UKZN Field Excursion Report back

As part of honours curriculum in Environmental and Engineering Geology stream at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, students are required to undertake the compulsory module GEOL706 (mine Field Class) which is a 16 credit module based  on real practical problems. This involves visits to mines and other areas of interest in geotechnical, engineering and environmental geology where lectures are given to the students on various aspects of establishment, operations and management of projects as well as conducting tour to these various project sites of interest. The entourage comprises nine honours students and two lectures. For this current academic year the field trip was conducted from 27 June 2017 to 5 July 2017 wherein the following places were visited:

  • The Ingula pumped storage scheme,
  • Eskom 68km railway project from Ermeko to Majuba
  • The Impumelelo Colliery in Secunda,
  • The Ntshingwayo Dam in Chlmesford, and
  • The Magdalena Colliery in Dundee.

Two days were set aside for students to undertake an engineering geological mapping of a road cutting and also geophysical exercise which involved resistivity and magnetometer survey along an existing dam, The program was well packed and educative covering a majority of topics dealt with during the course of the academic year in geotechnical engineering, rock engineering, engineering geology, hydrogeology and environmental geology. One of the major highlights of the trip was the first hand experience of directional drilling and horizontal drilling in operation at Sasol. Judging from the response from the students, it was very informative and for most of them, it was their very first experience going in an underground mine,

As part of the assessment, students were required to do a presentation each evening and also present a final written report and their field notebook. Assessment is also made on each students’s performance in the field and their ability to work as a team.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal, the lectures and the students are grateful to SAIEG’s continued financial support and we appreciate the gesture given to the Discipline of Geological Science (UKZN) by the SAIEG in helping us run such a successful field excursion. The various establishments visited were very happy to receive the students and look forward to seeing us with another group of students next academic year.

We hope and trust that SAIEG would continue to support us in the coming years

Here are some of the pictures taken during the trip.

Pics for SAIEG