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: 

Acquire an appreciation for the role of rock engineering in the mining process 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
9654  Acquire an appreciation for the role of rock engineering in the mining process 
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 new recruits into the mining industry.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • demonstrate knowledge of the geotechnical environment in which mining operations are performed
  • describe the effect of mining operations on the geotechnical environment
  • explain the rock engineering practices currently available to promote a safe, productive and profitable mining environment 

  • 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 skills (Language at ABET Level 3).
  • Knowledge of strata (identification of strata). 

  • 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 
    Demonstrate knowledge of the geotechnical environment in which mining operations are performed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. A description of the variability and discontinuous nature of rock masses demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the engineering material in which mines are founded 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Stratigraphic succession
  • Sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks
  • Geological joints, faults, dykes, bedding planes
  • Rock sample versus rock mass strengths
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. A description of the different geotechnical environments associated with various mining methods and areas confirms understanding. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Tabular
  • Massive
  • Open cast
  • Shallow
  • Deep
  • Intermediate
  • Hard and soft rock environments
  • Remnants
  • Multi-reef
  • Steep dipping on and off reef excavations (stopes and accesses)
  • Wide reefs
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Describe the effect of mining operations on the geotechnical environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. A description of the physics and mechanics that influence the reaction of the geotechnical environment to mining activities demonstrates understanding. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Gravity
  • Material properties
  • Laws of motion
  • Stress
  • Deformations
  • Displacements
  • Time dependency
  • Seismicity
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. A description of the effect of incorrect mine design, planning and operation demonstrates understanding 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Stress concentrations
  • Mining induced stress fractures
  • Blasting fractures
  • Poor fracture orientations
  • Fracture interactions with geological structures
  • Key blocks
  • Fall out
  • Sliding
  • Toppling
  • Support
  • Rockburst
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Explain the rock engineering practices currently available. 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
    Explain the rock engineering practices currently available to promote a safe, productive and profitable mining environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. A description of the methods of assessing the competency of the rock mass within a geotechnical environment in which mining occurs confirms understanding. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Visual examination
  • Sounding
  • Rock strengths
  • Mapping
  • Drilling
  • Geotechnical classifications
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. A description of the methods of assessing the hazards and risks associated with a geotechnical environment confirms understanding 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Computer aided design
  • Observations
  • Seismic information
  • Measurements
  • Support unit tests
  • Rock sample tests
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    3. A description of the hazard assessment considerations confirms understanding. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Rockfalls
  • Rockbursts
  • Support removal
  • Fall-out or failure
  • Foundation and ledge failure
  • Time dependant deterioration
  • Effects of illumination
  • Environmental conditions and excavation size
  • Blast damage
  • Unsupported spans
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    4. A description of the methods used to control the risks confirms understanding. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Codes of practice
  • Geotechnical classifications
  • Hazard classification systems
  • Panel risk-rating systems
  • Systems to manage seismicity
  • Prevention of rockbursts
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    5. A description of the obligations and rights of each mine employee to work safely in the rock engineering context confirms understanding. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Obligation and right to knowledge of relevant parts of the rock engineering codes of practice
    >The impact of hazard classification systems, panel and tunnel risk-rating systems
  • Systems to manage seismicity and prevent rockbursts
  • The obligation to continuous observation of local ground conditions
  • The right to refuse to work in suspect working places
  • The process to draw supervisor attention to suspect working conditions
  • The option to request special rock engineering attention to a perceived problem
     


  • 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:
  • Health and safety knowledge.
  • Report writing.
  • 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 describe basic rock mass conditions, mining practices and methods and associated mining hazards 

    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: In preparation for working on the mine, the candidate must indicate what rock engineering tools are available and communicate to fellow workers the consequences of non-compliance. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
    Note: The ability of the candidate to reconcile the information given. 

    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 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 understanding of the use of information derived from data sheets, calculator and complex computer aided designs indicates effective insight 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.
    Note: The ability of the candidate to recognise the existence of anomalous rock behaviour and the importance of communication confirms understanding. 

    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 
    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, 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 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  58739   National Certificate: Mining Operations for Underground Hard Rock  Level 2  NQF Level 02  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 
    Elective  49013   National Certificate: Mining Operations: Underground Hard Rock  Level 2  NQF Level 02  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2007-08-16  Was MQA until Last Date for Achievement 


    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.