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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From the committees

  • The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM), Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) and Sustainability (S)

    ESGS article1 13072022The concept of ‘ESG’ although poorly defined, and possibly misunderstood has evolved from a real social need for global sustainability. The focus on ESG creates an awareness of the interlinkages of environmental, social, and governance aspects that are key to sustainable business practice.

    Professionals play a significant role in helping society develop and attain a sustainable way of living. Due to their knowledge and skills, they are the potential providers of options and solutions to maximize social value and minimize environmental impact. They should work to enhance the welfare, health, and safety of all while paying due regard to environmental impact, biodiversity, and sustainability of resources. Professionals therefore need to be informed, committed, creative, and play an active role in the responsible management of the planet’s ecosystems, and in so doing safeguard the security and prosperity of future generations.

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SAIMM News

  • SAIMM Annual General Meeting

    Thursday, 11 August 2022 at 12:00,
    via Zoom

    To join us click here

    AGENDA

    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. Annual financial report for the year ended 30 June 2022
    8. Declaration of election of Office Bearers and Members of Council for the year 2022/2023
    9. Election of auditors and legal advisors for the year 2022/2023
    10. Corporate Partnerships
    11. SAIMM new offices
    12. Outgoing Presidential Award
    13. Induction of President—Z. Botha
    14. Presidential address
    15. Vote of thanks


    Presidential Address

    Collaboration and Diversity in STEM

    Why do mega projects so often fail? If one of the reasons for failure is bad relationships, is there value in diversity and inclusion to foster collaboration during project execution? When we talk about diversity and inclusion, how do we foster involvement of our young would-be STEM engineers, to pursue a career in the STEM arena? How do we encourage women to sit at the STEM table and to participated in the conversation? According to neuroscience, when functioning in a group, the masculine brain tends to rank in order, where the feminine brain tends to side together (Dr Etienne van der Walt, MD Neurozone). Translated into working within a team, it seems like the masculine brain inspires goal setting and competition, whereas the feminine brain inspires collaboration and empathy. Could the merging of these two leadership styles foster collaboration and innovation? And what would be the role of the team leader in creating the space for a team to show up and do this work together?

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  • Invitation to submit papers for the Data Science Journal edition

     The Journal of the SAIMM has the pleasure of inviting papers for a special edition that would fit into the theme:

    Data Science – Enabling and Enhancing Future Intelligent Mining and Metallurgy’.

    Authors can submit a paper here: https://saimmjournal.co.za/ Please select the Data Science section.
    The deadline date for paper submissions: 31 August 2022

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  • A Future Beyond Bricks and Mortar

    A future 01042022 1The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world of work forever, as it catalyzed and brought forward changes to work arrangements for all companies. The Minerals Council as a progressive and agile organization also adapted to the ‘new For the last 132 years the Minerals Council (previously known as the Chamber of Mines) has had a leading presence in the inner city anchored in the Minerals Council building, which was constructed in 1921. It was a six-storey building, constructed in the Renaissance style with the Minerals Council taking occupancy at the end of 1921 and holding its first AGM in the building on 27 March 1922.

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  • SAIMM Advertising Opportunities – Rate Card 2022

    journals 20012022The SAIMM offers businesses wanting to reach decision makers, thought-leaders and key opinion-formers in the mining environment different opportunities and essential platforms to do so. Include the SAIMM in your marketing plan if you want to get noticed, grow your market share and assure your existing client base that they are dealing with the right service provider. The SAIMM’s monthly, highly regarded Journal, website and monthly Journal mailer are distinctly differentiated from other available commercial mining publications, and online digital avenues.

    ADVERTISEMENT BOOKINGS
    Barbara Spence · Avenue Advertising
    PO Box 71308, Bryanston, 2021
    Tel: 011 463 7940 · Cell: 082 881 345
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  • Another year

    Another year

    Another year, filled with unprecedented challenges and changes, is rapidly drawing to an end. Inevitably, it is that time of year when we reflect on what has been, and what the last year means to us. Some days it still seems as though what we’ve been through over the past two years belongs in a Hollywood movie, not in our backyards. The SAIMM as a living institute has not been untouched by the impact of the global pandemic either. Since March 2020, no face-to-face conferences have been hosted, and major events have been cancelled or postponed. In response, we embarked on embracing digital content, including regular webinars and digital technical events across many themes. In October and November alone, over 600 delegates logged into SAIMM events to participate in technical workshops, conferences, and webinars across a broad range of themes. The SAIMM continues to develop its digital platform, and forthcoming hybrid, offerings to reach its membership as well as the broader mining and metals community. Via the Global Mineral Professionals Alliance (GMPA) the Institute collaborates with like-minded member associations around the world, and the future of such associations increasingly relies on closer collaboration as digital content removes geographical boundaries.

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  • SAIMM Book Sale

    SAIMM Book Sale

    Anyone who’s ever moved after staying in one home or office for an extended time knows that in the inevitable packing process you realize you have excess stuff, especially if you downsize. Over many years of publishing, the SAIMM has accumulated a great number of high-quality books and conference proceedings. As part of our downsizing efforts, a book sale is being held.

    Some of the titles may be sold out.
    Please contact Sam Moolla @ sam@saimm.co.za to confirm availability.

