SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Explain rock strength deterioration 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
120415  Explain rock strength deterioration 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be useful for people who are pursuing a career in Rock Engineering.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Explain the influence of mineralogical composition on rock strength deterioration.
  • Explain rock strength deterioration due to the presence of natural and induced discontinuities; and loading.
  • Explain the types and basic principles used to estimate the field strength of rock.

    The skills, knowledge and understanding demonstrated within this unit standard will contribute to social and economic transformation and contribute to the upliftment and economic growth of the mining and minerals sector.

    This unit standard is intended to promote general skills, knowledge and understanding of rock strength deterioration due to various factors in the mining and minerals sector in order to ensure knowledgeable and informed workers. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are competent in:
  • Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3.
  • Strata Control at NQF Level 3. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Specific range statements are provided in the body of the unit standard where they apply to particular specific outcomes or assessment criteria. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Explain the influence of mineralogical composition on rock strength deterioration. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The influence of the variability of hardness and distribution of minerals on the strength of rock is explained for the three basic categories of rock types. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Sedimentary.
  • Igneous.
  • Metamorphic.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Explanations are provided for the deterioration in rock strength due to preferential alignment of minerals. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Schistocity.
  • Gneissocity.
  • Contorted.
  • Transverse isotropy.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The relationships between packing, sorting and shape of the constituent particles of rock and the porosity are described within the context of strength. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Explanations are provided of the influence of the orientation of cleavage planes of typical rock types on rock strength. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Explanations of the susceptibility of rock to weathering based on composition are provided and related to deterioration in strength. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Explain rock strength deterioration due to the presence of natural and induced discontinuities. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The influences of the persistence, spacing, orientation and condition of natural and induced discontinuities are described on the strength of rock. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Joints, veins, bedding.
  • Faults, dykes, sills, thrusts, domes.
  • Folds, undulations, rolls, slumps, potholes.
  • Stress induced fractures.
  • Blast induced fractures.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The concept of scale effect is described using simple sketches and explanations of the influence that it has on the strength and deformability of rock are provided. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Explain rock strength deterioration due to loading. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Explanations are provided of the relationships between triaxial confinement and strength. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The concept of strength to stress ratio is described using industry accepted basic failure thresholds. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The concept of effective stress or effective loading is described and related to the strength of rock. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Pore pressure.
  • Permeability.
  • Hydraulic aperture.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The relationship between rheological (time-dependent) behaviour of rock, loading rate and changes are described in effective strength. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Time dependent chemical alteration.
  • Primary, secondary and tertiary creep.
  • Strain rates.
  • Time.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Explain the techniques used to estimate deterioration in field strength of rock. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The types of typical rock mass rating systems available are described to estimate the field strength of rock. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • NGI Q-system.
  • Laubscher rock mass rating.
  • Binieawski rock mass rating.
  • CSIR modified rock mass rating.
  • Rock Quality designation.
  • Hoek-Brown field estimates of rock properties.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The basic principles governing the use of the typical rock mass rating systems are described in accordance with prescribed guidelines. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The principles governing the use of point load testing of rocks are described to estimate their strength. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Sample sizes.
  • Point load indices.
  • Calibration.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The consequences of not using simple field techniques are described to estimate changing rock strength and behaviour. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or by an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in the Unit Standard.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this unit standard may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Essential embedded knowledge will be assessed through assessment of the specific outcomes in terms of the stipulated assessment criteria. Candidates are unlikely to achieve all the specific outcomes, to the standards described in the assessment criteria, without knowledge of the listed embedded knowledge. This means that for the most part, the possession or lack of the knowledge can be directly inferred from the quality of the candidate's performance. Where direct assessment of knowledge is required, assessment criteria have been included in the body of the unit standard.

    The following embedded knowledge is addressed in an integrated way in the unit standard:
  • Application of occupational health and safety requirements.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of natural and induced continuities.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the influence of mineralogical composition on rock strength.
  • Demonstrate understanding of loading on rock strength. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.
  • The ability to understand the factors that affect rock strength confirms. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • The ability of the candidate to relate and assess the influence of the listed factors on strength confirms. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
  • Communication of knowledge and understanding of the factors influencing deterioration of strength to colleagues and peers confirms. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • The techniques used to determine field strength indicates use of science and technology. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • The understanding that strength directly influences stability which in turn impacts on safety confirms. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Terminology:

    1. Specified requirements:

    Specified requirements include legal and site-specific requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:
  • Legal:

    > Relevant Acts: e.g. Mine Health & Safety Act, 1996 (Act no 29/1996), and Minerals Act and Regulations, 1991 (Act no 50/1991).
    > Mandatory Codes of Practice.
    > SABS and other relevant Standards.
    > Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives.
  • Site-specific:

    > Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRA).
    > Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management Programme.
    > Managerial Instructions.
    > Mine Standard Procedures.
    > List of Recorded OH&S Risks.
    > Working Guides.
    > Equipment and Materials Specifications.

    2. Unit standard justification:
  • Level:

    > Attribute;Level;Justification:

    > Skills; 5; Wide-ranging, specialised scholastic or technical.
    > Procedures; 4; Considerable choice.
    > Context; 4; Variety of familiar and unfamiliar.
    > Knowledge; 5; Broad knowledge base with substantial depth in more than one area.
    > Information processing; 4; Basic analytical interpretation of information.
    > Problem solving; 3; A range of known responses to familiar problems, base on limited discretion and judgement.
    > Orientation of activities; 3; Directed, with some autonomy.
    > Application of responsibility; 3; Significant responsibility for the quantity and quality of output, and possible responsibility for the output of others.
    > Orientation of scope of responsibility; 3; Under general supervision quality checking.

    > Average level: 3.78
    > Actual level assigned: 4
  • Credits:

    Total hours required by the learner to achieve the required outcome:

    > Activity:

    > Classroom teaching: 24 hours
    > On-the-job training: 16 hours
    > Total: 40 hours

    > Credits achieved: (40/10) = 4.0
    > Credits assigned: 4 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  62796   Further Education and Training Certificate: Strata Control Operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 
    Elective  50082   Further Education and Training Certificate: Minerals Surveying  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2012-06-30  MQA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Adcorp Technical Training 
    2. KHUTALA COLLIERY 
    3. Palabora Copper Pty Ltd 
    4. SIBANYE GOLD ACADEMY PROPRIETARY LIMITED 
    5. WESTERN PLATINUM MINE 
    6. XTRACT TRAINING SERVICES (PTY) LTD 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.