About us

Banzi Geotechnics (Banzi) is an integrated earth sciences and mining firm established as Barker and Associates in 1982.  Banzi aims to provide clients with a comprehensive service which embraces a wide range of experience in the fields of engineering, geological and environmental earth sciences. Project capabilities and experience are extensive and a wide range of services are available.

Dwars River Mine

Oliver Barker started Banzi, originally Barker and Associates in 1982.  He has a wealth of experience in the fields of engineering, exploration and economic geology.  He has managed many projects over the years and is responsible for the publication of the Coalfields Map of South Africa, the Platinum Map of Southern Africa and the Gold Map of South Africa.

The scope of work undertaken by Banzi is broad, encompassing a wide variety of projects in the fields of mineral exploration, engineering geology, mineral economics, industrial pollution and environmental geology for both private companies and Government agencies.  Expertise in mining-related projects, as well as tunnelling and the application of computer software to such work is extensive.  Project experience in rock mechanics in tunnels and shallow mines has allowed the firm to develop innovative solutions to undermining problems in the urban environment.

Geotechnical and environmental projects have been successfully completed both locally and outside South Africa.

Banzi offers programming services as a consequence of our dealership agreement with Techbase International, and through associated local firms and individuals.

Vast rock sample show case




The company has assembled databases on other minerals, including platinum, chrome and vanadium.

Banzi was appointed in 1998 by the CSIR/SABS and The Department of Minerals & Energy to provide a techno economic & historical review of the South African coal industry as part of the SABS Coal Programme’s annual bulletin. This report is included in Bulletin 113 of the SABS.


The development of a small focused practice allows for the maintenance of a high expertise/low overhead organisation. Through our associations with similar, and some large, high expertise firms we are able to provide the flexibility to operate quickly and efficiently to fulfil the needs of both standard and state of the art earth science, environmental and engineering project requirements.

The firm can call on in-house professional and technical experience ranging over a period of 27 years in projects covering mineral exploration, engineering geology and geotechnics to environmental impact assessments, impact management and remediation in the mining environment. The analysis of, and design for, the engineering behaviour of rocks and soils within the fields of rock mechanics, mining and civil engineering are provided through strategic agreements with various associated practices.

Oliver Barker has specialised in the capture, management and processing of geological and geotechnical data in large civil and exploration projects and regional mineral data base investigations. In this regard he has established a deep working knowledge of numerous, relevant computer systems capable of supporting field and analytical requirements. He has established an international network of associates with whom he continues to cooperate.

More recently a close association has developed with International Mining Consultants for whom Barker consults in his individual capacity, as well as principal of Banzi.

BEE Policy

Banzi has always recognised the need for developing skills of historically disadvantaged people and groups wherever they have been encountered in the course of our work.  To this end the firm, though small, has always taken training, education and empowerment as an integral part of the development of its employees.  The firm is currently supporting bursaries to schools for HDSA learners and it also provides work opportunities to black university students in service training.