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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

National Certificate: Small Scale Mining 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
90655  National Certificate: Small Scale Mining 
ORIGINATOR
QCTO Task Team - Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
MQA - Mining Qualifications Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Certificate  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  124  Not Applicable  NQF Level 03  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 10105/14  2015-07-01  2018-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2019-06-30   2022-06-30  

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 qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
There is international evidence that Small Scale Mining contributes to rural economic development and poverty alleviation (MMSD report, 2002). The National Certificate: Small Scale Mining will assist the process of empowering those who were previously disadvantaged and excluded in obtaining formal certification in mining disciplines.

This qualification is aimed at those responsible for running and operating a Small Scale Mine, and therefore is comprised of all the competencies required to mine. Briefly, the core component will address areas such as Occupational Health, Safety and Environment, basic supervisory skills, rock engineering, geology and basic engineering practices.

This qualification will give learners the opportunity to balance their practical skills with the essential knowledge to operate a Small Scale Mine. It is aimed at learners who work or intend to work within a small mining context and who seek recognition for essential skills in small-scale mining operations.

Learners credited with this qualification are able to:
  • Communicate and solve problems in a small scale mining environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental principles used in the workplace.
  • Conduct operations on a Small Scale Mine.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic geology and rock strata control principles.
  • Demonstrate understanding of basic engineering and maintenance principles.

    Rationale:
    Small Scale Mining is an active part of the South African and International mining economies. Small Scale Mining may be classified as formal (registered, regulated and adhering to legislative frameworks) or informal (often unregistered and not adhering to statutory guidelines).

    Formal and informal Small Scale Mining is regionally based and is usually associated with small producing companies, although small specialist service companies may fit the definition of small scale. Although formal Small Scale Mining tends to be more stable than the informal sector, it still may be seasonal in nature (dependant on commodity) and therefore the population fluctuates. Small Scale miners are involved in all mineral commodities however the difference is the scale of operations and the level of technology deployed.

    Small Scale Mining occurs generally in those mines employing fewer than 50 people. There has been, over the past ten years, an increase in historically disadvantaged South Africans operating in the Small Scale sector. There is a critical need in the industry for competent miners who are able to conduct the operations associated with efficient and safe small-scale mining. It is essential that the sector is regulated and formal qualifications in this field go a long way towards regulation. The aim is to mine the resource optimally and in a sustainable manner in compliance with relevant legislatory requirements.

    The majority of the learners for this qualification are likely to be working in the mining and minerals sector. However this does not preclude new entrants to this sector. The range of learners will span from informal miners who are operating at a below optimum level through to new entrants to the sector, many of whom have a higher level of education than the traditional mining community.

    This is the third qualification in a learning pathway of four qualifications for Small Scale Mining operations. This qualification follows on from the National Certificate: Small Scale Mining, NQF Level 2. Learners who have achieved this qualification can progress to the Further Education and Training Certificate: Mining Operations NQF Level 4 (Small Scale Mining stream). This qualification has four specialisation streams to follow, based on the different mining environments.

    This qualification will enable small-scale miners to mine more efficiently and in a safe, healthy and environmentally responsible manner. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Communication at NQF Level 2.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 2.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    This qualification may be obtained through Recognition of Prior Learning. There are various entry points into this qualification depending on the learner`s level of education and skills/training. It is accessible to all people working in the sector.
    The criteria for RPL would need to be in line with the MQA's QAP requirements.
    Evidence can be presented in a variety of forms, including international or previous local qualifications, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, performance records, portfolios and videos of practice.

    All such evidence would be judged according to the general principles of assessment.

    Access to the Qualification:
    National Certificate: Small Scale Mining, NQF Level 2. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    A minimum of 124 Credits is required to complete the qualification. In this qualification, credits are allocated as follows:

    Fundamental:
  • All 36 Credits are compulsory.

    Core:
  • All 66 Credits are compulsory.

