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SAIMM Banquet 2023

SAIMM Banquet 2022The SAIMM Banquet will be held on Saturday, 6 May 2023 at Emperors Palace. The last banquet took place on 14 March 2022, and we are looking forward to hosting companies and members at a new venue, with an exciting line-up for the evening. 

The Institute has hosted an annual banquet since the early 1980s, and we are proud that it has always been well supported and attended by mining companies and our members. The banquet creates an opportunity for an evening of networking with colleagues in an elegant and relaxed environment.

The cost of sponsoring a table which seats 10 people is R12 000 (plus VAT). This will entitle guests to a sumptuous dinner, wine on the table, and entertainment. It will also entitle companies to include a printed flyer in the goodie bag. If you are interested in booking a table or additional sponsorship, please contact Sam Moolla at or 010 538 0232.

 SAIMM 2020 Banquet Sponsors 06042023


Does South Africa really take beneficiation seriously? Here is a story about one company, just as an example of where, in my opinion, things might have gone wrong.
In 1998 Samancor was the world’s largest ferro-alloy producer, producing alloys of chrome and manganese. It was South African owned and controlled, with its origins in the creation of South African Manganese in 1926.

However, in December 1998 its major shareholder, London-listed Billiton (formerly Gencor), took over the company and de-listed it from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). It was established as the vehicle to promote Billiton’s global chrome and manganese businesses.

Billiton, which subsequently merged with Australian mining company BHP to become BHP Billiton, did not retain its interest in chrome and in June 2005 it sold its majority interest in Samancor Chrome to the Kermas Group, a company domiciled in the UK with substantial interests in Kazakhstan. Kermas remained secretive, never issuing company reports nor providing access to journalists and analysts.

Over the years ferrochrome producers in South Africa struggled to maintain production levels due to the rising cost and erratic supplies of power from Eskom. However, a multitude of small chrome ore producers obligingly supplied China with cheap ore to produce ferrochrome. In mid-2021 there were about 20 chrome recovery plants which produce fine chromite from UG2 platinum tailings, and also about 20 formal and informal washing plants for the production of chrome concentrates from primary sources. Eventually, in 2012, China overtook South Africa as the world’s largest ferrochrome producer.

Review on the Book: State Governance of Mining, Development and Sustainability by Tracy-Lynn Field

(Professor, School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand),
2019, 394 pp

Professor Field’s lengthy and detailed book considers in depth the dilemma of jurisdictions in reconciling the duty of promoting mining and the obligation of regulating the industry.
The book is extensively researched, clearly reasoned, and thought-provoking. However it does not cover small-scale or artisanal mining and does not consider non-fuel extraction. Due to the difficulty of accurately translating technical and legal language, consideration is mainly given to English-speaking jurisdictions.

Tunnel Boring in Mining and Civil Engineering

sancot 31012023This year’s biennial symposium of the South African National Committee on Tunnelling (SANCOT) was hosted in November in the university town of Stellenbosch at the Wallenberg Conference Centre @STIAS (Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study). Needless to say, the setting in itself presented its own attraction, and soon enough we’ll have new tunnelling developments in the region to draw a second occasion!

There is yet another, more specific reason to couple the beauty of the Western Cape winelands, and the richly concentrated resources of a world class university and research instution to that of exploring tunnelling advancements. Aside from the obvious burgeoning and burning need for urban infrastructure development, this is additionally juxtaposed on that of global consciousness on sustainable development and protection of the environment. Sustainable solutions to the exploding problems associated with those indelible effects of our human footprint on this precious planet mean that not only are we bound to seek short-term results to accommodate ourselves, but an imperative to find long-term results that future generations can live with.

At the risk of expanding on a cliché, it is through tunnelling that this will be achieved – is already being achieved, and has been largely entrenched into urban development strategies globally. Underground infrastructure development provides a means through which we foresee a lasting offset to environmental impacts as a result of urbanisation. And for the Sub-Saharan region, this SANCOT symposium held special significance. In the near future, water shortages, roads, rail, urban networks, access to raw materials through mining, the establishment of storage facilities to hold grain, for underground cultivation or waste disposal, will become imperative to accommodate the approximately 2.5 billion people projected to occupy the African continent by 2050, less than 30 years from now.

