Grade 11 Mine Visit – Petra Diamonds Koffiefontein
Published: September 19, 2017

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Maths, Science and Technology for Engineering Project

Trainer: Sechaba Sebusho
Manager: Tapiwa Chekure
National Executive Director – Sharanjeet Shan

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  1. Introduction

The mine visit trips was organised by the Petra Diamonds- Koffiefontein Training Development team and the Maths Centre and took place on the 30th of August, 5th and 6th of September 2017. A total of 30 grade 11 learners were selected from Rekaeletse Secondary, Ikanyegeng Combined and Koffiefontein High Schools to participate in these trips. During the visit the learners were taken to different sections of the mine which included: the control rooms, underground shafts, health and safety departments as well as the processing plant.

  1. Objectives of the Mine visit trips

The trip was meant to expose the learners to:

  • how Mathematics and Physical Science lead to careers with critical scarce skills needed in the mining industry
  • various bursary opportunities offered by Petra Diamonds that require a solid background of Maths, Physical Sciences and Technology
  • attract learners in Koffifontein to be pursue mining careers with scarce skills
  • the importance of safety in mining and daily lives
  • underground mining activities

 

  1. Mine visit and photos

Johan Brits, Petra Diamonds Blue Mine Training Manager, was coordinating all the activities that were conducted during mine visits. Engineering and science graduates from various universities, who are currently doing their internships with the mine made presentations to the learners. The presentations explained the minimum requirements required to follow the career, the universities that offer the programmes, the skills required for the career, the bursary opportunities and support that the learners can get if they pass Mathematics and Physical Science with good grades. The following careers were discussed:

  • Mining Engineering
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Engineering Civil, Mechanical and Electrical aspects (Fitting and Turning, Boiler Making, Auto Election).
  • Geology
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Environmental/Occupational Hygiene/Safety

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Health and safety: Learners changed into their safety apparel (Overalls, hardhat, boots) and were also equipped with rescue packs before being allowed to enter the mine shaft.

Safety Training: Safety training was conducted with everyone before the visit into the plant. The training focused on particular safety issues of the organisation and the expected safety conduct that was during the tour. An online safety test had to be passed before proceeding with the visit. Below are some of the photos taken during the safety training.

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Underground tour: The learners were guided by Oom Ben who has been working at the mine for numerous years and has extensive knowledge of the mine. Learners explored the different levels of the underground mine and were shown the different kinds of equipment used underground. The Engineers and Technicians explained how different careers are applied underground.

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Control room and plant equipment: Learners were shown the daily activities at the mine were controlled from one station; the starting and stopping of the mines intricate system on conveyer belts, crushers and the skips used for to transport the diamond ore out of the mine.

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Plant tour: After the underground visit the learners were taken to the processing plant in order to learn how the material that was extracted from the mine is processed (Metallurgical engineering). The explanations of the processes involved were done outside the buildings since there were entry restrictions.

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Conclusion

The mine visit for grade 11s was a success and the learners will continuously be encouraged to follow careers that require Mathematics and Physical Sciences during the project intervention sessions. Each learner was provided with Petra Diamonds career brochure to help answer any unanswered questions take home to help reflect on what they had learnt from the excursion.

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The brochure entails information on:

  • Where to study
  • Career opportunities in the mining and minerals sector
  • Breakdowns on the different careers in mining;
    • Technicians and trade workers (artisans)
    • Professional careers (engineers, surveyors . . . )
    • Ways to finance your studies
    • Petra diamonds bursaries
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