Quarrymen and miners of materials used in the construction of roads have a new set of specification to be followed in order to supply national and provincial roads agencies as well as all metros and municipalities.Surface mining industry association, ASPASA, has worked tirelessly with the Committee of Transport Officials (COTO) and role-players to hammer-out standards for different types of materials to be used on our roads. Crushed aggregates and sand are key components in the manufacture of this type of infrastructure and the new COTO specifications effectively replaces the previous, widely known COLTO specification. Industry veteran and the motivating force behind ASPASA’s submission to COTO, Barry Pearce, who heads up ASPASA’s technical committee, says the new specifications have brought the industry together like never before and led to close cooperation between the roads agencies, engineers, materials suppliers and road contractors. Material suppliers will now have a two years trial period to implement, test, debate and refine the specifications before final acceptance.
Simple implementation“Now all that remains is for our ASPASA members to read the specification in its entirety, especially chapter 4 which deals directly with the supply of materials,” Pearce said. He explained that the move from the COLTO to COTO specifications also comes with a change in sieve sizes from imperial to metric ISO sizes. That means quarries will need to make minor changes or possibly set about changing worn grizzlies and screens to match the relevant COTO sizes so as to conform to the new specification. “The specifications also pays closer attention to the testing and acceptance of materials where they are mined and upon delivery and usage.” According to Pearce, ASPASA has long been of the opinion that acceptance needs to be conducted at the source of the material and before any further processing such as the addition of cement or binders take place.
“For now, this method of acceptance is required for materials sourced from approved borrow pits and requires engineers to test and accept crushed and stockpiled material at the borrow pit before delivery to site and further processing by the contractor. Our technical committee, however, suggests the same should apply to existing quarries with some minor adjustments where compliance with existing legislation is already in place such as HSE requirements. If this approach of approval of material is adopted, I think the COTO specification will be as near to ‘perfect’ as we can get it right now,” explained Pearce.