R/€ = 15.30
R/$ = 13.49
Au 1166.12 $/oz
Pt 987.00 $/oz
Dec 12, 2003
© Reuse this Every Friday morning, SAfm’s AMLive’s radio anchor John Perlman speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:
Perlman: Whenever you have mining, you have miners, but apparently not always.
Creamer: We are looking at manless mining developing in the Northern Cape at a diamond mine called Finsch, which is already quite a hi-tech mine.
Picture this; by mid year 2004, if you went 630 m underground, you would find a concrete road on which normal-looking hauling trucks would be travelling. But, if you looked closely, you may be forced to wipe your eyes as there will be no driver. The operators are moving towards driverless, fully automated, trucks. It is a mixture of Nordic nous and South African savvy being introduced. A very well prepared concrete loop is being laid, which has to be hard wearing, because these trucks will travel inch perfectly. The trucks are currently going through their paces at Tampere in Finland, and have been doing so for the last 12 months. They are being programmed to travel the exact route that they will do at Finsch mine, which is 165 km north west of Kimberley. Eventually load-haul dumping will also be automated.
The project is part of a R2,1-billion investment by De Beers.
Perlman: Now Martin, when we talk about our democracy, we think of institutions and buildings. Parliament in Cape Town and the Union buildings in Pretoria. Joburgs new Constitutional Court is almost complete. I believe it is going to carry for some people that same kind of status.
Creamer: Many observers believe that the new Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, where the Old Fort is located, is going to have great prestige value. They believe it will definitely be equal if not greater to the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town and the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The 11 Constitutional Court judges will move in during January. Then, on Human Rights day next year the Constitutional Court will be officially opened. The court will form the focal point of a much bigger complex called Constitutional Hill, where there will be museums and heritage sites.It is landmark location as it is where some of this country’s struggle icons were once imprisoned, including Nelson Mandela and well as Mahatma Ghandi. The old Fort, itself, is expected to be a great draw card for a tourism and, in the next decade, Joburg’s City fathers believe that something like 300 000 people will come through the area every year.
Perlman: We are on the eve of the world celebration of 100 years of flight and it is perhaps refreshing to recall that South Africa’s firs locally build aircraft was made out of wood. Tell us about that.
Creamer: On Wednesday December 17, 2003, the world will commemorate 100 years of powered flight. It was then that the brothers Wright, Wilbur and Orville made their historic flight in the Wright flyer. I think it remained in the air for 12 seconds and covered a distance of 36,5 m. We have come a long way from then. But it is interesting to note that it was only seven years later that South Africa actually got flight going. It wasn’t a South African that flew, it was Albert Kimmerling of France who was invited out here by the East London Council and sponsored by an engineering company to come and do some flights. A year later , John Weston became the first person living in South Africa to gain pilot certificate. He was very keen on building an aircraft, and started building them between 1905 and 1908. He just couldn’t get things going until he formed a joint venture with a French company, which resulted in the Weston Farmans. It was only in 1935, however, that Victor Smith and his friends got together and they produced the aircar. The plane was made entirely from wood. Of course they where quickly over taken by innovations in the rest of the world, and South Africa has never been able to catch up. We arrived at the tail end, and now 100 years later all I think we produce globally is a tail plan for the hawk and that is done at Kempton Park and large components for the Gripen series and components for helicopters. So, we are hanging in there as a niche player.
Perlman: Nice trip down memory lane there to wrap-up the last visit to the coal face for the year 2003. Martin, to you and everyone at the Engineering News and Mining Weekly a very blessed and successful Christmas and New Year. Martin will be back with us on January 16, 2004.
Edited by: Yolande Botes© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Assistant Chief Operating Officer and Personal Assistant to the Publishing Editor
Updated 3 hours ago Agri SA is calling for urgent clarification of the correct wording and interpretation of the governing party’s decision, whereby the 50/50 proposal, which requires farmers to hand over half their land to their workers, has been accepted as African National Congress...
Updated 3 hours ago South Africa should not be allowed to create new coal-fired power stations if it is to tackle its carbon emissions and meet the global goal of keeping temperature increases below 2 °C, says South African environmental and antinuclear organisation Earthlife Africa...
Updated 3 hours ago Integrated information and communications technology (ICT) systems provider Datacentrix has lifted earnings attributable to shareholders for the six months ended August 31, by 15.4% to R54.5-million and headline earnings per share (HEPS) by 14% to 27.7c, benefitting...
Recent Research Reports
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Engen Driver Wellness, the mobile health awareness initiative, continues to make a tangible difference to the lives of the country’s bulk truck operators with increased driver participation in voluntary screenings and improved health scores. Now in its fifth year,...
At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...