Dr Hennie Grobler, from the Department of Mine Surveying at the UJ, has been elected President of the Institute of Mine Surveyors of Southern Africa (IMSSA)
Dr Hennie Grobler, from the Department of Mine Surveying at the UJ, has been elected President of the Institute of Mine Surveyors of Southern Africa (IMSSA)

“The mining industry increasingly expects mine surveyors to provide a high standard of information within shorter time-frames with ever decreasing manpower,” says Dr Hennie Grobler, President of the Institute of Mine Surveyors of Southern Africa (IMSSA).

“The rapid advancement in geographic information systems, laser scanning and remotely piloted aerial systems provide opportunities for more accurate data gathering and value-adding interpretation of information to improve productivity.”

Dr Grobler was elected as IMSSA President for the term 2015 to 2016 on 10 September 2015. He serves as the Head of the Department of Mine Surveying at the University of Johannesburg.

“A multi-disciplinary approach is required to provide effective and sustainable solutions to the problems currently experienced in the mining industry in South Africa and the region,” he continues.

Because of the rapid changes in technology, new graduates find adapting to the mining culture challenging when they join the workforce.

As a result, IMSSA has initiated dialogue with the Department of Mineral Resources, industry partners and members aiming to optimise the qualification routes for all surveyors, says Grobler.

“During my term at IMSSA, I plan to improve the assessment format of the Government Certificate of Competency. This certificate is required to be appointed as the responsible mine surveyor of a mine and professional registration. The Institute wants to see the profession implementing new technology to provide efficient, sustainable solutions to the problems currently experienced by the mining industry internationally,” he says.

“The momentum gained by the current dialogue between the Institute and State must be maintained. It is essential that this co-operation lead to open dialogue and the development of a clear vision of what competence should mean and how it should be assessed.”

“A mutually acceptable model must be agreed upon between State, industry and education; and implemented as soon as possible. It is our duty to not only to share our experiences, but to apply this knowledge in developing new skillsets to fully exploit technologies such as scanning, photogrammetry, automation and 3D imaging.”

Concludes Grobler: “It is the duty of this Institute to promote and protect the interests of its members, advance the science and practice thereof and foster professional etiquette. I hope that we as an Institute can bring about a culture of passing the experience we as members have obtained from the “school of hard knocks” on to the next generation through mentorship, training and technical papers, so that they do not have to repeat the same mistakes made in the past.”

Dr Grobler has been a Fellow of IMSSA since 2004. He succeeds Mr Nape Mojapelo as President. He holds a doctorate in mine surveying focusing on spatial positioning, a rare qualification in minerals-rich South Africa. In May 2015, Dr Grobler was appointed as an alternate to Wits Prof Fred Cawood on the newly-constituted Governmental Geomatics Council.

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