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Mining, minerals, and infrastructure

Partnerships outside of academia and traditional higher education funders, as well as increased participation, are opportunities for the GRT to increase the efficiency and impact of the mining and minerals engineering sciences.

Several projects in the following areas have been identified: stop illegal mining, mining area re-use, mining experiences for tourists and others, and future materials: identify, re-mine and re-use by the GRT. Increasing participation from all the member universities was identified as a possibility.

Collaborations currently underway in the mining fraternity include:

  1. Mining Engineering Education Forum of Head of Departments, a collaboration between UP, Wits, Unisa and UJ. The forum meets quarterly to discuss mining issues and academic research.
  2. Sibanye Mining Support is a collaboration between Wits and UJ, sponsored by Sibanye-Stillwater Mining Company. Discussions are around common projects and mining education support.
  3. Samerdi Consortium (Mandela Mining Precinct) is a collaboration of UP, Wits, Unisa, and UJ. Five projects have been created, with colleagues selecting those they wish to participate in. Collaborative projects focus on themes such as sustainable mining and non-explosive mining, with applications being made to Mandela Mining Precinct.

In terms of the GRT Mining, Engineering, and Infrastructure, committee the following projects were identified:

  1. Stop illegal mining project
    1. Training projects in mine safety
    2. Identification of illegal mining hotspots/improvement of security awareness and information to the general public
    3. Using a Carrot and Stick Approach to eradicate illegal mining (for example, working with City of Joburg)
  2. Mining area re-use project
    1. Research food production on mining dumps (what can grow; what can’t grow; what can be added to grow things; improve food security; chemical analysis). Units such as UJ Centre for Ecological Intelligence can be involved.
    2. Building safety, identification, and technology of danger areas
    3. Water Research at UJ
    4. Tailings issues, reimagining of tailings
  3. Mining experiences for tourists and others
    1. Creating mining tours as part of Joburg visits; invite international tourists down a mine, experience Joburg underground, life in the 1800s; mining history
    2. Use virtual mining and actual mines; history projects; can get easy funding; iKhwezi Foundation participation
    3. Partnering with the City of Johannesburg
  4. Future Materials: identify, re-mine and re-use
    1. Re-mining with new technology, efficiency research.
    2. Mining municipal dumps
    3. Re-use material for other purposes
    4. GIS of mining areas

Mining, engineering & infrastructure

The mining, engineering and infrastructure has the below strategic priorities:

  • Safe and productive mining
  • Automation
  • Local productive capability and value addition
  • Application of technology for real-time information and knowledge management
  • Digital transformation and the 4IR
  • New materials for data management and infrastructure
  • Industrialization and infrastructure
  • Urban and regional planning
  • Transportation
  • Smart cities