Department of Mining Engineering and Mine Surveying

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About the Department of Mining  Engineering and Mine Surveying


“de terra pro bono humanitatis”

Latin, translates to: “from the earth for the good of humanity”

“Our vision is to be the leader in the 4th industrial revolution through applied research and development of realistic mining related applications that guides our teaching and learning focused on safe, sustainable exploitation of our continent’s mineral wealth.”

All the resources used by humankind can be categorized into two very basic formats. If a commodity cannot be grown, it must be mined. Therefore, all the modern technology used in the Industrial revolution 4.0, in its most fundamental form has its origin in a mine. Mining is crucial to the development of our economy and our society. The programmes in Mining Engineering and Mine Surveying are the backbone of the mining industry both on the continent but also world-wide.

We are very proud of our history and our contribution to the development of the mining industry in South Africa. The Department of Mining Engineering and Mine Surveying can trace its origins back over 125 years to the School of Mines that was established in Kimberly in 1896. The current School of Mines at the University of Johannesburg will turn 100 in 2026. If you start working on any mine in South Africa, the chances are good that some of your supervisors will be alumni from UJ. UJ has a hard-earned international reputation for developing practical, “hands-on” Mining Engineers and Mine Surveyors that are immediately employable and productive after graduation. It is exciting to know that the graduates from these new programmes will continue this legacy in times to come. We have a very proud history with a number of well-known figures within the mining industry that have graduated from this institution.

Our Mining Engineering and Mine Surveying graduates are designing and operating mines that are up to 4 000metres underground and the ore they need to mine is only one metre high. To put that in perspective, imagine a book that is 4 000 pages thick. Our graduates are trained to develop a safely mine down to that one specific page. Graduates will work as a team of Surveyors, Mining Engineers, Rock engineers, Geologists and other experts to ensure the optimal extraction of a mineral resource to the benefit of both the shareholders and the local community.

Our department use GPS, drones, laser scanning technology and 3D printing to visualize these complex 3D structures at all stages of the mining process in our undergraduate teaching. The Minerals industry is adapting to the IR4.0 and our students are now introduced to VR training, the safe operation of Drones (RPAS) and Laser scanning amongst others. Our lecturers are involved in research in the fields as diverse as underground navigation systems that will ultimately guide autonomous mining machines, holo-lens applications and the impact of Women in Mining on the productivity of the industry.

The UJ was identified as a Flagship university the UNESCO international competence centre for mining engineering education in St Petersburg, Russia. Prof. Grobler attended the Governing Board and Supervisory Council of the International Competence Centre for Mining-Engineering Education under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) hosted at the Saint Petersburg Mining University, Russia on the 19th and 20th of February 2020 in the role of Professional Expert Community member.

Mining Engineering technologists are involved in the daily production activities that includes the design of excavations, developing drilling patterns for the explosives, the cleaning of the broken rock and the support of excavations. Mine Engineers are appointed as Mine Managers and are responsible for all the operations on a mine from the financial management, mechanical and electrical engineering, mineral beneficiation and mining operations. It is a job with extremely high responsibilities.

Mine Surveyors plan and design excavations based on a valuation of the ore deposit and providing the production personnel with controls to ensure that the excavations are made in the correct 3D position of the design. Mine Surveyors are legally appointed in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act to take responsibility for the accurate spatial control of mining operations and the updating of mine plans (maps) of all the workings of the mine. UJ offers the only accredited and recognized degree in Mine Surveying in South Africa.

Head of Department: Prof Hendrik Grobler