    Electives:
  • A minimum of 22 Credits must be achieved. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Communicate and solve problems in a small scale mining environment.
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental principles used in the workplace.
    3. Conduct operations in a Small Scale Mine.
    4. Demonstrate an understanding of basic geology and rock strata control principles.
    5. Demonstrate understanding of basic engineering and maintenance principles.
  • Range: Basic engineering and maintenance refers to maintenance performed by operations personnel not qualified as artisans.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes have been addressed by the exit level outcomes as follows:
    While performing operations in a small scale mine, qualifying learners are able to:
  • Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical thinking have been made.
  • Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation and community.
  • Organising and managing oneself and one`s activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills.
  • Use science and technology effectively and showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Demonstrate an understand of the world as a set of related systems by recognising the complex and dynamic nature of these systems and the inter-relationships and linkages that exist between systems. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Oral communication is maintained and adapted to facilitate small scale mining operations in accordance with productivity requirements.
  • Written communication is conducted at an appropriate level for designated target audiences.
  • Mathematical principles and techniques are applied while performing the tasks related to small scale mining operations.
  • Basic mathematical principles are applied to perform calculations and solve routine problems that occur in the workplace.
  • Problems and solutions are recorded and monitored for reoccurrence.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental principles and procedures are explained and applied in the workplace.
  • Hazardous conditions in small scale mining operations are identified and rectified on a continual basis to ensure the health and safety of persons in the workplace.
  • Hazardous conditions in small scale mining operations are monitored and reported on a continual basis to ensure the safety and health of persons.
  • Basic first aid treatment is carried out in the workplace in accordance with legislation.
  • Fire extinguishers are used in accordance with site specific requirements.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Concepts and principles of the activities of a Small Scale Mine are understood and explained in accordance with the work context.
  • The operational procedures of a Small Scale Mine are understood and explained in terms of the range indicated below.
    > Range: Must include but are not limited to Mining processes, Extraction Processes and Business Management.
  • The operational procedures are applied in the operational context of a Small Scale Mine.
  • Operational procedures are monitored and reported on in line with the needs of a Small Scale Mine.
  • Financial planning and cost control in a small scale mining operation are understood and applied.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • An understanding of mineral resource types, their utilisation and exploitation is demonstrated in accordance with specified requirements.
  • Knowledge of the mine-specific rock mass hosting the mineral deposit is understood and explained.
  • Elementary knowledge of variations is demonstrated within the occurrence of the mine-specific mineral deposit.
  • Concepts and principles necessary to identify and verify the selected mining horizon are understood and explained in accordance with mine specific requirements.
  • Concepts and principles of geology are understood and explained in accordance with the work requirements.
  • Basic geological tasks are performed in accordance with the needs and requirements of a Small Scale Mine.
  • The understanding of the characteristics, behaviour and function of different pillars is demonstrated while conducting strata control in mining operations.
  • The role played by the geological environment in the mining process is explained while conducting strata control related activities.
  • Causes of falls of ground are understood and explained while performing strata control in mining operations.
  • The effects of various geological, mine layout/design and mining process-related factors on excavation stability are explained in terms of strata control.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Engineering requirements for a Small Scale Mine are described in terms of standard operating procedures.
  • Engineering processes and procedures for a Small Scale Mine are explained and applied according to standard operating procedures.
  • Maintenance procedures on a small scale mine are understood, explained and applied according to standard operating procedures.
  • Routine maintenance procedures and operations are applied according to manufacturer specifications.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Assessment evaluates the quality of observable performance as well as the thinking behind the performance, and culminates with a summative assessment. The assessor will assess different aspects of the performance and will include:
  • Observing the learner at work (both in the primary activity as well as other interactions).
  • Asking questions and initiating short discussions to test understanding.
  • Looking at records and reports in the portfolio and reviewing previous assessments.

    The learner may choose in which language s/he wants to be assessed. This should be established as part of a process of preparing the learner for assessment and familiarising the learner with the approach being taken. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Mining occurs in some 80 regions of the world including Africa, South East Asia, South America, India and China.

