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A journey of exploration

Leon Louw interviews Mark Wanless
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
First presented:

With more than two decades of experience in geology, Mark Wanless shares some of his insights with Leon Louw.

Mark, where did your career as a geologist begin? After I graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences (Honours) degree in geology from the University of Cape Town in 1995, my first job was with JCI at their Joel underground gold mine in the Free State, on the south-western edge of the Witwatersrand Basin. I began as a graduate geologist for my first couple of years. Over the next five years after that, I went on to hold positions of mine geologist, mine designer, and finally chief designer at Joel. I then spent a year at Bambanani gold mine as mining graphics systems coordinator.

This gave me the opportunity to cut my teeth in geostatistical evaluation and resource modelling for the mine, as well as to manage drilling programmes and to conduct face mapping and sampling. Another project included the modelling of a paleo-erosional feature, which turned out to eliminate the reef over a substantial part of the mine. The work as a mine designer involved long-term and short-term planning, including the designing and scheduling of a triple decline and a vertical shaft at Joel.


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