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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of support methods in surface mines and quarries 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
257033  Demonstrate an understanding of support methods in surface mines and quarries 
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 2  NQF Level 02 
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 is intended to promote knowledge and understanding of support in surface mines and quarries in the mining and minerals sector in order to ensure knowledgeable and informed workers.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of factors that influence stability of an excavation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of methods to ensure slope stability in Quarry and surface mine excavations.
  • Explain the principles of support in surface mines and quarries.
  • Monitor support performance. 

  • 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 1. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate knowledge of factors that influence stability of an excavation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The factors influencing stability of an excavation are explained in relation to surface mine/quarry operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Strength of rock material.
  • Frequency of jointing.
  • Joint strength and filling.
  • Confining stress.
  • Presence of water.
  • Blasting techniques.
  • Slope geometry.
  • Angles of repose.
  • Excavation techniques.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The modes of failure of excavations and soils and their mitigating actions are explained in the surface mine/quarrying context. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Wedge failure.
  • Toppling.
  • Plane failure.
  • Circular failure.
  • Loose material (weathering) falling/rolling.
  • Slumping.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate an understanding of methods to ensure slope stability in Quarry and Surface mine excavations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Methods to ensure slope stability are explained in the surface mine/quarrying context. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Support.
  • Barring/Scaling down.
  • Water control.
  • Slope geometry.
  • Angle of repose.
  • Blasting techniques.
  • Mining Methods.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Explain the principles of support in Surface mines and quarries. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Hazard identification and hazard control are explained to comply with risk assessment requirements to eliminate or control risks related to slope instability. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Methods of support and their utilization are explained in accordance with legal and operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Support Methods Must Include:
  • Ground anchors.
  • Lacing.
  • Wire mesh.
  • Shotcrete or gunite.
  • Gabion support.
  • Backfill and/or buttressing.
  • Netting and barricades.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The purpose of support installation is explained in terms of legal and operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must Include:
  • Combat slope instability.
  • Bed separation.
  • Rock/block displacement.
  • Opening of joints/fractures.
  • Subsidence and slumping.
  • Protect installations.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Consequences of inadequate preparation for installation of support units are described in terms of potential effect on occupational health, safety and production. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Monitor support performance. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The records and documentation of the ground support are completed accurately in accordance with legal and operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The support installations are examined and checked for deterioration and anomalies recorded in accordance with legal and operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must Include:
  • Degradation of support systems.
  • Scaling and frittering ground.
  • Bed separation.
  • Rock/block displacement.
  • Opening of joints/fractures.
  • Subsidence and slumping.
     


  • 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 embedded knowledge is addressed in an integrated way in the unit standard:

    Knowledge relating to the process:
  • Purpose of providing support in surface mines and quarries.
  • Methods of providing support.
  • Principles related to providing support and equipment used.
  • Relevant terminology and names of systems and major components of equipment.
  • Possible non-conformances, their consequences and mitigating actions.

    Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental issues:
  • Significant hazards and risks related to falls of ground and providing support.
  • Safety measures related to providing support in surface mines and quarries.
  • PPE requirements and the reason for each.
  • Impact on the environment and mitigating actions.
  • Emergency procedures.

    Applicable statutory requirements:
  • Relevant clauses from applicable acts and regulations.
  • Codes of practice.
  • Support competency requirements and restrictions.

    Communication:
  • Reporting requirements and ability.
  • Communicating with relevant personnel.
  • Liaison with associated operations and personnel. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Note: The ability and willingness of the learner to interact with various other workers in the mine or quarry in order to ensure consistent adherence to mine stability and safety. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • Note: The ability of the learner to record, monitor and analyse falls of ground information from the examination and support provision activities. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Note: The ability of the learner to interact with sophisticated equipment related to providing support in surface mines and quarries. 

  • 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: The ability of the learner to understand the relationship between upstream, downstream and associated processes, and the impact that he may have in each regard. 

  • 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:

    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).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85/1993).
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant Standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives/Instructions.
  • Guidelines issued by the Chief Inspector of Mines.

    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. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  62869   National Certificate: Rockbreaking: Surface Excavations  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 
    Elective  64909   National Certificate: Small Scale Mining  Level 2  NQF Level 02  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.