Compliance with legislation and regulations surrounding surface mining activities are critical to legal operations which requiring close attention of management at all times.
As a result, smaller operations that do not have the resources or knowhow to keep up with requirements are turning towards industry association, ASPASA, to formalise their operations and obtain the required information in the form of workshops, guides or advice to enable compliance with relevant requirements.
Assessments and audits are becoming increasingly important for smaller operations, as the cost of non-compliance can in some instances lead to the withdrawal of licences, closure of the mine or other legal action that may jeopardise the operation in future.
While ASPASA membership is voluntary, it does require members to comply and undertake annual audits in adherence with health and safety, as well as environmental requirements and legislation. In addition, the association has expanded its industry leading audits to include voluntary explosives and blasting compliance audits, quality and technical compliance audits, as well as mining charter compliance audits.
Risk assessments have also been developed to test adherence with social and community affairs issues, as well as addressing safety and security issues on mines, especially as invasions and extortion attempts increase within the industry.
ASPASA is internationally recognised for its decade-old work to establish international standards among its members and its health and safety, as well as its environmental compliance audits are regarded to be among the best in the world. The expansion of its audits to include new focus areas, as well as offsite plants where materials may be used or processed, such as concrete ready-mix plants, brickworks and factories is world leading.
According to ASPASA director Nico Pienaar, the association has become a pivotal instrument in smaller mines’ management operations. Large scale and corporate members also use the facilities and services of the association and its audits to test compliance and avoid running foul-of-the-law.