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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The Future Of Sinking Vertical Tunnels

Date 02 December 2009
- 02 December 2009
Location Misty Hills Conference Centre, Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng
Location Misty Hills Conference Centre, Muldersdrift, Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg
We are no longer accepting registration for this event

This conference and workshop is in response to the industry being under immense pressure to sink shafts in safer and more efficient ways. 

The global call for no harm has to be taken very seriously.

We can sink shafts without hurting people, however to repeatedly achieve this, we need to critically examine all aspects related to the sinking process.

The way in which we conduct the entire project, right from mine concept study through to commissioning and handover needs to be considered. Shaft sinking is not only about the sinking cycle.

There are many diverse factors that influence the sinking process including: business drivers in the concept phase, mining methodologies and technology alternatives in the pre-feasibility stages, cost and timing parameters in the feasibility as well as partner selection, technical criteria and management systems during the execution phase.

The purpose of this conference and workshop will be to gain an understanding from mining companies, sinking contractors and EPCM organizations on their perception of the current process.

The idea is to look at current best practice and to raise suggestions on how to improve the process using experiences collectively gained worldwide. 

At the very least the conference must identify areas of action in order to plan for improvements going forward.

Otherwise, deeper ore resources may remain beyond our nations’ reach for the foreseeable future.


Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Companies wishing to sponsor or exhibit should contact the Conference Co-ordinator

Call for Papers
Prospective authors are invited to submit titles and abstracts of their papers, in English, and to indicate the topic under which the paper should be categorised.
The abstracts should be no longer than 500 words and should be submitted to the Conference Co-ordinator.

Who should attend

The conference should be of value to:

All stakeholders involved in the shaft sinking arena
Mine executives and management
Civil construction companies
Engineering design and consulting companies
Project management practitioners
Mine owners
Mining entrepreneurs
Technology suppliers and consumers
Health, safety and risk management, personnel and officials
Governmental minerals and energy personnel
Research and academic personnel

Registration Fees











SAIMM/GSSA members/presenting authors


2 500

Non Members




3 200

Retired / Student Members



Please note:

 Non-members are entitled to free membership of the SAIMM, up to 30 June 2010, for attending this event


Prepayment is required for all Registration Fees on or before the date of the event.
Delegates who have not paid will not be permitted to attend the event


Conference Co-ordinator
SAIMM, P O Box 61127

Tel: (011) 834-1273/7
Fax: (011) 833-8156 or (011) 838-5923

Co-ordinator Email:

Venue Directions

Please see map in download section



Wednesday, 2nd December 2009

07:30 – 08:30                       Registration and Coffee

08:30 – 08:45                       Welcome Address by SAIMM Vice President: Mr Gys Landman

08:45 – 09:10                       Keynote Speaker
                                              Nigel Townshend, CEO TWP Holdings

09:10 – 09:35                       Shaft Sinking Safety Statistics
                                             Colin Swanepoel, COO TWP/RSV Kopano JV

09:35– 10:00                      Alternative Vertical Tunneling Techniques
                                             Erhan Uludag, Mining Engineer TWP Projects

10:00 – 10:25                      Why some projects perform better than others – Managing the people issues
                                             Graham du Plessis, Decision Partners Africa

10:25 – 10:45                       Mid-Morning Refreshments 

10:45 – 11:10                       Shaft sinking vs. inclined tunnel boring
                                              Murray Macnab, Director TWP Projects

11:10 – 11:35                       Pre-Sink Shaft Safety Analysing Using Wireline Geophysics
                                             Neil Anderson, Geoscientific & Exploration Services

11:35 – 12:00                       Shaft sinking case study
                                             Tom Pietrzak, Shaft Sinkers

12:00 – 12:15                     The ITA, SANCOT And Safety
                                            Tony Boniface, GIBB

12:15 – 13:15                       Lunch Break

13:15 – 15:00                       Canadian Blind Sinking Methods Workshop
                                              Hatch Canada                                    

15:00 – 15:20                       Mid-Afternoon Refreshments          

15:20 – 15:45                       Managing Technology Trials
                                              Prof. Alex du Plessis,
Wits Centre for Mechanised Mining Systems

15:45 - 16:30                        Canadian Blind Sinking Methods Workshop – Summary
                                              Hatch Canada

16:30 – 16:40                       Closure and Summary

16:30– 18:30                        Cocktail Function



Conference Announcement & Registration Form
Misty Hills Conference Centre Directions Map