Mechanical and electrical engineering – heavy current
No mine can operate without electricity. The provision of power and the maintenance of equipment and machinery is the responsibility of the engineering department whose main aim is to ensure that the technical support necessary to meet production targets is provided to the mining and metallurgical departments.
In addition, the engineering department is also responsible for:
- the installation and maintenance of large systems such as underground ventilation and cooling, as well as the hoisting of men, materials, equipment and rock
- the management, training and development of learners, technicians, artisans, foremen, learner officials and junior engineers
- mechanical and electrical engineers are also involved in designing and planning for developing mines and in the creation, development and management of new technologies.
Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. A career in this discipline involves the design, production, manufacture and maintenance of the various pieces of equipment, machinery and engines used in almost every type of industry and technology. Mechanical engineering is often regarded as the foundation of modern technology because many of the successful tool and equipment applications are based on the principles of mechanical engineering.
The field of electrical engineering is divided into heavy current and light current engineering. Heavy current electrical engineering is concerned with the supply, distribution, transformation and use of electrical power. Work in this area is characterised by high voltage power systems. Electrical engineers are involved in the design, manufacture, installation and management of various appliances and systems that generate or use electrical energy such as substations, ventilation systems and pumps.