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Lephalale Exxaro Training Centre

Keywords: exxaro grovos training centre, mining work reflection

The reason for this report is to give a description of the period of vacation work spent at Exxaro Resources' Grootegeluk mine. The necessity was set to the student to spend time with and use artisans in their everyday environment to get valuable practical training and experience. The training provided a broad overview of the environment an engineer can be exposed to and must be able to handle during his / her practice. A thorough knowledge of different disciplines was attained by working with diesel mechanics, millwrights, electricians and fitters. Tasks completed range from the manufacturing and assembly of components to the maintenance of existing systems and troubleshooting of systems that don't work as expected. The incorporation of a report of personnel management added another dimension to the training period by informing the student about the enabling, employee lifecycle and supportive services wanted to the employee to ensure a satisfying and advancing working environment.


Exxaro Resources Ltd is a South African mining company that owns coal, mineral sands, base metals as well as industrial metal related assets. Nearly all its earnings is however produced by its coal mining sections. Exxaro's Coal Mining Division is made as the fourth largest producer of coal in South Africa with eight different coal mines throughout the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces under their control. Exxaro's Grootegeluk Coal mine in Ellisras in the Limpopo province is an open-cast coal mine with the major coal beneficiation facility on the globe. It supplies power station coal to the Matimba Power Station and also produces coking coal for use in the production of steel, as well as high quality metallurgical coal. Additionally it is the house of the Medupi power station expansion project which, after completion will lead to Grootegeluk being the most significant open-cast mining facility on earth.




2. 1. 1. 1. INTRODUCTION

The central workshop on the Grootegeluk site is in charge of tasks such as repair, maintenance, assembly and fabrication. The workshop is divided into three sections, namely Mining Maintenance, Plating and Refurbishment.

The secondary mining maintenance section located in the central workshop on the Grootegeluk site is mostly in charge of the maintenance of the water trucks, tippers, low-beds and smaller trackless mobile machinery. Time was spent employed in this section, in cooperation with diesel mechanics, to obtain knowledge of the maintenance and procedure of the trucks.


3 water trucks and 3 tippers are required to operate at any time. The trucks used are supplied by Caterpillar and are the CAT 777 models. The models that operate on the mine currently will be the CAT 777D and CAT 777F models. The program at the moment is to phase out the CAT 777D trucks and incorporate the newer CAT 777F models.


A major good thing about the fact that the CAT 777 models are being used is the fact that the chassis and power train can be used interchangeably between trucks that are of the same model. Based on what is required, either a water tank or bucket can be attached to the chassis so that it is a versatile alternative to the purchasing of trucks manufactured for specific purposes only.

The trucks are powered by an 870 horsepower, 27. 9 litre engine. The power from the engine is sent via a torque converter, which is followed by a prop shaft leading to a semi-automatic transmission, differential and the left and right rear final drives.

The basic layout of the truck can be shown as follows:


2. 1. 1. 4. WATER TRUCKS

Responsibility of water trucks:

Spray water on the mine roads to reduce the quantity of dust caused by the passing of trucks and mine machinery

In the function of any fire on the mine, this trucks may be used to extinguish the fire by use of your nozzle mounted on the front


The total load carrying capacity of this particular trucks will depend on the model. The capability of the tank on the older CAT 777D trucks is 80000 litres as the tank on the newer CAT 777F has a slightly larger capacity of 82000 litres.

Pump and spray system:

A centrifugal pump system is used at the back of the truck to pump water from the tank to the spray nozzles. Water flows down from the tank into the pump where it is then rerouted upwards in to the piping system resulting in the spray nozzles. The spray nozzles then project a jet of water at a little obstruction which again changes the direction of travel creating the water to disperse

Diagram of piping:

Diagram of side view of spray nozzles

2. 1. 1. 5. TIPPERS

Responsibility of tippers:

Waste and overburden in the mine is defined as rock and soil that can't be used for the extraction of product. It also includes the waste produced through the extraction of the merchandise. Because of the tiny amount of coal content that might still be within the waste there's always a threat of spontaneous combustion. The tippers are responsible for moving and dumping red sand and topsoil on the waste dumps and the areas across the pit to shield the region from intense sunlight and reduce the possibility of spontaneous combustion.

The tippers also operate occasionally in the pit as well as front-end loaders to completely clean out small amounts of material that the shovels and larger trucks are unable to collect due to lack of space for operation.


The load carrying capacity of the tippers is dependent upon the condition of the hydraulic system used to lift the bucket. Two hydraulic cylinders are being used to lift the bucket and tip the load. In a brand new condition, the tippers are able to handle lots of 120 tons while a tipper that has been in service is normally only loaded up to 100 tons to ensure that the machine will be able to dump the load.


In the coal mining environment, the trucks are required to be serviced after every 300 hours of operation. Through the training period, both the CAT 777F and CAT 777D models were serviced.

The 300 hour service on the CAT 777D truck entails the following:


3 different samples of fluids were taken while the engine was still running

Engine oil

Transmission fluid

Hydraulic fluid

6 more samples were taken following the engine was switched off

Left front hub oil

Right front hub oil

Left final drive oil

Right final drive oil

Steering fluid

Differential oil

These samples were then delivered to the mine laboratory. The samples are then analysed to check on for the presence of iron filings or debris that may indicate the existence of wear on the components.

Replacement of filters

The sump plugs and used oil filters were removed to drain the engine oil

Although the principal sump is the main to be drained, the engine also has a little secondary sump that was also drained

Used oil was caught in an oil trolley

New oil filters were installed

Diesel filters were removed

New diesel filters were installed

New steering filter was installed

Checking the fluid levels

The degree of the oil in the final drives, front hubs, differential, hydraulic system and transmission were checked

Transmission fluid was filled up

Engine oil was filled up

The servicing of the CAT 777F trucks was handled by certified Barloworld technicians, since the trucks have only been operating on the mine for a short time. Mechanics present in the workshop had to thoroughly observe the tasks that the technicians were performing in order to find out what must be achieved. Eventually the duty of servicing will be paid to the diesel mechanics.


The trucks operate using as semi-automatic transmission. This transmission eliminates the need for a clutch pedal, leaving only a brake pedal and an accelerator pedal. A torque converter is however offered with the gearbox to fulfil the goal of the clutch.

Three different braking systems are available on the trucks. Operators seldom use the foot brake which exerts a braking force on the all four wheels of the truck because of the heat generated. The steering column is fitted with levers to operate two other braking systems. The retarder lever is mostly used to slow the truck down by exerting a braking force on the trunk wheels. The secondary lever is a final resort for operators and, when pulled, exerts a braking force on all of the truck's wheels simultaneously. Once the trucks are stationary and the engine switched off, the park brake needs to be engaged. Additional stop blocks are positioned behind the wheels of the trucks to avoid them from rolling.

When the truck needs to be driven the following steps are taken:

Engage the park brake

Engage the retarder lever

Select the amount of gears required from the transmission

Disengage the park brake

Disengage the retarder lever

Press the accelerator pedal

The transmission will shift through the amount of gears selected

Steer the truck


2. 1. 2. 1. INTRODUCTION

The central plating workshop at Grootegeluk mine is in charge of the majority of the sheet metal work that needs to be done on the mine. Artisans in this section have the duty of manufacturing and assembling components of structures or machinery around the mine. The plating workshop also has facilities to sandblast and spray the components manufactured. The majority of the workload of the workshop finds application in the production and beneficiation plants. Time was spent with boilermakers in order to gain a knowledge of sheet metal work.

2. 1. 2. 2. MATERIAL

Mild steel and stainless steel will be the dominating types of steel found in the workshop. The type of material used for an application is occasionally tied to the capabilities of the available machinery.

2. 1. 2. 3. PREHEATING

Preheating of materials is an advantageous process when welding must be performed and aids in the assurance of a strong, quality weld. Four significant reasons for preheating exist.

Preheating of the metal reduces the rate of which the welded component cools down. Rapid cooling of the welded joint could cause shrinkage of the metal in the vicinity of the weld which eventually contributes to the formation of cracks and reduces the effectiveness of the weld.

In materials with low ductility, the shrinkage stress in the weld area could cause intensive deformation of the component after welding. Preheating lessens the result of distortion by giving the welder the possibility to utilise a momentary increase in ductility during the welding process.

When the temperature of the parent material that is being used is too low, it can cause the deposited electrode metal to cool rapidly, leading to the prevention of the fusion of the metals. Preheating lowers the chance of this situation occurring. The quantity of preheating required is dependent upon the thickness and configuration of the plates to be welded.

The final reason behind preheating pertains to the occurrence of moisture on the top of metal. If the surface of the metal is wet during the welding process it might lead to the rejection of the weld or an accelerated tempo of surface crack formation in the welding region.


The flux-cored arc welding used in the workshop uses a wire electrode which is shielded by an appropriate gas. In general, flux-cored wires are produced to operate with either carbon dioxide or an assortment of argon and skin tightening and as shielding gas. The shielding gas prevents the spark from leading to the uncontrolled dispersion or oxidation of the electrode metal.

Flux-cored arc welding is generally performed by dragging the welding gun across the joint that should be welded. When welding t-joints it's important to keep the welding gun at a 45ґј angle to ensure that the electrode metal is evenly deposited in both pieces of metal.

When completing butt welds the torch must stay in an upright position and should not deviate from the upright position by more than 15ґј. This may also ensure even distribution of the electrode metal during the welding process.


2. 1. 2. 5. EQUIPMENT


Lincoln electric Idealarc DC-600 power source

Direct current welding power source with a maximum current output of 850 A and maximum voltage output of 44 V

Lincoln electric LN-25 PRO semi-automatic wire feeder

Wire feeders are linked to the energy source to feed electrode wire through the welding gun

Tri-mark TM-791

Flux-cored electrode wire used in conjunction with CO2 as shielding gas

Matweld Anti-spatter Silicone mat 0810

Spray canister that can be used to avoid the spatter of electrode metal through the welding process

The spray is put on the welding gun

Cutting torches:

Two combinations of gases are used in the cutting torches. LP gas and oxygen are being used together, or acetylene and oxygen

Lighting the torch

The operator opens the LPG or acetylene feed and lights the gas

After the LPG or acetylene has been lit, the oxygen supply is opened to enhance the flame

An optimal flame to cut metal with is a quiet flame of blue colour without visible or distortions

Application of torches

Torches are mostly used to cut mild steel in the workshop. Torches can't be used to cut stainless. Technically speaking torches do not cut, they burn the metal. Burning involves oxidation of the metal. The temperature of the flame accelerates this oxidation process. Stainless has low iron content and will not rust in the presence of the flame.

Automated cutting torch

This machine has the ability to follow a shape by means of a proximity eye on a table at the left side of the device, while simultaneously moving the torch in the exact same pattern to cut a component from metal plates on the right side of the machine. Shapes are drawn and cut out on a yellow plastic sheet. The edges of the shape are then painted white. The form is then placed under the eye which follows the outline of the form while cutting the metal in the same way.

Plasma cutter:

Cebora Plasma Prof 80 art 947

Uses only compressed air to make accurate cuts in metal up to a thickness of 20 mm and rough severance cuts up to 30 mm


The plasma cutter found in the workshop utilises high pressure gas which is sent through a little tubular gun. The tiny tubular gun contains a negative electrode that creates a circuit when the gun is brought near the metal. This electric spark caused by the circuit causes the gas to be heated into the plasma state of matter and reaches a temperature of about 16000ґјC. This extremely hot plasma then melts the metal that has been cut. The plasma cutter may be used to cut any metal. Inside the workshop it is used to cut stainless steel plates.

Sandblasting equipment:

Spartan engineering 800M pressure vessel

200 L capacity

The reason for the sandblasting equipment is to completely clean and remove paint from the top of metal components which then prepares the top to be spray painted.

2. 1. 2. 6. TASKS OBSERVED

Due to the type of the precision and accuracy required to complete the jobs, almost all of the time in the workshop was spent observing and assisting.

The following jobs were happening:

Manufacturing and assembly of waste buckets

Waste buckets are used surrounding the mine for different waste material. These waste buckets are made by the mine boilermakers. Three waste buckets were being built for use round the mine. Plates for the structure had to be cut, bent and welded together by using a cutting torch, bending machine and welding machine.

Basic side layout

Basic front layout

Wear plates

Two sets of wear plates are used as parts of a vibrating beam in one of the assemblies in the plants

One set of plates have six holes through which it fastens the beam

The second group of plates are rectangular and support two springs

Because of the magnitude of the forces functioning on these wear plates, bearing failure of the plates occurs during operation. This wear is however allowed and monitored for a time frame before the beams are then removed and the exhausted plates cut off

New wear plates were manufactured according to specification

Clamps for pipes

Clamps were manufactured to fasten the pipes found in the plants

Haulpak truck operators cab

Boilermakers assembled the frame of the operators cab for just one of the Haulpak trucks. Drawings were supplied giving detail of the cover plates that needed to be fabricated, as well as assembly drawings to show the final required layout. The welds utilised were to be either 3 or 6 mm one-sided fillet welds. The M12 nuts which were used to assemble the frame also had to be tag welded.

Extractor fan piping system

Maintenance on the plants requires occasional replacement of the piping on the extractor fan system. A 6 pipe assembly was produced to replace the old system. Flanges were cut and holes for bolts were punched. Pipes were cut to the correct lengths and shapes after which flanges were welded onto the pipes.


2. 1. 3. 1. INTRODUCTION

The GG 3/4/5 and waste management workshop at Grootegeluk mine is responsible for the mechanical and electrical maintenance of the GG 3, 4 and 5 plants as well as the machine set up to mention waste to the dumps. A wide variety of systems, from substations to conveyor belts, are the responsibility of the artisans in this workshop. Time was spent with fitters and electricians to get a knowledge of the tasks required.


Replacement of motors in GG 5 tunnel:

After completing the required safety protocol the first task was to displace two 380 V electric motors in the GG 5 feeder tunnel. The job required both electricians and fitters to complete and was completed by these steps:

Since the motors operate on a 380 V control voltage, the first task was to cut the electricity supply to the motors by isolating the breaker in the substation

The new motors, weighing in at 118 kg each were carried into the tunnel utilizing a sling wound about the motors

The electrical supply wires in the cable box were disconnected

After disconnection, the bolts on the old motors were loosened and the old motors were removed

The new motors were then hoisted into place by a small handheld portable crane

The bolts were fastened to keep the motors in place

The electrical supply wires in the cable box were reconnected

The supply to the motors in the substation was switched on

The final step was to check on if the motors were in fact turning in the right direction

Proximity sensors:

The job associated with the proximity sensors required the interest of electricians and required thorough investigation into and troubleshooting of the wiring circuit resulting in the sensor on the feeder motors. The proximity sensors kept burning when they switch after connection.

The function of your proximity sensor is to discover the presence of the metal component within 5 mm of its periphery and takes the proper execution of a little circular cylinder with a threaded outer casing and electronic components inside. These sensors are being used to point to the operator if the lever at the electric motors has been engaged. This prevents the motor from running without being engaged to the feeders.

The troubleshooting followed a sequential path:

First the cable leading from the junction box at the motors was followed back to the PLC in the substation

The basic function of the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) is to offer an electronic interface between the supply and the components

The PLC can be create to perform certain tasks during certain time intervals and can also receive and respond to inputs from other electronic components

From the PLC the total amount of the cable was split into 4 sections

PLC to distribution panel

Distribution panel to junction box

Junction box to cable box

Cable box to proximity sensor

The connection at the proximity sensor requires the occurrence of any live and neutral wire

At first glance the suspicion was that both wires available were live wires, thereby creating a short circuit when the proximity sensor switches

A Meggar insulation tester was then used to check each amount of cable

The basic function of your Meggar is to test the magnitude of insulation between the conductor and the earth

A low reading on the Meggar indicates the possible occurrence of a brief circuit or damage to the wire insulation

After the utilization of the Meggar the proximity sensor was sequentially wired into the circuit at each section and tested

Eventually the short circuit was found between the cable box and the proximity sensor

Servicing of slip ring motors;

The high voltage electric motors used to drive the waste conveyor belt system are 6. 6 kV slip ring motors. These motors need to be serviced regularly to ensure efficient functioning of the system and to prevent the motors from being damaged.

Equipment needed:

Meggar insulation tester


Cleaning solvent

Extension cord

In order to complete the service of the slip ring motor, the next steps had to be taken:

The electrical supply to the motor was cut off by isolating the breaker in the substation

The side cover panels of the electric motor were removed

Twelve brushes inside the motor were then taken off the brush holders

Special care needed to be taken to ensure that the brushes don't touch each other

The Meggar insulation tester was then linked to the slip rings

Negative terminal connects to your body of the motor

Positive terminal connects to the slip rings

An initial reading of 640 MО was recorded

The control voltage on the motor can be an indication of the reading required from the Meggar

For a 6. 6 kV motor the reading from the Meggar should at least be 6. 6 kО

The Meggar was removed and the within of the slip ring and brush casing was blown out with the blower

After blowing out dust and fine copper, the slip rings and the within of the casing were wiped with a cloth and solvent to remove the last little bit of fine copper

The Meggar was reconnected and a reading of 3. 22 GО was obtained that was adequate

The side cover panels were replaced and the electrical supply to the motor was switched back on

Replacement of a 6. 6 kV slip ring motor:

The 6. 6 kV electric motors used for the conveyor system eventually deteriorate in such a manner that they cannot be brought back to a satisfactory operating state by means of something only. These motors then need to be replaced and are sent away to be properly refurbished if it is possible.

The following steps were followed:

The electric supply to the motor was cut off by isolating the breaker in the substation

The electromagnetic drum brake premiered and moved out of the way

The shaft coupling (jaw coupling) between the shaft on the motor and the shaft on the gearbox was disengaged

The panels covering the electrical phase terminals and winding terminals were removed

and the supply cables were disconnected

The next thing was to loosen the bolts in the bottom that fasten the motor to the structural frame

The old motor was then hoisted by means of a forklift and removed

The new motor was then put in place

The electric supply was reconnected to the phase and winding terminals

The bolts at the bottom of the motor were fastened slightly and the shaft coupling replaced to avoid excessive movement of the motor

Alignment of the shafts was then done

Shaft coupling was properly engaged

The bolts on the structural frame were fastened


2. 1. 4. 1. INTRODUCTION

A brief introduction was given to a typical engineering problem to provide insight into what is often required from engineers. The belt on the waste management system leading to the dump must be extended. This is triggering problems in conditions of the power required from the slip ring motors. The extension of the belt causes additional load to be hauled by the motors. The motors that are installed trip when started through to full load. Time was spent studying and applying calculation to determine the power required from the motors to operate a vehicle the conveyor belt system.


The governing factors associated with the energy requirements of the conveyor belt system concerns the provision of the necessary force to overcome the resistances posed by the entire system.

These resistances can be split into 5 subsections:

Main resistances FH

Secondary resistances FN

Special main resistances Fs1

Special secondary resistances Fs2

Slope resistance Fst

Main resistances:

The main resistances that the motors have to overcome relate to the resistance of the rotating idlers, the resistance by the movement of the empty belt, the resistance of the material to horizontal movement as well as the resistance of the belt due to a slope along its conveying length.

The resistance posed by the rotation of the idlers is manifested in the form of the frictional resistance of the idler bearings and seals. Rotational inertia of the idlers also plays a part in the resistance posed.

The belt creates resistance by means of the indentation resistance of the belt on the rollers. The flexure of the belt and the material that the belt is made of also resists the movement of the belt.

An overall calculation to look for the resistance due to rotation of idlers and movement of the empty belt takes the following form:

FH1 = (qro + qru + 2qb cos О±) x f x L x g

qro - Mass per unit length of rotating idler parts on the carrying side [kg/m]

qru - Mass per unit length of rotating idler parts on the return side [kg/m]

qb - Mass per unit length of the belt [kg/m]

О± - Angle of inclination [degrees/radians]

L - Centre to centre conveyor length [m]

g - Gravitational acceleration [m/s2]

f - Friction factor due to idlers

The mass of rotating idler parts and the mass per unit length of the belt itself depends upon means of the tables of specifications given in the look catalogue or procedure followed. This involves the belt width which is often decided upon or determined mathematically.

These masses are then converted into mass per unit length by means of the next formulas:

qro = mro/ao [kg/m] qru = mru/au [kg/m]

ao - carry side idler spacing

au - return side idler spacing

The decision then needs to be made in regards to to selecting a friction factor. This is also specified by the design catalogue. The Phoenix Conveyor Belt Design Fundamentals catalogue supplies the following guidelines for selection:

f = 0. 017 for well aligned belts with smooth running idlers and low friction

f = 0. 02 for normal applications

f = 0. 023 to 0. 027 for harsh operating environments, high frictional forces and the casual overloading of the belt

The centre to centre distance serves as a the distance from the head to the tail of the conveying system and encompasses the full total possible length over which material can be conveyed. Normally, this is a parameter that is pre-determined by the precise situation.

Finally the calculation of the resistance because of the rotation of the idlers and the empty belt force can be done.

The next calculation that needs to be done pertains to the resistance of the material to being conveyed horizontally.

FH2 = qm x L x g x f x cos О± [N]

qm - mass of the material per unit length that has been conveyed

To calculate the worthiness of qm needed in the aforementioned formula, the total capacity or throughput of the belt must known.

qm = Qm/v [kg/m]

Qm - The capability or thoughput of the conveyor system [kg/s]

v - velocity of the belt [m/s]

The calculation for the resistance of the material to horizontal movement is now able to be achieved.

The resistance posed by gravity due to a slope/gradient along the conveying length must also be taken into consideration.

Fst = qm x H x g [N]

H - change in the elevation of the belt along the space [m]

After this calculation, all the major primary resistances needed have been calculated

Special main resistances:

The friction caused by the movement of the belt past the chute flaps is undoubtedly a significant factor that should be calculated within the power requirements.

Secondary resistances:

Secondary resistance to the movement of the belt takes into consideration the detail relating to the operation and design of the belt.

When material is deposited onto the conveyor belt system, a force is required to accelerate the material in the direction of conveying. This force is manifested in the form of the change of momentum of the material when dropped onto the belt and. Additional resistance to movement is then imposed on the drive system.

The existence of skirt plates near the chute to keep material from dropping off the belt causes more resistance to the movement of the belt. This resistance is determined by the magnitude of the friction force between your belt and the plate as well as the length of belt in touch with the plate. Occasionally the skirt plates also cause the material to exert a force on the belt which causes additional frictional resistance.

Other secondary resistances likewise incorporate the resistance caused by the pulley bearings and the wrap of the belt throughout the pulleys.

Special secondary resistances:

Additional systems installed on the belt can also cause resistance to the movement of the belt. The essential operation of belt cleaners causes friction forces being present between the belt and the material as well as between the material and cleaners. These friction forces, combined with forces of the discharge ploughs, impose yet another load that require to be overcome.

The inversion of the belt at the top and tail causes resistance to movement because of the combined aftereffect of the flexure of the belt material and the friction of the pulleys.

When designing a long conveyor belt system, the magnitude of the principal resistances generally exceeds the magnitude of the secondary resistances. To simplify the resistance calculations, the secondary resistances are simply just accounted for through a correction factor on the primary resistances.

C = 0. 85 + 13. 31L-0. 576 for 10 < L < 1500

C = 1. 025 for 1500 < L < 5000

L - Conveying length [m]

When this factor has been calculated the ultimate resistance calculation can be carried out.

The total resistance force:

FU = C (FH1 + FH2) + Fst [N]

When the full total resistance posed to the belting system is calculated, the power needed at the periphery of the drive can merely be calculated by the following formula:

PA = FU x v

If the efficiency of the components between the drive pulley and the motor is well known, yet another factor needs to be incorporated to look for the power needed at the motor:

PM = PA/О·

О· - factor of efficiency

2. 1. 4. 3. SUMMARY

The equations presented here give a basic overview of the procedure to complete the static design of a conveyor belt system. Depending on the application or choice of manufacturer, different design catalogues and procedures are available to provide guidance through the selection and implementation of any conveying system.



Personnel management is essentially a summarized term to denote the responsibility of the human resources department at commercial sections. The recruiting department have the responsibility of caring for the company's employees by enabling them to execute what is expected, managing their lifecycle as a worker at the business and supporting the employee whenever facilitation of processes associated with training and potential job opportunities is required. In general, the recruiting department keeps records of all needed personal information. In some instances human resources also offers to take care of the mental wellbeing of the company's employees by facilitating psychological support and rehabilitation services.


The fundamental reason for personnel management in the working environment is to enable employees to effectively perform the task that is expected of these. For employees to work, three basic functions have to be in place.

Effective management of employee relationships in the working environment is important to ensure a sense of coherence and synergy within different sections of responsibility. Employee relationships and the facilitation of processes in regards to to grievances and conflict must be managed by recruiting to ensure an equal and fair culture among co-workers.

An employee assistance program is often built-into the working environment to facilitate the processes associated with the needs and demands of the employees. These programs are made to inspire courage and motivation in the employees to excel in the working environment by assisting the employee in acquiring and completing the required legislation and requirements.

Organisation culture is another important factor that plays a part in the efficiency of the company and forms an integral part of personnel management. A proper defined organisation culture establishes goals and values towards which the company and its own employees strive. It offers a mutual understanding between employees and encompasses the attitude and approach to be applied when functioning in the business environment.


The lifecycle of an employee in a particular post also forms area of the extent of personnel management. Recruiting need to manage the next chain of processes:

Organisation and job design

The fundamental step of organisation relates to the design and creation of a job opportunity. Financial records have to be consulted to ensure that the company can afford the positioning. This opportunity is then integrated as part of the existing function of the organisation

Recruitment, Selection and Placement

After the creation of the work opportunity human resources applies for permission to market the vacancy. The public is then informed through advertisement. Recruiting then facilitates the recruitment process during which job applications are collected from prospective employees. From these applications the selections of individuals must begin by interviewing applicants in cooperation with supervisors and heads in the department where in fact the vacancy exists. After interviewing applicants a decision must be made about the selection and placement of the correct applicant. The applicant is then notified and the procedure of employment facilitated.

Compliance, Competence and Individual development

The compliance of employees to certain requirements for the precise position needs to be evaluated at regular intervals to ensure proper discipline and functioning. The duty of the employee and the employee's supervisor is to ensure that the employee is competent and has the necessary training or experience to execute the tasks expected.

The development of employees can be an important consideration and must be were able to ensure that the skills of the employee are constantly improved and to empower employees showing great potential to excel and advance in their working environment

Performance management

Performance management fulfils an important role to both the company and the employee. Towards the employee, performance in the working environment is paramount to ensuring that the work position is retained and will lead to opportunities like training or promotion. Towards the employer, employee performance is vital to ensuring the sufficient functioning of most sections of operation.

Talent management

Human resources need to take into consideration the planning and management into the future employees of the organisation. This is done by offering bursaries to prospective students to permit them to pursue education and qualification, whether it is university or school related. Following the advertisement of opportunities and the selection of candidates, this talent pool then needs to be managed in terms of performance, vacation work opportunities, post-graduate training and finally placement in the company.

Reward, Remuneration and Benefits

The reason for talent and performance management eventually pertains to the reward, remuneration and benefits that employees are entitled to. Consistent, good performance is rewarded by means of increases in salaries, training or promotion opportunities within the company hierarchy.

Workforce is divided into package category and negotiation category:

Package category are annually assessed and receive increase as dependant on the company

Negotiation category receive total annual increases related to the agreement between trade union and the company

Remuneration for the task done is managed through time sheets and clock cards which is then translated into a quantity that is paid to employee for the task performed. Several payment systems are available to control the remuneration of employees. The existing system used for the management of payment is the Finshare payroll system

The system is centralised at the business's head office

This system requires all inputs relating to the payment of employees to be achieved by the 10th of every month

A preliminary payslip is then printed and supplied to provide time for the correction of mistakes

Human resources then comes with an additional window of your time where all necessary changes need to be made

The final payslips are then printed and handed to employees 2 days before the payment is made

Salaries are paid by the 25th of each month

Management of the benefits that employees are entitled to is handled by the recruiting and forms part of personnel management. Important basic benefits provided includes medical aid, pension or provident funds that aim to enrich the employee's financial welfare. Another benefit that will require management pertains to the leave agreements that determine the amount of leave and kind of leave open to employees. Thus giving employees the possibility to get over sickness, focus on personal matters or rest.


The end of the employee's service, whether it is after resignation or retirement, requires additional processes. The employee is medically examined to determine the state of health. Human resources then also manages the procedure of providing the employee with the benefits associated with their pension/provident funds.


Companies often offer additional support services to employees to ensure mental and social wellbeing. External organisations like the Careways Group offer industrial psychological services to companies that don't possess the necessary facilities to deal with such problems. Regarding addiction, trauma or depression, recruiting facilitate the communication and explanation of the situation. That is then paid to the external organisation, which handles the rehabilitation process.

Human resources also supports the business functioning by providing financial predictions and budgets that need to be applied for the purpose of personnel management. Annually, a manpower budget is compiled and supplied the financial department to make provision for the funds needed.


The management of the vacation work students at the mine was handled by the HR department in during the first week. Medical examinations were completed to certify that the students are fit to be used by the mine. Following the medical examination was completed an comprehensive induction programme needed to be done where students got introduced to company structure, mine function, important legislation as well as theoretical safety training regarding the safe functioning of employees in the mining environment. Only when both the medical and induction were completed, were students permitted to obtain clock cards to get access to the mine.

Students were then taken up to their separate departments where the workload was decided after and passed out. Students then had to obtain the necessary protective clothing and equipment to function safely in the surroundings. From here students were required to report to the foreman in whichever section they were working in. These foremen then put the students accordingly as assistants to artisans.

Payment for the task performed was handled by means of an attendance register. For each day at work students should obtain the signature of these supervisor in those days. These timesheets were then handed in and payment commenced relating.

Transport to and from the mine was also provided by the mine in the form of a bus service that travels between Lephalale and Pretoria. If so when students needed to employ this service, bookings could be produced at the engineering department.


The programme followed provided an intensive summary of several working environments a mechanical engineer can come in contact with and was a proper introduction to the engineering environment in the mining context. Adequate exposure to different artisans with different fields of expertise and responsibility was obtained. Opportunity was presented with to start to see the integration and cooperation between the several fields to complete a specific job. The physical labour required in some instances provided a knowledge of the conditions that artisans have to handle, while lack of involvement often causes engineers to expect unrealistic results. Additional contact with a typical engineering problem and the opportunity to work on it provided valuable knowledge and rounded off an extremely thorough and enjoyable programme.


The engineering environment is often misinterpreted by prospective engineers due to lack of contact with the systems, people and situations that engineers in practice need to cope with. Proper contact with this environment by means of a formal training programme or organised vacation work through the many years of study at tertiary institutions is the only way to familiarise students and aspiring engineers with their future working environment. This can not only give them an understanding of what might be likely of them but will also lead to a fluent integration in to the engineering environment when studies are done. Time spent observing or being actively involved sheds light on the working conditions of the individuals who often need to perform the tasks as delegated by the engineer. The presence of knowledge and enough technical ability stretches all the way from the workers actually doing the work up to the engineer or manager taking responsibility for the operation. Contact with application of knowledge contributes to engineering experience that may lead to rounded and successful professionals functioning to the greatest possible degree of expertise.


Special thanks to the next people for facilitating and guidance during the period of vacation work:

Engineering department

J. van der Linde

C. Wallis

B. Miles

Secondary mining maintenance

D. Swart

F. De Kock

Central workshop: Plating

M. Bronkhorst

GG 3/4/5 and waste management

J Molamu

R Machaba

J Powell

M Chueu

H Rocko

Conveyor belts

M. Mbatha

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