Surface mining industry association Aspasa is carrying out an industry- wide survey of its quarrying members to determine the sector’s adoption of national and international quality standards.

Testing standards in the quarrying industry

It is hoped the survey, compiled by the associations’ technical committee, under the leadership of Saartjie Duvenage and Barry Pearce, will provide a snapshot of the industry and a baseline to gauge future interventions. This type of survey will be more commonly used in future and will allow benchmarking of the quality awareness of the industry in years to come.

According to Aspasa director, Nico Pienaar, no data exists on the use of formal quality standards to test the quality of products supplied. However, tighter requirements from building and construction professionals are driving ever tighter tolerances and aggregate suppliers need to be ready to meet future demand.

“In the quarrying industry many methods are used to determine the grade and type of sand and aggregate supplied. However, not all of them are acceptable in the modern built industry and may lead to disputes or the exclusion of certain suppliers in future.

“As a progressive industry, it is our intention to take the concerns of construction professionals seriously, measure the percentage of our members who have formal quality standards and respond with practical interventions that are tailored to requirements. These interventions may be in the form of training, guides or specially developed Aspasa quality standards that can be adapted to the minerals supplied by individual mines,” says Pienaar.

He concludes that the survey has been widely distributed and information will be gathered during the course of the several weeks. Where data is inconclusive or further information is required, the association may do follow-up surveys to pinpoint issues and challenges.