    There are no full qualifications in this sector known to be offered anywhere in the world at this time, but there are a number of skills development practices in Small Scale Mining worldwide and this qualification encompasses the contents of those interventions.

    According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) nearly 13 million people are engaged in Small Scale Mining and an estimated 100 million depend on it for their livelihoods.

    The Small Scale Mining population includes a large proportion of women (an estimated 50%) and, in some countries, child labour is deployed.

    Communities and Small Scale Mining (CASM) is an international organisation formed in 2001 to coordinate activities internationally in this sub sector.

    Through a holistic approach, CASM aims to reduce poverty by building sustainable communities in those countries where artisanal and small-scale mining is an important economic activity with positive potential contributions to development.

    The strategy to achieve this goal is based on four pillars:
  • Better governance and formalisation of the sector.
  • Initiatives to enhance environmental and technical performance, and socio-economic development.
  • Network building for more effective partnerships.
  • Knowledge development and best practice sharing.

    These strategies are in line with the thinking that has informed the National Certificate: Small Scale Mining, NQF Level 3.

    Practical Action Consulting - formerly Intermediate Technology Consultants (ITC) - deliver small-scale mining training related to safe and environmentally benign prospection, extraction, processing, value-adding and marketing of mineral materials, in various regions all over the world.

    It was decided to compare the qualification against learning outcomes from the following countries or regions:

    Zambia is a member of the SADC community and has a stable post-colonial government. The mining industry has benefited from the expertise of large international companies operating in the country. Business Development Seminars and field trips for Small Scale gemstone miners were conducted by CSA, an Irish based consultancy group. Each participant was asked to prepare a business plan for their own operation which was then critiqued and evaluated.

    Mozambique, another SADC country, borders on South Africa. The country is still suffering after an extended civil war and huge efforts are being made to restore the economy and infrastructure. This CSA managed artisanal mining baseline study project involved providing technical assistance in the areas of health, safety and environmental issues for Small Scale miners in the province of Zambezia, Mozambique. The project also evaluated the capacity of the ministry to implement a regulatory framework for Small Scale miners.

    Madagascar, an island state on the East of Africa, does not have a well-developed infrastructure and many areas are remote and inaccessible. Much of the mining activities take place on a small scale. The CSA managed artisanal mining baseline study training forms part of the World Banks Reform of the mining sector programme and covered areas such as health and safety, technical capacity, environmental standards and income and livelihoods. The gold sales chain was analysed from each province and resulted in the design of a taxation framework for the gold sales chain.

    Zimbabwe, a neighbouring country and SADC member, is currently experiencing economic difficulty. Small scale mining offers a living to many people. Women in mining project, by the Intermediate Technology Group involved a training school which offered courses in geology, mining, law, processing and marketing. Lecturers were drawn from universities and state ministries.

    Peru is a Southern American State with a developing economy. The mining industry is not well developed. World learning assisted in setting up educational programmes for children who were assisting their parents in artisanal mining in Peru. The project involved community participation and liaison with school authorities to formalise the educational inputs.

    India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. There is however also great poverty and small scale mining is being developed strategically as a means of alleviating poverty. India is among the top ten mineral producing nations in the World and approximately 90% of production is based on small mines. There is a need for cleaner production techniques given the poor safety and environmental standards of Small Scale miners.

    These various training programmes aim to identify the reasons for poor performance of small processing plants which include lack of capital, lack of spare parts, inaccurate sampling methods, inadequate training and lack of government support.

    Training and skills development offered included:
  • Formalisation of the sector such as legal registration.
  • Business planning.
  • Technical support.
  • Occupational Health and Safety.
  • Environmental matters including environmental impact assessment studies and management.
  • Socio-economic surveying of mining communities and key constraints analysis.
  • Livelihoods analysis and participatory needs assessment (drawing on the sustainable livelihoods framework).
  • Geological exploration, in particular, ore reserve estimation and mining geology.
  • Mine design and mine planning, including production and marketing.
  • Marketing of mineral productions.
  • Exploration, exploitation and processing techniques.
  • Policy research and strategy formulation from the perspective of Small Scale Miners.

