About Earthlab

Deriving value from your mineral endowment

More about us

We believe in the fundamental significance of the minerals industry in supporting a thriving future for humanity.  We understand the importance of accurate mineral exploration and economical mining practices to sustainably meet global resource demands. To achieve this, Earthlab, as exploration, mining, and mineral resource management consultancy has been supporting the industry since 2012 with a team of passionate technical experts with innovative, solution-driven mindsets offering a vast array of services.

Company Values

Our business is built on:

- technical excellence,
- a passionate and skilled team,
- industry trust,
- tenacity to successfully deliver the desired results for our clients.

Our Management Team

Deon du Plessis

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
B.Sc (Hons) Geology, MSc Geology – University of the Free State | Pr.Sci.Nat: 400050|05  FGSSA: 96338

Deon du Plessis is passionate about geology, and has a keen interest, among many others, in near-mine brownfield exploration and mining expansion for sustainability. He has twenty-plus years of relevant experience in the corporate minerals exploration and mining industry. He has consciously developed personally and professionally to strike a sound balance between leadership and technical skills. He is meticulous and results-driven.

Deon is the founding executive director and chairman of Earthlab Technical Division (Pty) Ltd dated 3 July 2012 and the co-founder and Director General and Finance Manager of Earthlab DRC SARL dated 11 September 2014.

Natalie Brand

General Manager

B.Sc (Hons) Geology, MSc Geology – University of the Witwatersrand | Pr.Sci.Nat: 121164  FGSSA: 967135

Natalie joined Earthlab in March 2022 with 6 years of industry experience working in a variety of capacities, including mineral target generation, database management, exploration project management, and business development.

Natalie has always had a natural affinity to the sciences and processes involved in making and presenting new scientific discoveries. Her interests lie in anything unusual in the geologic realm and appreciates various techniques in the analysis and interpretation of different geological phenomena. She also understands the importance of development of individuals within the industry and has a passion for mentoring young graduates.

Phillip Seokame

Exploration and Geotechnical Geologist

B.Sc (Hons) Mining Geology – University of the Witwatersrand, B.Sc Exploration Geochemistry – University of the Western Cape | Cndi.Sci.Nat: 115983 |  MGSSA:

Phillip Seokame’s interest lies in the near-mine brownfield and mining expansion exploration with a particular focus on the rock engineering aspects. Since joining Earthlab in 2012, he has conducted geotechnical logging of the orientated core covering numerous Rock Mass Classifications including Barton’s Q-rating, Bieniawski’s Rock Mass Rating, and Laubscher’s Mining Rock Mass Rating. Phillip has a significant contributing partnership in Earthlab since 19 October 2012.

Buyi Mkhwanazi

Exploration Geologist

B.Sc Geology – University of the KwaZulu-Natal

Buyi Mkhwanazi has consulted for various local and international PGM and Base Metals mining and exploration companies. She has been intimately involved in the exploration of base metals in Namaqua Natal Metamorphic Province of South Africa’s Northern Cape province.

Buyi is currently studying part-time through UNISA towards a B.Sc Honours degree in Environmental Management. She is looking forward to integrating the two disciplines in promoting sustainable mining. Her belief that integrity, honesty, and transparency are crucial personal characteristics in creating goodwill with our clients.

Buyi has a significant contributing partnership in Earthlab since 19 October 2012. 

Khumbula Mangena

Exploration and Mining Geologist

B.Sc Geology – University of ZimbabweCert.Sci.Nat: 117645 |  GSSA: 967258

Khumbula Mangena has relevant experience in exploration, surface and underground mining and has worked on a variety of projects. He is a self-motivated professional with a passion for success and results. His involvement in various projects with Earthlab has continued to bolster his technical and leadership skills. Khumbula has a significant contributing partnership in Earthlab since 19 October 2012. 

Marius Swart

Resource Geologist

B.Sc (Hons) Geology – University of the Free State | GSSA: 970154

Marius Swart joined Earthlab in 2018 and has experience in surface and underground mining, exploration project planning and management, geological modelling and Mineral Resource estimation, and general geological consultation. His software skills include geological modelling and Mineral Resource estimation, GIS, project management, and data analysis. As an analytical thinker, Marius thrives in problem-solving and system optimisation through data analytics. He is meticulous and methodical, being distinctly comprehensive in planning and management tasks, producing clean models, and ensuring best-practice is adhered to. 

Tebogo Phokanoka

Exploration and Mining Geologist

B.sc (Hons) Geology – University of Johannesburg | Pr.Sci.Nat: 116024

Tebogo Phokanoka has accumulated fifteen-plus years of experience spanning geological roles in surface and underground mining, and greenfields exploration.

Tebogo’s quest as a professional is to offer his leadership skills. He is results-driven and abled in problem-solving, geoscience knowledge, and has industry experience in providing high-quality technical and strategic solutions. Tebogo contributed to underground and open-pit mining geology operations in base metals and PGMs, and also successfully executed a greenfield cobalt exploration project for Earthlab.

Deon van Wyk

Mining Engineer

B.Eng Mining – University of Pretoria | PrEng ECSA:20130538

Deon has fifteen-plus years of experience in the mining industry. Whilst employed in the platinum industry, he occupied various positions in production, thereby gaining production and management experience. During his time as a mining consultant, he worked on multiple projects, including technical mining studies, feasibility studies, pre-feasibility studies, scoping studies, due diligence reviews, competent person reports, reserve estimations, operational analysis, and company strategy documents. These projects were on underground and open-pit operations and included a variety of commodities such as platinum, gold, manganese, coal, and copper. Deon also spent six years in Zambia focussing on the project management and technical aspects of mining massive copper ore bodies.

Michael Ray

Michael Eden Ray

Data Analyst – Exploration & Mining Geology
B.Sc (Hons) Geology, M.Sc Geology – University of the Witwatersrand | Cand.Sci.Nat

Michael Ray has experience in geological exploration, database management, Python scripting, operations management, and complex geological interpretation. His commodity knowledge extends across the PGEs, base-metal and critical metal fields distributed over the Bushveld Igneous Complex. Michael excels in data analysis, management and interpretation while utilising the power of Python coding language and SQL scripts. Michael is passionate about making a difference in the green energy revolution and strives to positively influence his peers and colleagues through hands-on leadership and high-level commitment.

Liesl Diesel

Human Resources Manager
B.Sc (Hons) Mining Geology – University of Pretoria, B.Sc (Hons) Applied Geology – University of Lubumbashi | GSSA: 965997

Passionate about the combination and impact of leadership and employee engagement on business results. Human Resource generalist, Learning & Development consultant, conceptual thinker, problem solver, mentor, facilitator, collaborator and relationship builder. Experience gained at both Corporate and operational levels within Financial Services, Manufacturing, Mining and Retail sectors.

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