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Murray & Roberts Cementation showcases simulated mine training facility

Murray & Roberts Cementation showcases simulated mine training facility

10th April 2024

     

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From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report.

Sashnee Moodley:

Mining contractor Murray & Roberts Cementation in mid-March showcased its mock-up mine and other training facilities for underground mechanised mining operators, supervisors and engineers at its Bentley Park Training Academy, in Carletonville. Marleny Arnoldi visited the site.

Marleny Arnoldi:

Murray & Roberts Cementation offers training across the full value chain of mechanised mining, with trainees typically starting with e-learning and theoretical work before moving to virtual reality exercises, emergency drills and real machine operation in underground simulated conditions.

The Murray & Roberts Training Academy prides itself on upholding stringent safety standards throughout every module and stage of training it offers.

While real machinery is used for training in the mock-up mine, laser lights are used on the rock face for simulated blasting practices, as are alternative gel-based products mixed to mock emulsions used for blasting.

The mock-up mine accurately simulates real underground mechanised mining conditions, specifically board-and-pillar operations. It also features painted geological conditions to teach learners about risky strata control scenarios and solutions.

The simulated training environment provides an opportunity to develop the softer skills, or silent competencies, such as heat endurance, workplace appreciation and calm demeanours during an emergency, that an underground mine employee needs, and would typically only get exposure to through real mining conditions, with real safety risks, production delays and higher costs at stake if errors occur.

Murray & Roberts Cementation education, training and development executive Tony Pretorius tells us more.

Murray & Roberts Cementation education, training and development executive Tony Pretorius…

Marleny Arnoldi:

What distinguishes the Murray & Roberts Training Academy from that of others in the industry is its training of novices, which caters well to the 50% local employment requirement that mining companies often have to adhere to.

Local employees often have no experience or skills in underground mechanised mining, which the training academy’s seasoned experts are well equipped to remedy in a reasonable timeframe. Pretorius explains.

Murray & Roberts Cementation education, training and development executive Tony Pretorius…

Marleny Arnoldi:

The facility’s holistic training experience, including accommodation, a wellness clinic, meals and behavioural guidance, ensures trainees can be enthusiastic and focus on the tasks at hand.

The facility can accommodate 450 trainees at a time and offer customised modules to the skills development they require. This includes students from various universities.

The mock-up mine comprises a 3.5-m-high structure covering 1 125 m2, providing the sensory experience required for developing muscle memory in the real-life workplace.

The learners experience the full value chain of mechanised mining activity, from waiting place meetings, entry exam and safety declaration through to face preparation, marking, drilling, charging, blasting and installation of support structures.

The company often assists unemployed youth to train up learners to meet incoming skills demand in the industry, which the training academy has had a solid success rate with.

Pretorius elaborates on the company’s training offering and the importance of training for impact.

Murray & Roberts Cementation education, training and development executive Tony Pretorius…

Sashnee Moodley:

That’s Creamer Media’s Real Economy Report. Join us again next week for more news and insight into South Africa’s real economy. Don’t forget to listen to the audio version of our Engineering News daily email newsletter.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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