    The National Certificate: Small Scale Mining, NQF Level 3 covers all of the above themes. The educational component is covered in the fundamentals.

    Conclusion:
    The National Certificate: Small Scale Mining, NQF Level 3 qualification compares favourably with the courses offered in other countries. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification articulates vertically with the following qualifications:
  • Further Education and Training Certificate: Mining Operations, NQF Level 4 (Small Scale Mining stream).

    This qualification articulates horizontally with the following qualifications:
  • National Certificate: Rock Breaking: Surface Excavations, NQF Level 3.
  • National Certificate: Rock Breaking: Underground Hardrock, NQF Level 3.
  • National Certificate: Rock Breaking: Underground Coal, NQF Level 3. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Assessors should be in possession of:
  • An appropriate qualification above the level of the qualification and preferably relevant workplace practical experience.
  • Registration as an assessor with the relevant QAP. 

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

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  243772  Display understanding of the mechanical and electrical engineering discipline processes and procedures  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  259604  Verify compliance to safety, health and environmental requirements in the workplace  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  120330  Conduct a continuous risk assessment in a workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  115704  Demonstrate elementary knowledge and understanding of geology related to mining  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  421841  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a Small Scale Mine Business Plan  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  115749  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strata control  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  244422  Demonstrate knowledge of the most common harmful gases and vapours  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  254588  Demonstrate the ability to understand and promote the implementation of rock-related mining standards as a strata control function  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  421846  Establish and maintain community involvement with a small-scale mining operation  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Core  116714  Lead a team, plan, allocate and assess their work  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  421847  Market small-scale mining products  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  242810  Manage Expenditure against a budget  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  10981  Supervise work unit to achieve work unit objectives (individuals and teams)  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Fundamental  119472  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral/signed communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9010  Demonstrate an understanding of the use of different number bases and measurement units and an awareness of error in the context of relevant calculations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9013  Describe, apply, analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119457  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9012  Investigate life and work related problems using data and probabilities  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119467  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  7456  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business and national issues  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119465  Write/present/sign texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  421843  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of diamond marketing  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  421844  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sorting and evaluating diamonds  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  421845  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the history of diamond mining  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  13961  Demonstrate Knowledge and Use of Hand Operated Fire Fighting Equipment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  257021  Doze material using a rubber wheel dozer  Level 2  NQF Level 02  14 
    Elective  257024  Haul and dump material using a haul truck  Level 2  NQF Level 02  11 
    Elective  257031  Load, Haul and Dump material using a front end loader  Level 2  NQF Level 02  16 
    Elective  421848  Operate a diamond jig  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  421849  Operate a diamond pan  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  120496  Provide risk-based primary emergency care/first aid in the workplace  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  257029  Pump water using a De-watering Pump  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  113836  Apply basic computer technology  Level 3  NQF Level 03  11 
    Elective  257041  Bar down loose rocks using appropriate equipment  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  257095  Carry out basic surveying and calculations in surface excavations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  421842  Demonstrate an understanding of the Diamond Amendment Act (Act 30 of 2005)  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  230010  Demonstrate knowledge of the geological nature of surface extraction sites  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  254069  Demonstrate knowledge of the operation and maintenance of mechanical and electrical equipment  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  257016  Examine and make safe non-blasted surface excavations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  257076  Excavate and load material using hydraulic excavator  Level 3  NQF Level 03  26 
    Elective  376480  Provide first aid as an advanced first responder  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  257057  Read and interpret surface excavation plans  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253016  Read and understand a mine plan and transfer recorded information onto mine plans  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  421850  Supply and control consumables on a small-scale mine  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  263474  Manage finances of a new venture  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114589  Manage time productively  Level 4  NQF Level 04 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    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.