SAIMM members honoured as Top Scholars in South Africa

assaf awards 2022Twenty-nine of the country’s leading scholars and scientists were inaugurated as Members of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) at the annual Awards Ceremony on 19 October 2022.

As the official Academy of South Africa, ASSAf has as core function to honour the country’s most outstanding scholars by electing them to Membership of the Academy. ASSAf Members are drawn from the full spectrum of disciplines.

New Members are elected each year by the full existing Membership. Membership of the Academy is a great honour and is in recognition of scholarly achievement. Members are the core asset of the Academy and give of their time and expertise voluntarily in the service of society.

The 29 new ASSAf Members bring the total Membership of ASSAf to 659.

The SAIMM is proud to announce that two of the new members are Prof Rodney Jones, a Past President (2015-2016) and a Fellow of the SAIMM, and Prof Aubrey Mainza, a Member of the SAIMM.

Their membership certificates were presented to them by the President of ASSAf, Prof Jonathan Jansen.

Corporate Partnerships

Corporate Partnerships09102022SAIMM is proud to partner with Implats and Sibanye Stillwater with the goal of establishing and entrenching not only strategic relationships, but useful and uplifting networks of people and professionals.
Read more ...

SAIMM Statement on the Collapse of the Jagersfontein Mine Tailings Dam

The leadership and members of the SAIMM extend our heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and belongings following the wall collapse of the Jagersfontein mine tailings dam in the Free State Province of South Africa on 11 September 2022.  We wish those who were injured a speedy recovery.  This was a tragedy that has not only caused loss of life and injuries, but also severe damage to infrastructure. 

The Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM) was launched in 2020.  The GISTM is a critical initiative responsible for tailings storage facility execution and management. SAIMM supports the principles of the GISTM.  Our members are working with their respective employers to achieve the objectives of the GISTM. SAIMM also has a Tailings Committee that strives to disseminate and share knowledge on this topic, and encourages industry thought leaders to participate in the conversation. 

An investigation has commenced to establish the cause of the Jagersfontein incident, and we encourage our members and the public not to speculate, but to allow the investigation to proceed and to focus our efforts in supporting remediation and restoration of services for the affected communities.

PRESS RELEASE: SAIMM honours former Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani

Mark Cutifani 12082022Credited with transforming one of the world’s biggest mining companies, mining veteran Mark Cutifani was awarded the Brigadier Stokes Memorial Award by the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM). The Award is considered to be the highest honour to be bestowed by the South African mining and metallurgical sector in recognition of meritorious service to the industry.

Mining veteran, Cutifani received the platinum medal during the online annual general meeting of the Institute on Thursday, 11 August 2022. The award was presented to Cutifani for his substantial contribution to the South African minerals industry.

SAIMM Annual General Meeting

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

To join us click here


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?

SAIMM on twitter

Other mining news

Mining Weekly | Africa

15 April 2024

The latest mining world news and project information from Africa. providing updates on the progress of future, new and existing projects. Developments in mining legislation, policies, investments and infrastructure will be highlighted
  • PGM market development has paid dividends, could pay many more, Platinum Day told
    The market development aspect of the platinum group metals (PGM) industry is fundamentally key, it was repeatedly stated at last week’s 2024 Resources for Africa Platinum Day. There is strong consensus that PGMs are amazing metals that are incredibly useful as future green metals across a broad range of applications.
  • Bankan has potential to be a future tier-one mine, PFS shows
    A prefeasibility study (PFS) on ASX-listed Predictive Discovery's Bankan project, in Guinea, has confirmed that the project is one of the largest discoveries in West Africa and potentially also a future tier-one mine, MD Andrew Pardey says. The project is expected to produce about 269 000 oz/y of gold over a 12-year mine life, at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1 130/oz.
  • Experts proffer suggestions for South Africa's green hydrogen projects to secure financing
    There is sufficient funding available for South Africa to progress its green hydrogen objectives, however, certain elements need to be addressed for this to materialise. This was outlined by speakers during the ‘Investment opportunities in green hydrogen’ session, during the 2024 Hydrogen Economy Discussion event, held in Johannesburg last week, where stumbling blocks were identified and various suggestions proffered.