Is our Inspectorate competent?
That question has to be asked, because it seems pretty clear that not all mines are treated the same by certain inspectors, and that findings are inconsistent throughout the various inspectorate regions. In some cases it seems as if the bigger operations are targeted by the DMR with the issuing of Section 54/55s, while independents are treated with a softer touch.
There are some independents that really should be classified as illegal operations, but which have never been fined or stopped, and in other cases Section 54s are issued for a situation where one tail pulley is not sufficient guarded. How is this possible?
The Western Cape Inspectorate seems to have stepped up its act in the last few months, where some inspectors are doubling up on their visits and being extremely harsh on findings - which is quite a change, bearing in mind that they have been fairly laid back in the past. Let us hope that their findings are based on a sound knowledge of the Act.
Why is the Inspectorate not attending the Aspasa ISHE audits as much as it should be doing. I've heard it said that possibly the reason is that they are not allowed to attend these meetings during working hours on DME finances. Is this true?
It also seems as if the DMR is using scare tactics to threaten operations in certain areas of closure, but when these measures are questioned by the quarries, the inspectors are unable to relate their findings to any specific section or regulation in the Act.
Yes, I have been picking on the DME lately, because it seems as if nothing has improved over the last couple of years. Any comments?
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Another successful conference and exhibition for industry
A feedback on the very successful IQSA 42nd conference and exhibition held in mid-April, which was attended by over 200 delegates and exhibitors. All-in-all, a great event, and an excellent networking opportunity for everyone.
Glen Douglas optimisation - a plan unfolding
MQ pays a visit to Afrimat's industrial minerals operation at Glen Douglas, in Henley-on-Klip, and finds a significant change for the good, in the management of this mine. The people are upbeat, and with turnaround strategies already optimising efficiencies, this R35-million acquisition is set to deliver significant rewards for the group.
Royalty Act simplified for aggregate industry
We look at the Royalty Act in relation to the aggregate industry, and preface a paper presented by SARS' Antony Cohen at the recent IQSA conference. Cohen says Aspasa has been very proactive in engaging with SARS, and that it is a pleasure working with an industry that wants to comply with the legislation.
MMD - reaffirming its commitment to customers
MMD Mineral Sizing has recently invested in a major expansion of its facilities in Longmeadow. It was great meeting up with Richard Green once again, who came out from the UK to join in the celebrations. It is incredible to think that this impressive operation started out with a single sales office in Lonehill in 2000, fast moving towards its own state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
Ballito Crushers on a rapid growth plan
Ballito Crushers has grown into a sizeable business, starting off in September 2003 - a few years before developed boomed in the Dolphin Coast of KZN - a fact which has rocketed the company's planned monthly production of 6 000 tpm to 40 000 tpm.
• Our regular Industry report, looks at movers and shakers in the industry, with a special congratulations to AfriSam for yet another M&G Greening the Future award.
• And in our Equipment at work feature, we look at equipment which is setting the benchmark in today's market.