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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Welcome to 2015. On behalf of all at the SAIMM may I wish our members and readers an abundance of health and safety, at work and at home, in the year that lies ahead. With the global events currently unfolding in terms of geopolitics and economic activity, 2015 is likely to be a year that will continue in much the same way as 2014. It implies that we all need to keep abreast of current affairs as what were once remote events (in time, space, and personal impact) are brought to our own doorsteps through the compressive lens of social networking and by the response of the mining industry to this very dynamic environment.

It will be an important objective of the work of the SAIMM Technical Programme Committees (TPC) to ensure that we continue to produce conferences and events that include content that reflect the implications of current affairs as well as future implications. On the inside cover of the back page to this Journal you will find the schedule of upcoming SAIMM events. As I mentioned last month, our Technical Committees continue to offer exceptional value. Their challenge is to make sure that the SAIMM continues to deliver this value to our membership. Should any member have an idea for a conference topic of current interest, please feel free to send me your suggestion and I will ensure that it is passed through to the appropriate TPC Chairperson.

This edition of the Journal includes the third and final volume commemorating the lifetime contribution of Professor Danie Krige to the statistical estimation and evaluation of mineral resources. It has been an absorbing three volumes, showcasing a series of papers which clearly demonstrate that scientific research, evolution of methodology, and practical application of the methodologies continues apace and is a core component of how modern mining manages its resources and reserves. Furthermore, South Africa continues to be an important intellectual contributor in this field.

It is with considerable sadness that we also note the passing of an outstanding South African mining engineer, Professor Alex Budavari, on 30 December 2014. Professor Budavari dedicated much of his career to research and teaching in the field of Rock Mechanics. As a result we can be sure that there are many still in the industry whose lives he touched and who continue to add to our knowledge as the industry strives for greater safety performance at improved levels of extraction.

As we move into 2015 it is important to reflect on the great privilege that we all have to be able to stand on the shoulders of such men as these – and there are many that have gone before. No matter how difficult we perceive our current lot, be assured that it would be much more challenging had they not trod the road ahead of us.