opportunities are created to improve the industry for each and every member.
During the annual general meeting of a branch, its members residing within the area elect a committee to run the affairs of the branch.
The purpose of the committee is to meet the needs of members by formulating programs, and organizing schools, conferences, technical meetings, colloquia, technical visits, and social functions for the benefit of its branch members.
Meetings usually feature guest speakers and afford ample opportunity for informal fellowship. Technical visits are undertaken to sectors of the mining and metallurgical industry or to research institutions. Colloquia and schools on relevant topics are arranged in conjunction with the Technical Program Committee operating from the SAIMM's national office.
Branches actively support programs arranged by the Council and the other branches of the SAIMM. Each branch chairperson serves on the Council in order to ensure open channels of communication between branches and Council members on relevant topics and developments. To strengthen its links with Council, and to contribute towards an overview of the SAIMM's total sphere of activities, branches report to the SAIMM's head office on a regular basis regarding meetings, conferences, finances, membership, and future projects.
Branch committees also liaise with related outside technical societies within their areas to promote close contact, technology transfer, and the exchange of skills.