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: 

Design blasts for surface excavations 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
257075  Design blasts for surface excavations 
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  24 
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
230016  Design blasts for quarry operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  24   

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be useful for persons who intend following a career in the mining and minerals sector.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of legal requirements relating to blasting in surface excavations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of types, application and selection of explosives, initiation systems and accessories used in surface excavations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of drilling equipment and applications in surface excavations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the factors influencing blast design and their impacts on surface excavations.
  • Design safe and efficient blasting.
  • Estimate the likely environmental effects of the blasts.
  • Monitor the blasting performances and take appropriate actions.

    The skills, knowledge and understanding demonstrated within this unit standard are essential for 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 being able to design blasts for surface excavations 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 already competent in:
  • Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3.
  • Operate a personal computer at NQF Level 3. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Explain legal requirements relating to blasting in surface excavations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Explosives usage regulations under the Mine Health and Safety Act applicable to surface excavations are explained and applied in accordance with specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Explosives transport and storage regulations under the Explosives Acts applicable to surface excavations are explained and considered in accordance with specified requirements. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Explain the types, application and selection of explosives, initiation systems and accessories used and required in surface excavations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Explosive types are identified and their function explained in accordance with specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explosive types must include:
  • Bulked or packaged explosives.
  • Anfo.
  • Watergels.
  • Emulsions.
  • Nitroglycerine based explosives.
  • Black powder (where appropriate).
  • Point initiation blasting explosives.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Initiating systems are identified and their function explained in accordance with specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Initiating systems must include:
  • Blast initiating systems.
  • Fuses.
  • Shock tubes.
  • Detonating cords.
  • Electric detonators.
  • Electronic detonators.
  • Igniter cords.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Accessories are identified and their function explained in accordance with specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Accessories must include:
  • Stemming products.
  • Deck charging products.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The factors influencing selection of an explosive are explained in accordance with specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Factors must include:
  • Cost of explosives.
  • Physical characteristics.
  • Water resistance.
  • Density.
  • Sensitivity.
  • Velocity of detonation.
  • Energy.
  • Desensitization.
  • Storage.
  • Temperature.
  • Critical diameter.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Explain the drilling equipment required and their applications in surface excavations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Drilling methods and accessories are evaluated to match site specific requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Appropriate equipment for blast hole drilling for production requirements is identified. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The economics and efficiency of the various drilling methods are evaluated. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Explain the factors influencing blast design and their impacts on surface excavations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The geological and physical properties of the rock to be excavated are identified and influence explained in terms of blast design. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Factors must include:
  • Jointing.
  • Physical strength.
  • Hydrogeology.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The production factors involved in producing the required materials are identified and explained in accordance with specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Factors must include:
  • Face height.
  • Muck pile shape.
  • Drill type and hole size.
  • Burden and spacing.
  • Sub-grade.
  • Fragmentation.
  • Quarry location/restrictions.
  • Availability of explosives.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The effect of blast design and practice on slope stability is explained in accordance with specified requirements. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Design safe and efficient blasting. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The factors influencing quarry blast design are determined and documented in accordance with specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The designs are produced and the applicable calculations carried out in accordance with specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Calculations must include:
  • Hole diameter and length.
  • Sub-drill.
  • Burden and spacing.
  • Volumes.
  • Powder factor.
  • Explosives type, strengths/density.
  • Explosive distribution in hole (deck charging).
  • Mass of explosives.
  • Mass charge per delay.
  • Timing and initiation design.
  • Stemming.
  • Profiling.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The designs are put into formats suitable for use by personnel in accordance with specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Hazards and risks are anticipated and measures taken in accordance with specified requirements to eliminate them or mitigate their effect. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 6 
    Estimate the likely environmental effects of the blasts. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The environmental effects of blasting are identified and the manner in which blast design minimizes their effects are explained. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Effects must include:
  • Ground vibrations: Frequency and peak particle velocity.
  • Air blast.
  • Fly rock.
  • Dust and gases.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The equipment and methods to measure ground vibration plus air blast are explained in accordance with specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The projected ground vibrations are calculated and compared to the effects measured during the blast. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 7 
    Monitor the blasting performances and take appropriate actions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The fragmentation is checked, analyzed and compared against production requirements and appropriate amendments made to the blast design. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The shape of the muck pile, condition of floor and extent of back break are checked and changes made to the blast design as necessary. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The economics of drilling and blasting are regularly calculated and blast design improvements made in accordance with specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The air blast results are checked and the required amendments to blast design effected in accordance with specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The incidence of fly rock is investigated and reported upon in accordance with specified requirements. Appropriate actions are taken to improve the blast design. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Data is recorded in accordance with specified requirements. 


    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.
  • 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 will be assessed in an integrated way in the context of the unit standard.

    Knowledge relating to method and design:
  • Factors influencing blast design and their impacts on quarry operations.
  • Types, application and selection of explosives, initiation systems and accessories used in quarries.
  • Knowledge of drilling equipment and applications in quarries.
  • Relevant terminology.
  • Possible non-conformances, their consequences and mitigating actions.

    Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Issues:
  • Significant hazards and risks related to designing blasts for quarry operations, their consequences and mitigating actions.
  • Safety measures related to blast design.
  • Personal Protective Equipment requirements and the reason for each.
  • Impact on the environment and mitigating actions.
  • Emergency procedures.

    Applicable statutory requirements:
  • Legal requirements relating to blasting in quarries.
  • Codes of practice.
  • Blast designer 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 IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.

    Note:
  • The ability of the learner to identify substandard and hazardous conditions, assess and take appropriate action when during the process. 

  • 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 accept, interpret and apply work instructions correctly. 

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

    Note:
  • The ability of the learner to indicate what methods, tools and personal protective equipment are required, and to communicate to fellow workers his/her intentions and the assistance required. The ability of the learner to schedule workloads. 

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

    Note:
  • The ability of the learner 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 substandard conditions will indicate his/her proficiency in effective communication. 

  • 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 230016, "Design blasts for quarry operations", Level 4, 24 credits. 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  62869   National Certificate: Rockbreaking: Surface Excavations  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 
    Elective  74490   Further Education and Training Certificate: Mining Operations  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.