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G-MIRM Safety Programme

As part of a worldwide initiative encompassing nine top universities in South Africa, Australia, Chile, Brazil, the USA, Canada and England, MtM has been involved since 2008 in delivering a safety risk management course to mining company managers and senior personnel, aimed at reducing the number of accidents and fatalities that occur in mining.

The course was developed by Professor Jim Joy of the University of Queensland, and delivered for UCT by eight carefully selected non-GOB staff (mostly engineers with extensive managerial and operational experience in the mining industry), who were specifically trained to present this course. The course was originally developed for Anglo American, who then made it available to other mining companies through the Global Mineral Industry Risk Management program (G-MIRM). 

The course is offered as a Continuing Professional Development course within the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, and was presented around 12 to 15 times per year between 2008 and 2014, to approximately 1500 attendees in all. As a direct result of presenting this course, a programme of research into mining accident causality was initiated within MtM, with the first Master’s degree awarded in 2013. 

Over the years, the course was modified for Anglo American to include health and environmental risk, and operational risk, but was suspended in mid-2014 as a result of the Global Financial Crisis. The future of this initiative is under discussion; it is envisaged that sustainability principles will be included into the risk assessment, with material being developed by the South African partners led by UCT. This is under development.