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SAIMM: Journal Volume 121, No. 02, February 2021


Dear SAIMM members and subscribers,

Attached, is the February 2021 Journal.
Please note the e-mailed PDF document is highly compressed, in order to make it as small as possible for sending by e-mail.  We urge you to view a higher-quality version that is also available for downloading from the SAIMM website, where full copies of the Journal will be available for downloading at any time using the link below.
For people who like a page-turning electronic copy to read on their tablets, there is a service available at at no cost.
Please send any feedback you wish to provide to Kelly Matthee at


Vaughn Duke
SAIMM President 2020-2021

Rosemary Falcon
SAIMM Editorial Consultant

SAIMM: Journal Volume 121, No. 02, February 2021


SAIMM: Journal Volume 121, No. 02, February 2021 




The role of semiotics in health, safety, and environment communication in South African mining and its influence on organizational culture
By L. Scott and M.A. Goncalves

Creative interpretation in the health, safety, and environment (HSE) communication system can result in the message that is received differing from the message that was intended. This can lead to confusion, misinterpretation, and potentially dangerous situations. In this paper we examine the semiotics of South African HSE visual content. It was found that the most preferred visual communication is the indexical mode of images, while text-only designs are the least preferred. Senders and receivers of messages have different opinions on the complexity of HSE communication.


Worker inclusion in equipment development processes in the modernizing minerals sector in South Africa
By J. Pelders and S. Schutte

Worker participation in equipment development can result in improved user acceptance and product quality. Qualitative data gathered from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and industry experts indicates a lack of inclusion in equipment design from workers at all organizational levels in mines. Historical aspects of workplace culture in the mining industry are evident barriers to the implementation of new technology. Worker engagement in human-centred approaches to equipment design and process implementation is recommended.



Blasting and preconditioning modelling in underground cave mines under high stress conditions
By E. Córdova, I. Gottreux, A. Anani, A. Ferrada, and J. Contreras

Cave mining operations are typically located deep, under high stresses, and in competent rock masses. This makes initiation and propagation of the caving process harder to manage. Such challenges must be confronted by optimizing the fragmentation of the orebody to achieve smaller size blocks that will produce consistent caving and improve the flow of ore from the drawpoints. The work presented proposes a design for preconditioning in underground mines.
Accretion formation on the refractory lining during the melting of ferrosilicon
By T.M. Nemavhola, T. Coetsee, and A.M. Garbers-Craig

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of different impurity levels in the ferrosilicon feed material on the extent of accretion formation as well as the effect on the
accretion properties, which influence the ease of accretion removal upon furnace shut-down. It was concluded that the trace elements in the FeSi-75 feed material (Al, Ca, Mn) were mostly responsible for accretion formation, but that rust on the low-carbon steel and oxidation of the steel contributed to accretion attachment to the lining. The total contaminant content, calcium to aluminium ratio in the FeSi-75 feed material, and thereby the liquid to solids ratio in the accretion at temperature determine the strength of attachment as well as growth of the accretion.
A new automated, safe, environmentally sustainable, and high extraction soft-rock underground mining method
By A.J.S. Spearing, J. Zhang, and L. Ma

The exhaustion of surface and other easily mined deposits, together with increasing socio-political pressure, is creating the need to design more environmentally sound, sustainable,
and safe mining practices. The authors have modified a previously designed mining method in order to make it more autonomous, safer, and less costly. This method uses highwall coal mining techniques, adapted for underground applications. Results indicate that the method has more flexibility than longwall mining, the percentage extraction would seem to be in the same range as conventional longwalling, and surface subsidence would not be a major issue due to the use of backfilling.

For more information regarding the SAIMM Journal please contact:

Kelly Matthee
Journal Co-ordinator
Telephone: +27 11 834 1273  l  Facsimile: 086 585 2901
E-mail: l  Website: