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Posts Tagged ‘srk’

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A story from the mid-1970s.  A story of the early days of Steffen Robertson and Kirsten, now SRK. Soon after joining the company in the first offices in Johannesburg, Oskar Steffen was faced with a problem.  His clients complained that the Steffen Robertson and Kirsten reports were too long and nobody read them.  This was bad news, for we slaved over the reports.  Each was handwritten in pencil or ink and then typed by a bevy of typists.  You had only one or two chances to edit and improve them.  So each was a gem, in our minds, of devoted labor.  The idea that nobody read them was devastating. (more…)

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Last night we attended the International Mining magazine’s induction of new members of the Mining Hall of Fame.

It was a grand affair.  Many worthy folk in the mining industry were inducted.  I am told that the March or April issue of the magazine will document their achievements and contributions to mining.

I note only Andy Robertson who was inducted for these contributions:

  • Founding of Steffen Robertson and Kirsten, now SRK.
  • Founding of GemCom that now has the name Geovia.
  • Founding of InfoMine and EduMine, both of which I contribute to.
  • Founding of Robertson Geoconsultants for which I work.
  • Leading the way forward on responsible tailings management.
  • Leading the technology on acid mine drainage.

I might add that it was Andy who got me started on this blog.  Although he has had occasion to rue that lead and the blog, for on a number of occasions he has been asked to tell me to remove postings.  As a true gentleman, he has done so with discretion and dignity.

In his acceptance speech Andy thanked his family, his colleagues, and his clients–all of whom have supported his hard work.  He mentioned only one name:  Professor Jere Jennings who taught so many of us in mining geotechnology the basics of the art.  His contributions and memory live on in people of Andy’s caliber.

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I barely passed chemistry during my undergraduate civil engineering degree.  I enjoyed the geology course, although it took a lot of intellect to learn the difference between sedimentary rock, volcanic rock, and metamorphic rock.  For I grew up in the flat, featureless landscape of the Witwatersrand where very old soils covered all rocks—the first rock I saw was in the geology lab. (more…)

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I have moved on from countries and companies. I have left (and re-entered) countries. I have left companies and joined the principals in other companies. I have, in a word, moved around. At 67, I spend no time cogitating on these past decisions.  With so long a history of making decisions and moving on, I have so much to regret that I would go crazy thinking what would have been had I not made those many decisions.  It is futile to regret a past decision that may have been the wrong decision. (more…)

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I learnt today that Geoff Blight has passed away.  I can pay tribute to him best by writing of those times I worked with him. He was a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand.  He came in and took over when Professor Jennings died. I never had a lecture from him, so I leave it to others to record his lecture style and teaching abilities–both of which I was told were superb. (more…)

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Yesterday I went to the 35th year anniversary celebration of the founding in Vancouver of SRK.  It was a grand affair in a fancy hotel overlooking the harbor.  Andy Robertson and Jim Robertson (no relation) who were the two originals were both there.  (more…)

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Today I rode up the trail between the trees & ferns dappled by sun & blue sky.  After a long uphill climb with leg muscles screaming in pain, I came on the downhill section.  Changing gears, I sped up and sped faster and faster down.  Coming on a turn I have taken many times, something went wrong. (more…)

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