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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Explain the interaction between rock strength, stress, and fracturing 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
256844  Explain the interaction between rock strength, stress, and fracturing 
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 replaces: 
US ID Unit Standard Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Credits Replacement Status
115739  Demonstrate elementary knowledge and understanding of the interaction between rock strength, stress, and fracturing  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Complete 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be useful to people who are pursuing a career in rock engineering within the mining and minerals sector and who are responsible for monitoring and ensuring excavation stability.

This unit standard is intended to promote general skills, knowledge and understanding of the interaction between rock strength, stress and fracturing in the mining and minerals sector in order to ensure knowledgeable and informed workers.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Describe the properties and strength of rock.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of stress in the mining environment.
  • Describe stress related fracturing.
  • Explain the interaction between rock strength, stress and fracturing. 

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

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Describe the properties and strength of rock. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    An elementary description of the properties of the mine-specific rock types is provided in accordance with specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Strength (UCS).
  • Young's Modulus.
  • Poisson's ratio.
  • Density.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The influence of scale on the strength of rock is explained in the context of mining operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    An elementary description of the pre-failure behaviour of the various mine specific rock types under uni-axial loading in a press is provided in the context of mining operations. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate an understanding of stress in the mining environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Using basic formulae, vertical stress is calculated for various depths of mining in accordance with legal and operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The explanation of the variability in the "k" ratio is provided in accordance with operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Depth.
  • Tectonic stress.
  • Topography.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The concept of changing induced stress levels is explained in the context of resulting from mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Increase in mining span.
  • Proximity of excavations to one another.
  • Mining towards geological discontinuities.
  • Seismic activity.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Describe stress related fracturing. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The formation of stress fractures parallel to stress directions is explained in the context of mining operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The principle of rock failure when the level of stress exceeds the rock mass strength is explained in the context of mining operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The stages of rock fracture and how it relates to levels of damage as stress increases are described in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • 33% of UCS.
  • 66% of UCS.
  • Residual strength.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The concept of time dependent fracture migration as a result of stress is explained in the context of mining operations. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Explain the relationship between rock strength and stress. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The effect of changing stress levels on stress fractures is explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Increasing.
  • Decreasing stress levels.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The effect of changing stress orientation on stress fractures is explained in the context of mining operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The effect of changes in rock properties on stress fractures is explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Confinement of rock.
  • Changing rock types.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Hazards presented by the frequency and orientation of stress fractures are explained in accordance with specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Block sizes.
  • Block shapes.
     


  • 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 with 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.
  • 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 
    The following essential embedded knowledge is addressed in an integrated way in the unit standard:

    Knowledge and understanding of:
  • The properties and strength of rock.
  • Stress in the mining environment.
  • Stress related fracturing.
  • The interaction between rock strength, stress and fracturing.

    Purpose of:
  • Recognition and evaluation of rock conditions.
  • Information gathering and analysis.

    Causes and effects (Occupational Health and Safety):
  • Rock fracturing.
  • Time dependant fracture migration.
  • Effects of changing stress levels.
  • Hazards presented by the frequency and orientation of stress fractures. 

  • 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.

    Note: The ability of the learner to understand the interaction between rock strength, stress and fracturing. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.

    Note: The ability of the learner to recognise and evaluate the rock conditions. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.

    Note: The use of rock engineering science and technology is promoted through understanding of the behaviour of rock in response to various stress levels. 

    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.

    Note: Understanding the variability that exists in rock mass strength and stress levels on a mine wide basis and the effect on stress fracturing related hazards. 

    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 
    This unit standard replaces unit standard 115739, "Demonstrate elementary knowledge and understanding of the interaction between rock strength, stress, and fracturing", Level 4, 3 credits.

    Terminology:

    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 and Regulations, 1996 (Act 29/1996), and Minerals Act and Regulations, 1991 (Act 50/1991).
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant Standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives/Instructions.

    Site-specific:
  • Managerial instructions.
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRA).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management Programme.
  • List of Recorded OH&S Risks.
  • Voluntary Codes of Practice.
  • Manufacturers Specifications.
  • Equipment and Materials Specifications.
  • Working Guides.
  • Mine Standard Procedures.
  • Risk Assessment Documents.
  • SANS and other standards. 

  • 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  77963   Further Education and Training Certificate: Mining/Exploration Geology  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  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.
     
    NONE 



    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.