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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.115 n.9 Johannesburg Sep. 2015




Profiles of the Branch Chairmen



Democratic Republic of Congo Branch
Susa Maleba



Susa Maleba graduated from the University of Lubumbashi, DRC, with a BSc Eng. (Mining) and completed a BSc (Hons) in Mining Engineering, specializing in Mining Environment, at Pretoria University.

Susa has been involved in the field of mining engineering, specializing in mining design, mining ventilation, and mine planning, for the past 16 years. His expertise includes:

  • Underground mine design, layout, and scheduling
  • Mine ventilation and refrigeration, environmental control, and occupational hygiene
  • Open pit design, optimization, and production scheduling
  • Feasibility studies on open pit and underground operations
  • Environmental and social research, impact assessment, stakeholder engagement
  • Recruitment, training. and coordination of mining-related personnel
  • Consulting and contracting.

He is currently Country Manager/Mining Engineer for SRK Consulting in the DRC

Johannesburg Branch
Ian Ashmole



Ian has been a member of the SAIMM Johannesburg Branch committee since 2009. He was elected Vice Chairman in 2011, and has been Chairman since 2012. He also represents the SAIMM as an observer on the Council of the Geological Society of South Africa.

Ian started in the mining industry as a learner official with Rand Mines in 1985, and graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a bachelor's degree in mining engineering in 1989. He worked at Durban Roodepoort Deep, Douglas Colliery, and Harmony Gold Mine before leaving Rand Mines in 1993 to take up the position of mine manager of a small gold mine on the East Rand.

Ian became involved in the dimension stone mining industry in 1994, when he joined Kudu Granite as group mining engineer, with a mandate to transform the company's traditional quarry operations into modern professionally-run mines through the application of geological knowledge, formal mine planning, new technology and methods, and professional management techniques. By 1996, the company's operations were recognized in the industry as being on a par with the best-run operations in Europe, and the standards developed at Kudu were a major factor in the acquisition of Kudu by the Marlin Group in 1997. The health and safety and environmental performance of the Rustenburg Division of Marlin, where Ian was General Manager from 2001 to 2005, was recognized by both the DME and environmental pressure groups as being among the best in the South African mining industry. In 2005, Ian became Technical Director of the Marlin Group, with responsibility for the operation of all quarries in southern Africa and exploration in Africa, as well as consulting work for the group's operations in Brazil.

In 2008, Ian left the Marlin Group to establish an independent consultancy. While his initial focus was mainly, but not exclusively, in the dimension stone sector, he subsequently consulted in the gold, uranium, platinum, chrome, and industrial minerals sectors. Ian is a generalist,, and while his technical expertise is valued in feasibility and due diligence work, he also provides project and operational management assistance, and is widely experienced in the fields of health and safety, environmental management, and mineral rights.

Ian has travelled extensively in Africa, South America, Europe, and the USA during the course of his career. He is a keen runner, having completed five Comrades Marathons, trail runner and trail run course designer, and mountain biker.

Namibian Branch
Nikowa Mabvuto Namate



Nikowa is the Deputy Head of Department and Lecturer, Mining and Process Engineering, Polytechnic of Namibia

The key attributes include:

  • Mining Engineering Degree from University of Zimbabwe
  • Over ten years of industrial and academic experience
  • Strong team building capability and leadership skills
  • Strong research interest in industrial engineering processes and ergonomics
  • Certified energy auditor
  • Small scale mining consultant

Nikowa has a good understanding of the mining industry in Namibia.

Northern Cape Branch
Cedrick van Wyk



Cedrick Van Wyk was born and grew up in Luderitz, Namibia. He completed schooling at the Concordia College in Windhoek, Namibia.

Cedrick joined JCI in 1989 as a learner official and completed the Higher National Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy from the University of Johannesburg (Wits Technikon) in 1993. He completed the Anglo American MDP with the University of Stellenbosch Business School in 2005.

Cedrick was employed with Rustenburg Base Metals Refiners (Anglo Platinum) for seven and a half years. Four of those years were spent at the Base Metals Refiners (BMR) and a further three years' production experience was obtained in the Magnetic Concentration Plant (MC Plant). Cedrick also obtained two and a half years' experience in gold metallurgy at the Randfontein Estates Gold Mine, while studying towards his diploma.

Cedrick started working at Kumba Iron Ore Ltd in 2007 as a senior process engineer. He was promoted to Manager: Quality Assurance and Stewardship in 2008, followed by appointment to the post of Process Development Manager, DMS Plant. He is currently Principal Metallurgist in the Technical Services Department at Kumba's Sishen Mine, a post he has held since October 2012.

Cedrick is a member of the South African Coal Processing Society and the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. He is married to Mildred and the couple have three children: Griffith, Tracy-Leigh, and Robin. They currently live in Kathu in the Northern Cape.

Pretoria Branch
Pierre Bredell



Pierre has been an active Mining Engineer since 1995. His early years were with Randfontein Estates Gold Mines and Centrocen Projects. In 2000, Pierre co-founded and developed LQS International, a geological and mining engineering consultancy with offices in Johannesburg, Perth, Vancouver, Santiago, and London. From 2005 to 2009, Pierre was responsible for developing the company's international business from a base in London, UK. His primary responsibilities during this period were corporate development, client relations, and project management. He has considerable experience in managing and coordinating people and working in the technical environments of open pit and underground mining. LQS International was bought by DRA International at the end of 2009.

