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Imparting knowledge through VBKOM's Mine Planning and Design Short Course with Enterprises UP

In 2016, VBKOM, in partnership with Enterprises University of Pretoria, created a training solution that focused on the different aspects of the mining value chain. The training was initially developed to be centred around open pit mining methods for the South African environment. Since 2020, this training has been modified and improved to include underground mining methods in a broad sense. Between 13 and 17 November 2023, a group of VBKOM mining industry experts and associates delivered the training to delegates at the Hotel@Hatfield in Pretoria.

The course content

This custom short course in Open Pit Mine Planning and Design enables delegates to learn the basic theory of open pit mining and the application thereof, while having the opportunity to interact with experts in the field. The Open Pit Mining portion of the course covers geology, pit optimisation, physical pit design and scheduling, equipment and mining cost modelling, slope stability, and assessing the risks with open pit mining, among other topics.

The Introduction to Underground Mining portion of the course equips delegates with the basic knowledge required to understand and assess the fundamental principles of the interaction between open pit and underground mining, as well as the selection of underground mining methods. The material presented as part of the Introduction to Underground Mining includes, but is not limited to:

  • Practical considerations for the selection of underground mining methods;
  • Transition from open pit mining to underground mining;
  • Orebody analysis and design considerations including geotechnical constraints;
  • Underground mining methods: soft rock and hard rock;
  • Mining equipment selection; and
  • Economic impacts of underground mining methods.

Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to Open pit mining, in other words, the importance of considering the social, environmental, and economic impacts mining has on communities and Africa as a whole, while still ensuring that mining operations are aligned with the strategic and tactical objectives of the business.

The course facilitators were:

  • Diane Beverley-Poole: BSc Earth Sciences, BSc (Hons) Geology, MSc GIS and RS, SACNASP, GSSA
  • Laurence Hope: NHD Economic Geology, SACNASP
  • Ruben Els: BEng Mining, MMCC
  • Brandon Okhuis: BEng (Hons) Mining
  • Gerard Kleyn: BEng Mining, SAIMM, AMMSA, CIM
  • Mientjie van der Vyver: MSc Metallurgy, PhD Metallurgy, SACNASP
  • Armand van Wyngaardt: BEng Mining, MMCC

This year, the associate course facilitator was:

  • Wolter de Graaf: BEng Mining, PrEng, MMCC

VBKOM looks forward to continuing the Open Pit Mine Planning and Design short course in collaboration with Enterprises UP in an effort to contribute to the overall growth of the global market.

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