On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.114 n.9 Johannesburg Sep. 2014
James Langdon Porter
Jim Porter was born and educated in the UK. He attended the University of Leeds, where he completed a BSc (Honours) in Mining Engineering. After graduating in 1977, he joined AngloGold Ashanti (then a division of the Anglo plc Group), where he progressed through various training and management positions at Western Holdings and Welkom Mines, becoming after 5 years one of the youngest Section Managers in the Group. In 1986 he was promoted to Production Manager before being seconded to Anglo American Gold and Uranium Division Head Office as Technical Assistant to the Divisional Consulting Engineer. In 1988 he was appointed Project Manager responsible for the sinking and commissioning of the (then) R1.1 billion Freddies No. 1 Shaft Project, which included the design and implementation of a new trackless mining layout. In 1995 he transferred to Western Deep Levels, where he was the manager at both East and South Mines (now Mponeng Mine). At South Mine his responsibilities covered optimization of the Main Shaft production, high-speed ore reserve development and production build-up in the Short Sub Shaft, and the infrastructure for the shaft deepening and V-Mole shaft boring projects.
In 1997, Jim left Anglo to establish the new mining-focused IT services business of Graphic Mining Solutions International (GMSI (Pty) Ltd), which has been re-named MineRP (Pty) Ltd and is now one of the largest company of its kind in the world. In the process of building the company he led the acquisition and merger activities that incorporated six companies into the GMSI brand. Following the acquisition of GMSI by the AST Group (now the Gijima Group), he was responsible for the internationalization of the business model into Australia and Canada. He served as a Director of GMSI during this period.
Jim joined mining and engineering projects consultancy TWP (Pty) Ltd in 2007 as Head of Geology and Mining Engineering and in the ensuing three years contributed widely to new business development, which more than doubled the size of the unit at that time.
In 2011 Jim started his own consulting company, Jim Porter Mining Consulting (Pty) Ltd. He also served as Adjunct Professor and Director of the Centre of Mechanised Mining Systems at Wits University for a period of 3 years. He now maintains a visiting position and contributes to several postgraduate courses and industry-sponsored research initiatives. He is currently Chief Operations Officer of a listed Australian company. Auroch Minerals, where he holds responsibility for the company's South African and Mozambique-based interests. He is also Executive Chairman of Tarrill Trading, a private Zimbabwe-based gold exploration and mining company.
Jim has been a Fellow of the SAIMM SINCE 2009, and a Member of Council since 2002, serving terms as Honorary Treasurer, as well as a member of the Technical Programme Committee - Mining. He is also a Member of the Association of Mine Managers of South Africa.
Jim is married to Sandy, and the couple have two daughters and five grandchildren. His interests include road and offroad cycling (main achievement, the 230 km Trans Baviaanskloof Mountain classic run over 24 hours), science and technology, and developing opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
Jim has had a tremendous impact on the mining industry, serving in corporate, academic, and consulting organizations, and as a dedicated volunteer, and consistently demonstrating an ability to conceptualize new initiatives, build teams, and implement change programmes. His career in the mining industry has not followed a conventional path and believes that these cumulative experiences can be used to good account for the development of new mining initiatives.