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|Right now the South African mining industry is a high-profile, vital contributor to the nation just as it has been for the past one hundred and twenty-six years since the discovery of diamonds-perhaps even further back if the mining of copper, iron ore, tin, and other minerals in earlier centuries is included. The media in 1995, as has been the case over the years, bear testimony to the complex interactions between the industry and its stakeholders: shareholders, government, employees and their unions, training and educational institutions, researchers, markets, the public, and suppliers of goods, services, and infrastructure. The pressures and challenges that the industry continues to face can be summarized as safety and health, competitiveness, and social and environmental responsibility. There are no surprises here. The motivation for the industry to perform well in these areas is clear; the focus I intend to bring is on the most important tool required for success-that of good mining engineering. This Address sets out - to review the mining aspects that have been discussed in South Africa during the first five years of the decade, a discussion that shows the return of the country as an important mining forum, confirms the role of professional institutes and associations in the development of mining engineering, and brings current relevant issues into focus - to highlight the vital role of mining engineering in the industry, and to identify priorities for the remainder of the decade - to provide the prospective mining engineer, the mining-engineering student and trainee, and the practising mining engineer and mine manager with a better appreciation of the mining-engineering discipline. institutes and ssociations|