In 2012, Pierre joined the University of Pretoria, South Africa, as a senior lecturer in the Mining Engineering Department. Here he shares his expertise in mineral economics and risk management. The university encourages lecturers to engage in outside consulting, and to that end, Pierre has been involved in projects with South Africa's Mine Health and Safety Council, Kalagadi Manganese, Debswana Sasol Mining, and Mine Support Products.

Western Cape Branch
Aubrey Mainza



Aubrey Mainza has a wide range of experience in the areas of comminution and classification. Apart from one year's experience at Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines, Aubrey has spent more than 17 years at the University of Cape Town working in the Comminution Research Group in the Centre for Minerals Research. As a researcher in field of comminution and classification, Aubrey has participated in design and optimization projects for many mines, including most of the major platinum and gold mines in Africa and overseas. In addition to teaching Chemical Engineering core courses, he has taught Metallurgy and Mineral Processing undergraduate courses and supervised numerous MSc and PhD students in the fields of comminution and classification. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town and Head of Comminution Research and the Deputy Director for the Centre for Minerals Research.

Zambian Branch
Darius Muma



Darius was born and grew up in the Luanshya district of Zambia's Copperbelt Province. He graduated from the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Lusaka in 2004 with a BSc in chemistry, and worked as an Environmental Project Assistant with the Advocacy for Environmental Restoration Zambia (AREZ) group at UNZA School of Mines. In 2005 he took up a position as Graduate Chemist at Nchanga Mine in Chingola, owned by Konkola Copper Mines plc, where he progressed through the ranks to become Acting Head of the Analytical Services Department. During this time he also gained a Diploma in Business Management from the Association of Business Executives, UK. He is currently Assistant Superintendent: Technical in the Analytical Services Department at the Mufulira mine site of Mopani Copper Mines plc.

Apart from the SAIMM, Darius is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the Chemical Society of Zambia (he is current secretary for the Northern Region), and the Engineering Institution of Zambia.

Zimbabwean Branch
Stephen Ndiyamba



Stephen is a professional Metallurgical Engineer with over 24 years experience in the mining and mineral processing industries. He has extensive experience in managing processing and production functions and carrying out productivity improvements projects.

Education and Qualifications

  • Pr. Eng
  • Management Development Program, University of Cape Town Graduate School Business.
  • MBA. Nottingham Trent University Business School.
  • B.Sc. Eng (Hons) Metallurgical. University Of Zimbabwe Other Institutions
  • Member: Southern Africa Institution of Mining and Metallurgy
  • Member: Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (ZIE)
  • Board Member: Zimbabwe School of Mines Board of Management
  • Board Member: Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (ZIE)
  • Chairman: Masvingo Chapter (Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers)
  • Chairman: Mzilikazi High School Old Students Association

Employment Summary

  • Transalloys (Highveld Vanadium and Steel Corporation)
  • Ngezi Mining Company
  • Bindura Nickel Corporation
  • Geomet (Anglo American Research Laboratories)
  • Wankie Colliery Company
  • Current: Senior Manager Plant at Mimosa Mining Company

Stephen is 49 years of age and is married with three daughters. He enjoys playing golf, social work and reading.

Zululand Branch
Christo Mienie



Christo was born on 18 November 1963 in Vereeniging and matriculated in 1981.

He obtained his Dip Tech (T5) in Metallurgical Engineering from the Vaal Triangle Technikon. He worked at Iscor Vanderbijlpark in Blast Furnaces Production for a year, then moved to Iscor Research and Development in Pretoria, where he worked in the Process Metallurgy Department for four years. His area of focus was iron manufacturing, with particular interest in the evaluation and characterization of iron ore, coal, and coke for the blast furnace, direct reduction, and the newly developed Corex-process.

During 1992, Christo accepted a position with Richards Bay Minerals (RBM), the heavy minerals sands operation then jointly owned by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. He started in the Development Metallurgy Section, where his responsibilities included flow sheet development, process optimization, and evaluating new technologies.

He gained valuable metallurgical and production experience over the next 14 years at various RBM plants including the roaster, char plant, iron processing, slag processing, and the smelter. His metallurgical responsibilities included increasing prime grade slag and pig iron production, furnace rebuilds, working in conjunction with the marketing department to establish new markets and customers, and the introduction of best practises in the process metallurgical field.

His human resources responsibilities included the management, training, and development of metallurgists. He completed his MDP through the University of Durban Westville during 1997.

Christo obtained valuable experience with regard to business restructuring ('right-sizing') while in the position of team leader responsible for the SHEQ and technical departments.

He joined Spectrum Technical (Pty) Ltd in 2006 as a director and shareholder; his current position. Services to clients includes plant feasibility studies, flow sheet design, process equipment selection and supply, pilot-scale test work, plant commissioning, troubleshooting, and cost analyses in the metals and minerals industry.

Christo is married to Marietjie, and has two boys - Francois and Christo Jnr. He is also a keen jogger.

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