Full Names: Ivan Wright & Alan Wright
Positions: Superintendent/Sectional Rock Engineers
Company/Organisations: Sibanye Gold
Date and Place of Birth: 20 February 1987 (Twins)
Education: Chamber of Mines Rock Engineering Certificate, Strata Control, COMSOC 1 & 2
First Job: Alan: Top Vending – Cash Office Controller, Ivan: Top Vending – Route Merchandiser
Personal Best Achievement/s:Alan & Ivan: Rock Engineering Certificate
Philosophy of Life:
Alan: My life’s philosophy is that life is a fact and cannot be false, so I only focus on the positive thoughts and eliminate all negative thoughts around me.
Ivan: At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished… It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.
Alan: I would prefer any steak topped with cheddar melt sauce over it, served with roasted potatoes and a green salad. Favourite drink would be Tab (and no, I’m not on a diet) or just any glass of juice.
Ivan: Lamb shanks, served with creamy mashed potato and veg, together with a glass of passion fruit lemonade.
Alan: I am in love with all sports, but if I have to choose one, it would be rugby purely because I was raised up playing rugby; by the way, I’m a big Sharks supporter.
Ivan: Rugby (Stormers Supporter)
How did your career in the mining industry begin and where are you now?
Alan: While working as a cash controller at my previous employer, I realised that I was called for a bigger purpose in life. Growing up in a mining community, I always believed that you need to give back to the community. Without any money at that time, I realized that the only way to help the community is to join the mining industry to assist the mine houses to reach their strategy goals, and by that, the mine could help the communities to grow. In June 2008, I was lucky enough to be rewarded a learnership as a learner official in the Gold Fields’ mining program. Through this learnership, I obtained my blasting certificate and my production supervisor’s certificate. My twin brother, Ivan, had joined the Rock Engineer department, and I fell in love with the professionalism of the Rock Engineers Department when consulting mining personal. I then immediately applied to be part of the elite Rock Engineering Department, where I immediately started with my strata control studies, and proceeded onwards to 2016 when I passed my Rock Engineering Certificate (Hard Rock). I’m currently working as a Sectional Rock Engineer in the Sibanye Gold Deepening Project.
Ivan: I had the opportunity to start working at a Goldfields Gold Mine way back in June 2008 as a Strata Control Observer. Passion and motivation drove me to start studying towards my Strata Control Certificate, which I passed in 2010. I was promoted to a Supervisor Strata Control after obtaining my Strata Control Certificate. I realised quickly that there’s a lot still to learn from the great leaders in the mining industry, which I had to master quickly. Hard work, commitment and nights off studying towards my Rock Engineering Certificate paid off, and I suc-cessfully completed my Rock Engineering Certificate in 2015 and was appointed as the Superintendent Rock Engineer.
My life’s philosophy is that life is a fact and cannot be false, so I only focus on the positive thoughts and eliminate all negative thoughts around me. Alan
Why did you choose Rock Engineering?
Alan & Ivan: We had the opportunity to form part of an elite Rock Engineering Department, and so we became part of the family of the depart-ment, which is the most respected and well-organized department in the entire mining industry (which is something we had not known). While working, we realised that this was not by accident, but rather a calling by GOD to utilise our skills, technical abili-ties and our desire to provide expert advice on geotechnical interpretations to solve the complex challenges within the mining industry.
Please tell us a bit more about your career journey?
Alan & Ivan: We both started to work at Gold Fields in 2008, continuing up to 2012 when Sibanye Gold unbundled from Gold Fields. We have 9 years of working experience in the gold mining industry.
What are some areas that you believe will become of increasing importance in the near future of the rock engineering discipline?
Alan & Ivan: We believe that the current Rock Engineering systems are due for renewal, but no funds are being made available to advance the Rock Engineering systems through modern technology. Less time is being spent on design and research by various mining groups due to excessive cost and production commitments. More Senior Rock Engineers will leave the mining industry, which means that a large amount of experience and knowledge will be lost if we do not enable the upcoming Junior Rock Engineers.
At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished… It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back. Ivan
What advice would you offer people aspiring to be in your position?
Alan: I would say it is highly important for every upcoming Rock Engineer to remain humble towards your superiors while taking on your journey. Rome was not built in a day, so please don’t rush things in life; the difficult times will teach you something new which you might use in future, although you might not understand it at that moment. Teach yourself something new in Rock Engineering every day before you go to sleep at night. You will thank yourself one day when that one point you have learned crosses your path. While you are on your learning path, you should always lead by example because someone might use your life as a motivational point in their life.
Ivan: Success is determined by your commitment, motivation and ambition in life; if you want to achieve, you will achieve because success is driven by your heart. Study hard and ask question; it’s not always easy but if the passion and commitment is in place, you are already half way. Good luck with the journey.
Who is your role model/mentor?
Alan and Ivan: We believe that your role model/mentor in life cannot be only one person. We have been coached and trained by numerous Rock Engineers who made us the Rock Engineers that we are today. We value every Rock Engineer that has crossed our path by adding any form of experience, knowledge or education to our career.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Alan and Ivan: Our parents always taught us to never look back and regret any obstacle which you were struggling with at that time, but instead to keep your head up and move slowly forward to something much bigger and greater ahead. They believed that an obstacle is never a bad experience, but just another way that life teaches you a lesson.