Requirements by the Department of Mineral Resources

At every mine where a significant risk of rockbursts or rock falls exist, the employer must engage the services of competent persons who...

  • Proactively identify dangerous situations and take remedial action before persons are injured or workings are damaged
  • Participate in any relevant planning activities that need to take account of, could influence or be influenced by, the risk of rockfalls or rockbursts.
  • Evaluate all face layout positions to determine any significant risks relating to rockfalls or rockbursts created by or likely to be created by mining operations.
  • Identify, review and make recommendations to the employer regarding systems, procedures, and techniques used or to be used by the employer to eliminate, control, or minimise rockfall or rockburst hazards.
  • Establish monitoring, recording and reporting systems and procedures, that ensure that relevant information related to rockfalls and rockbursts is timeously provided to those persons involved in the planning and operating of mining activities.
  • Approve plans for mining sequences to ensure that the probability of seismic events/rockbursts are minimised; the factors affecting the stability of off-reef excavations are taken into account; support systems accommodate current and anticipated rock conditions; and all precautions necessary for remnant mining are stipulated.

In seismically active mines, a competent person has to advise the employer in developing a strategy for their mine's CoP to reduce the incidence and the effects of rockbursts. On mines or sections of mines where the bulk of ore reserves are located in remnants or pillars, a periodic detailed analysis of the whole mine needs to be done with emphasis on sequencing or phasing the extraction of pillars or remnants in such a way as to ensure that they are mined out as safely as possible.

The employer must, where necessary assisted by seismic specialists and using appropriate monitoring equipment, monitor, interpret and analyse seismicity; regularly monitor pillar performance to ensure that they conform to design requirements; inspect all major rockbursts and large or serious falls of ground; give input on risk assessment matters pertaining to rock related issues.

[Source: Department of Mineral Resource, DMR 7/4/118 AB1 of 2001]