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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of factors affecting the stability of service excavations 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
254589  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of factors affecting the stability of service 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 3  NQF Level 03 
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 pursuing a career in rock engineering.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different service excavations used in the mining industry.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the need and importance of stable service excavations.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of uncontrollable factors that affect excavation stability.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of controllable factors that affect excavation stability.

    This unit standard is intended to promote general knowledge and understanding of factors that affect the stability of off-reef 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 2. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different service excavations used in the mining industry. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Typical mining layouts found in the South African mining industry are explained in terms of different types of minerals/ores. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Gold.
  • Coal.
  • Diamond.
  • Platinum.
  • Manganese/Iron.
  • Chrome.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Service excavations used in typical mining layouts are described in terms of mining structures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Vertical Shaft/incline shaft/portals/adits.
  • Shaft stations.
  • Workshops/battery bay/hoist rooms/crusher chambers.
  • Cooling towers.
  • Haulages/RAW.
  • Crosscuts.
  • Orepasses/boxholes/bunkers/silos.
  • Drawpoints.
  • Ramps.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate understanding of the need and importance of stable service excavations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The use of service excavations in general mine layouts are explained in terms of operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Personnel transport.
  • Rock and material transport.
  • Mining services (stores, workshops, hoisting, ore-flow).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The consequences of unstable service excavations resource are explained in terms of the continued exploitation of the mine. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of uncontrollable factors that affect excavation stability. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Stress-related factors are listed and explained in terms of their influence stability of service excavations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Depth.
  • K-ratio.
  • Virgin stress directions.
  • Tectonic stress and directions.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Factors that influence stability of service excavations are listed and explained with respect to rock types, structure and conditions. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Rock strength/rock type.
  • Rock mass strength.
  • Local and minor geological structures.
  • Major geological structures.
  • Geological alterations/weathering/oxidation.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of controllable factors that affect excavation stability. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Factors that influence stability of service excavations are listed and explained with respect to the excavation itself. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Excavation shape.
  • Excavation size/dimensions.
  • Excavating sequence.
  • Excavating methods.
  • Excavation orientation.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Factors that influence stability of service excavations are listed and explained with respect to support. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Absence of support.
  • Inadequate support.
  • Inappropriate support.
  • Poor timing of support installation.
  • Damaged support units.
  • Premature support failure.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Factors that influence stability of service excavations are listed and explained with respect to stress. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Excavation shape/stress concentrations.
  • Mining induced stress levels.
  • Stress changes (increase and decrease).
  • Stress direction changes.
  • Stress component changes.
  • Seismic activity.
     


  • UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against the qualification 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 qualification 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. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in the associated unit standards.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification 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 need and importance of stable service excavations.
  • Uncontrollable factors that affect excavation stability.
  • Controllable factors that affect excavation stability.
  • Safety, health and environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Quality policies, standards and agreements. 

  • 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 understand the various factors that affect the stability of the service excavations, confirms. 

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

    Note: The ability of the candidate to collect the appropriate information to determine the factors that influence stability of an excavation at any point or instance, confirms. 

    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 promoted through the use of rock mechanics theories. 

    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 understanding of factors that affect the stability of service excavations can assist in improving the health and safety of mining personnel. 

    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, 1996 (Act 29/1996), and Minerals Act and Regulations, 1991 (Act 50/1991).
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant Standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives.

    Site-specific:
  • Managerial Instructions.
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRA).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management Programme.
  • List of Recorded OH&S Risks.
  • Voluntary Codes of Practice.
  • Manufacturers Specifications.
  • Equipment and Materials Specifications.
  • Working Guides.
  • Mine Standard Procedures.
  • Risk Assessment Documents.
  • South African Bureau of Standards and other standards. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  60369   National Certificate: Strata Control Operations  Level 3  NQF Level 03  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.
     
    1. DIGGERS TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES 
    2. PALABORA COPPER (PTY) LTD 
    3. SIBANYE GOLD ACADEMY PROPRIETARY LIMITED 
    4. WESTERN PLATINUM MINE 



    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.