The Wits Mining Institute (WMI) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg will be hosting two courses in July 2022 with well-known excavation, load and haul expert Professor Zvi Borowitsh.

The first course – on Mechanised Earthmoving in Mining: Equipment, Technology and Management – will run from 27 to 29 July, while the second course will focus on Maintenance Management in Mining and be held from 13 to 15 July.

The courses will be conducted online using remote learning platforms which enable interaction with the lecturer and among participants; these platforms will also facilitate group discussions on case studies.

Professor Borowitsh, who is attached to both the University of the Witwatersrand and the Israel Institute of Technology, specialises in earth and rock excavation, as well as load and haul optimisation. He has extensive academic experience, and has managed and consulted to large-scale earthmoving projects.


The Mechanised Earthmoving course will provide advanced manual and computerised techniques to equip participants to select the most efficient and economical spread of equipment for projects. They will learn cost evaluation analysis for equipment economics and earthworks, and also explore the planning and management of earthmoving projects.

Participants will also practice simulation with TALPAC and DRAGSIM software; trial versions of the software will be made available for download onto their own computers. The course is aimed at mining and civil engineering project managers, engineers and technicians at technical and managerial levels.

The course on Maintenance Management in Mining recognises that 30-60% of direct operating costs in a mechanised mine will relate to equipment – making the performance and maintenance of this equipment vital to success. The content will come from university and industry-based lecturers, and the three-day online course will comprise a mixture of lectures and case studies. Contact time will be supplemented with homework reading and a study pack.

Among the topics to be covered are: the strategic management of mining equipment maintenance; real-time monitoring of machines; data interpretation; machine application and component wear; optimising component life; and data links for supporting maintenance. The course will also explore oil sampling for detecting component wear, the principles of out-source service agreements, optimising parts inventories, basic workshop and field service planning, and safety in mine maintenance.

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