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The Speakers

Meet Jacob Boshielo

Erin Rice



I obtained a BSc degree in Mining Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1996 and has been a member of the SA Association of Mine Managers since 2009. I continued my mining career as a mining graduate through the production ranks in the then Anglo Gold’s Freegold operations’ Western Holdings and President Steyn Gold Mines in the Free State. I was later seconded to the then Anglo Coal’s New Denmark colliery near Standerton in Mpumalanga where I worked my way up the production ranks in coal mining. In 1999 I joined the Department of Mineral Resources as an Inspector of Mines (Mine Safety) in the Free State Regional offices and promoted to Senior Inspector of Mines (Mine Health and Safety) in the same office the following year. I was subsequently promoted to the position of the Manager of the Mine Safety Policy Unit at the DMR Inspectorate head office in Pretoria in 2006.


In 2008 I joined Anglo American Platinum’s Rustenburg operations’ Khuseleka mine in Rustenburg as a Safety Manger. In 2011 I was seconded to fill a newly established position of Safety Risk Manager within Anglo American Platinum Joint Ventures team at the corporate office in Johannesburg. In 2013 following organizational restructuring, I was seconded to join a newly established 5-man corporate  team of investigators mandated to provide advice, facilitate or participate in the investigations into selected high profile OHS related incidents; including unfortunate losses of life incidents and high potential incidents; within Anglo American Platinum operations throughout the country and Unki Platinum mine in Zimbabwe. I joined the MHSC as the Centre of Excellence Manager effective from 01 December 2017.

During a career spanning almost thirty years in the SAMI, I obtained the Mine Manager’s Certificate of Competency from the DMR;  and certificates in OHS Management systems for Lead Auditors, Environmental Management system for Lead Auditors and Environmental Law for Environmental Managers from the Centre for Environmental Management of the North West University. I also obtained certificates in Safety Risk Management and OHS Risk Management in mining with the Universities of Queensland and the Witwatersrand respectively; and certificates in Research Methods and Public Finance Management with the University of Pretoria. I also attended and obtained a certificate for successful completion of a six month course on Technology in the Mining industry held at the Lulea University of Technology in Sweden.

During my well-travelled career,  I also had a privilege to actively participate in number of established organisations and committees within the OHS discipline in  the SAMI including DMR’s Commission of Examiners for Mine Managers Certificates of Competency, Small Scale Mining Board and the Sector Skills Plan Committee, the MQA’s Education and Training Quality Assurance committee and the MHSCs Mining Regulation Advisory Committee. My contributions are also acknowledged in a chapter on the MHSC 2007 publication on “Introduction to Safety in South African Mines” and was also the employer representative on MHSC Advisory committee tsk teams reviewing the SAMRASS codebook, the Levy model and the refuge bay regulations between the years 2011 to 2014.

Meet David Els

Erin Rice



Where do you currently reside? 
Kyalami, Gauteng, South Africa.

What is your primary function at your organisation? 
My main function is exploration sales, that’s anything from core trays to drill rigs!

What is the main message that you would like delegates to take away from your presentation?  
We take safety seriously at Sandvik and we are always looking for innovative ways to make our products safer to use.

Meet Justin Smoak

Erin Rice

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Marketing Strategy Manager- Energy & Mining

Where do you currently reside? The United States of America.

What is your primary function at your organisation? I manage strategic initiatives as well as product and application development for Energy (Oil & Gas and Renewables) and Mining markets.

What is the main message that you would like delegates to take away from your presentation? High performance synthetic ropes are a proven replacement for steel wire ropes in many industries, offering lighter weight, longer life and safer operations.

Justin Smoak holds undergraduate degrees in economics and mining engineering from Virginia Tech, as well as a master’s degree in mining engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. He has 15 years of experience in the natural resources sector, the majority of which have been spent in senior site and project management roles at open pit and underground metals mines and exploration properties in the US, Canada, Peru and Russia. In these roles he was responsible for technical services, procurement/logistics, operations, maintenance and health & safety. He is a licensed professional mining engineer in the state of Washington and an expert in high performance synthetic strength member use in mining applications.

Meet Colin Rice

Erin Rice

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Where do you currently reside? I am originally from Zimbabwe, but moved to Johannesburg 34 years ago.

What is your primary function at your organisation? I started my company in 2009 in response to many people requesting drilling training. Since then the company has grown to provide online training, safety auditing and consulting services to the mining industry. I run my business, develop and provide the training as well as the safety auditing and consulting services. 

Why do you think the Drill Rig and Safety Innovation Forum is important for the industry?
I am so excited to be sharing the DrillSafe platform with the industry. There are so many new, exciting ways of doing things and solving problems and I think the forum will bring the industry together to share these new ideas and ways of doing things. The forum will be a platform to highlight and bring to the forefront of people's minds the opportunities to improve safety performance with the overall objective of reducing accidents in our industry. 

Meet Crystl Bateman

Erin Rice

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Where do you currently reside? South Africa, Gauteng.

What is your primary function at your organisation? Manage the delivery and quality of our culture transformation projects to JvR Safety's clients.

What is the main message that you would like delegates to take away from your presentation? That magical things begin happening when people take true ownership of safety, and that the roadmap towards this state is achievable by following a structured change process with strong leadership buy-in and workforce support. 




Meet Gerhard Peschel

Erin Rice


Gerhard Peschel
Application Engineer


Where do you currently reside? Roodepoort, Johannesburg.

What is your primary function at your organisation? Design and development of hydraulic, electronic and electro-hydraulic control systems primarily for mobile machines.

What is the main message that you would like delegates to take away from your presentation? Electronic control systems specifically developed for mobile applications can provide numerous benefits to drill rig operators. By integrating a completely customisable and scalable electronic control system, paired with fit for purpose electro-mechanical or electro-hydraulic components, a “mechanical” machine is upgradeable to provide functionalities associated with fully electronic machines.
Controlling and monitoring a machine electronically can provide: improvements in operational safety, reporting on machine status, prevention of expensive machine breakdowns and assistance in fault finding. 

Meet Kevin Slemko

Erin Rice

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Where do you currently reside? I am a Canadian living in the USA (Utah).

What is your primary function at your organisation? Marketing and Business Development.

What is the main message that you would like delegates to take away from your presentation?Hands free rod handling is currently being implemented in the drilling industry and is the future for most if not all drilling functions. There will be challenges with any new applications, however with the push of safety and innovation we will make it sustainable in the drilling industry.