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: 

Demonstrate a basic understanding of small-scale mining 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
110128  Demonstrate a basic understanding of small-scale mining 
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 1  NQF Level 01 
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 to people who are working as, or wish to become small-scale miners.

People credited with this unit standard are able to demonstrate a basic understanding of
  • A current overview of small scale mining in South Africa;
  • An overview of small scale mining methods;
  • An overview of small scale mineral processing methods; and
  • An overview of marketing of small-scale mineral commodities. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The credit calculation is based on the assumption that learners are already competent in terms of the following outcomes or areas of learning when starting to learn towards this unit standard:
  • Communication and literacy at ABET Level 4 

  • 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 
    Describe current small-scale mining activity in South Africa. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. The principal mineral commodities currently mined at small-scale mining are listed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Coal
  • Precious metals
  • Precious and semi-precious stones
  • Base metals
  • Industrial minerals
  • Dimension stone
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. The current uses of commodities from small-scale mining are listed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Fuel
  • Jewellery
  • Industrial applications
  • Commercial applications
  • Construction industry
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    3. The distribution of minerals mined at small-scale mines in South Africa is explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Coal - Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape
  • Precious metals - Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng
  • Precious and semi-precious stones - Free State, Northern Cape, North West Province, Limpopo and Western Cape
  • Base metals - Northern Cape, Limpopo and Kwazulu-Natal
  • Industrial minerals - all provinces
  • Dimension stone - all provinces
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    4. The nature of the small-scale mining business is described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Barriers to entry - permitting requirements, statutory requirements, lack of access to finance, lack of skills, lack of market access, lack of access to technology
  • Commodity value versus market access
  • Labour intensive
  • Low technology
  • Lower and erratic grade of mineral deposits
  • Deposits that are easily accessible
  • Simple geology
  • Simple mineralogy
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Describe the small-scale mining methods. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. The methods of small-scale mining are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Surface - open pit, alluvial
  • Underground - board and pillar, open stoping, shrinkage stoping.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. The small-scale mining technical services are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Geology
  • Rock engineering
  • Survey
  • Sampling/evaluation
  • Mine planning
  • Mine engineering
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    3. The broad mining processes are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Overburden removal/ore body exposure
  • Developments, i.e. shafts, winzes, adits, cross cuts, haulage, drives, raises etc.
  • Ore body extraction, i.e. drill and blast, loose excavation, dredging, hydraulicing
  • Transport, i.e. tramming, hoisting, loading and hauling
  • Drainage
  • Ventilation
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Environmental processes
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Describe small-scale mineral processing methods. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. The principal elements of mineral processing are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Crushing and classifying, i.e. crushing, milling, pulverizing, screening, cyclones, elutriation
  • Concentration, i.e. hand sorting, gravity, chemical
  • Smelting/refining
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. The key small-scale downstream processing and value addition methods are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Jewellery manufacture
  • Stone polishing
  • Brick making
  • Ceramics
  • Construction materials
  • Industrial uses
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    3. The ancillary processing services are described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Materials handling
  • Engineering maintenance
  • Waste disposal
  • Water management
  • Environmental processing
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Security
  • Quality assurance/assaying/process control
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Describe the characteristics of the marketing of small-scale mineral commodities. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. The variations in price of small-scale mineral commodities are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Low bulk-high value versus high bulk-low value
  • Transport sensitivity
  • Local market - wide fluctuation
  • International markets - less fluctuation
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. The factors affecting accessibility to the markets are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Monopolistic practices of large mining companies
  • Unreliable quality and quantity of mineral commodity outputs
  • Local community usage
  • Niche markets
     


  • UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
    1. Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.

    2. Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider through the relevant ETQA by SAQA.

    3. Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

    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:
  • Report writing
  • Health and safety knowledge
  • Legal and site-specific requirements 

  • 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 candidate to identify sub-standard and hazardous conditions, assess and take appropriate action. 

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

    Note: The ability and willingness of the candidate to accept and interpret work instructions correctly. 

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

    Note: The ability of the candidate to indicate what methods, tools and personal protective equipment is required and communicate to fellow workers his/her intentions and assistance required. 

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

    Note: The ability of the candidate to reconcile the information from visual and physical examinations and constantly evaluate the changing situation. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.

    Note: The appropriate communication with the relevant personnel with regard to the reporting of hazards and sub-standard conditions will indicate his/her proficiency in effective communication. 

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

    Note: The use of science and technology is not relevant for this unit standard. 

    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 candidate to identify and refer anomalous behaviour to a specialist confirms understanding that a specific observation, inference, action or decision can have a devastating effect. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    Assessors should keep the following principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessment at title level is unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Rather make sure the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgements should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, direct, authentic, sufficient, systematic, open and consistent. 

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

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    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 29/1996), and Minerals Act and Regulations, 1991 (Act 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
  • Voluntary Codes of Practices
  • 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
    Elective  58267   General Education and Training Certificate: Mining and Minerals Processes  Level 1  NQF Level 01  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.