Image: Jeremy Glyn for SBPR March 2018.
Wits Mining Institute DigiMine facility, sponsored by Sibanye Stillwater at the School of Mining Engineering at Wits.

Wits University’s Centre for Mechanised Mining Systems (CMMS) – part of the Wits Mining Institute – will be presenting its popular three-day courses in mechanised earthmoving and in maintenance management this November.

The course will be held from Wednesday 21 to 23 November 2018 at Wits University in Johannesburg.

The Mechanised Earthmoving in Mining – Equipment, Technology and Management course will be presented by visiting lecturer Professor Zvi Borowitsh of the Wits School of Mining Engineering and the Israel Institute of Technology.

Professor Borowitsh is a specialist in mine excavation, loading and haulage optimisation, with extensive experience in large-scale earthmoving projects and in academia.

He will also draw on industry experts to share their experience during the course.

Professor Fred Cawood, Director of the WMI said, “We are delighted to introduce our first two courses in mechanised mining under the WMI umbrella.

These courses are aimed at engineers and technicians, and will be followed-up by a best practice workshop on South African mechanised mining lessons and more courses on digital, mechanised and sustainable mining in 2019.”

WMI course content

Course content ranges from geo-mechanics and rock-breaking techniques to equipment economics and remote monitoring of earthmoving equipment.

Delegates will also study and practice the most up-to-date computer programs such as Talpac and FPC for machine and earthmoving simulation, optimising system selection, and analysing machine and earthmoving costs.

“Studies suggest that equipment maintenance costs account for 30 to 60% of total direct operating costs in a mechanised mining operation,” said Professor Borowitsh. “While maintenance has in the past been viewed as an ancillary support activity, equipment maintenance and management is now clearly a central link in the mining value chain, and should be a core competence of any mining organisation.”


The course has been accredited for two CPD points with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), and comprises a mixture of lectures and case studies from university and industry-based lecturers.

The content ranges from strategic management of mining equipment maintenance to optimisation of component life and real-time monitoring of machine health.