    View the full list below:

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From the President's Corner

  • The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same thing

    The devastation caused by severe flooding in KwaZulu-Natal in April 2022 caused untold hardship. More than 450 people lost their lives, thousands were displaced, losing their homes, and their dignity as the flood waters destroyed houses, washed away roads, and triggered mudslides in densely populated areas. The economic impact on the region and the country is yet to be tallied,

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  • Reflections on the ‘impossible’ and the ‘unthinkable’

    ‘Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.Today, I am wise so I am changing myself.’ - Rumi During the early weeks of March 2022, the coldest location on the planet experienced an episode of exceptionally warm weather. Temperatures over the eastern Antarctic ice sheet soared by 10 to 32°C above normal. The warm spell smashed records and

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  • “Making the invisible visible”

    The United Nations World Water Development Report is a flagship report on water and sanitation issues, focusing on a different theme in each issue. The report provides insight on main trends concerning the state, use and management of freshwater and sanitation, and is launched in conjunction with World Water Day. The intent of this report is to provide decision-makers with

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From the Journal Comments

  • Battery metals – The Next Big Thing?

    Mining and metallurgy have been linked throughout time to the development of the human race. You can argue that the First Big Thing was precious metals. Gold and silver have been symbols of wealth since at least Egyptian times. Then the Bronze Age signalled the Second Big Thing, base metals. This started initially with copper and tin to make bronze.

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  • Developing the South African PGM Industry

    South Africa is truly blessed with platinum group metal (PGM) reserves with approximately 90% of the world reserves according to Merchant Research and Consulting. South Africa is a major supplier of the PGMs, namely Pt (74% of world supply), Pd (39%), Rh (82%), Ir (81%), and Ru (90%) in 2021, according to SFA Oxford. These figures are likely to increase

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Women in the mining and minerals industry

Summer is finally here and Christmas is around the corner. I do hope that you are all enjoying the warm weather that is prevalent in Southern Africa at this time of the year and, at the same time, have started shopping for those elusive but perfect Christmas gifts for friends and families. Since taking over the reins as the President of the SAIMM, I have been invited to a number of events and meetings in the past few months. I have interacted with a lot of professionals and held discussions on a number of diverse and relevant (and even sometimes irrelevant) topics pertinent to the mining and minerals industry. The controversial new Mining Charter, low metal prices, ECSA, state capture, the ANC leadership race, water restrictions in the Western Cape, and of course the weather, have all been fodder for conversations at various events. However, one topic that never fails to come up, and for obvious reasons, is women in the mining and minerals industry. As such, it would be remiss of me not to take the opportunity to celebrate the valuable contribution that women make in the mining and minerals sector. Similarly, it would be imprudent to overlook the challenges that women continuously face as they contribute to the country’s economy. For the above reasons, I would like to focus on this relevant and important subject this month.

In the past, the majority of the workforce at the forefront of the operational aspects of the mining and minerals industry was male. Females were mostly confined to administrative roles. Before 1990, mining companies were legally prohibited from employing women for underground mining activities. However, change has occurred over the years; women now play a prominent role in all aspects of mining activities, from entry to board level and at both administrative and operations levels. This is largely attributed to women’s ability to organize and solve tough problems. In addition, women also usually possess a multi-skills set that brings in strength and diversity to a company’s operations. They contribute a much-needed fresh perspective to an industry that is in significant need of innovative solutions to ever-growing challenges. Notably, research has shown that companies that have more women at board and senior management levels tend to perform much better than those without. Gender diversity is, therefore, good for the sector. However, even with the significant contributions that gender diversity brings to a company’s operations, women still face a lot of challenges in the mining and minerals industry. This well-established industry has been male-dominated for a long time, and furthermore, with Africa being predominantly a patriarchal society, many employees have well-defined views on the nature and environment of the workforce as well as the role of women in it. Issues such as paternalism, ethnic traditions, different standards for judging men and women, work-life balance, different styles of communication, sexual harassment, and different needs in terms of health and hygiene as well as PPE-related issues, can create an uncomfortable working environment for women. In addition, generally the male is still considered as the breadwinner of the family, which can lead to training, skills development, and promotion opportunities being preferentially offered to males rather than females. Such attitudes and prejudices can have a severe impact and bearing on the women’s mental wellbeing, productivity, and performance. Ultimately, this can affect women’s retention and progression in the mining and minerals sector. As a result, the overall effect of such challenges has understandably resulted in most women changing their career paths.

Both the mining companies and women themselves have a significant role to play in overcoming some of the challenges found in the industry. Firstly, women need to shift their mind-set from ‘victim’ to empowerment. Women also need to understand the company culture and the environment in which they work. It is only through having an understanding of their working environment that they can become agents to effect change. They can be able to propose a culture, structures, and policies as well as cultivate an environment that can empower and accommodate them. A supportive network through involvement in professional voluntary organizations and participation in professional panels is also vital. Women also need to find strong and capable mentors that can guide and nurture them at different stages of their career. Importantly, women should also serve as mentors to the next generation of women that enter the industry.

Companies, on the other hand, must be committed to gender equality and diversity management and to providing a safe and supportive environment. Although subtle aspects of male-oriented culture that are hostile to women can be extremely hard to manage because they are deeply ingrained and because their impact is sometimes difficult to demonstrate, management attitude is vital to effecting changes in the sector. This attitude or outlook can be passed down to the rest of the workforce. Notably, in some instances there is a gap in perception of the existence of these problems. Management must, therefore, recognize that barriers exists and foster a work culture that promotes the success of both genders.

The SAIMM had its first female member in 1977. Currently the Institute has about 18.4% female membership and is on a drive not only to grow the female membership, but to also engage with this group on pertinent issues that affect them at the professional level. The Institute also needs to engage the mining sector leadership in promoting an environment that fosters the retention and growth of women in the mining sector. I am happy to see changes coming through our Institute in this regard. I challenge all of us as members of SAIMM to play our part, wherever we are, in helping to change the attitude of the industry towards its female workforce.

S. Ndlovu
President, SAIMM