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Systematic Review and Compliance Audits of Ground Control Management Plans

SRK News | Issue 54: Rock Engineering and Slope Stability

A4   |   Letter

Section rating score and category descriptions of Ground Control Management Plans

A systematic approach to review and audit Ground Control Management Plans (GCMP) for both open pit and underground operations adds value and provides a clear priority list for continued improvement. The process should be based on and tailored to meet the guidelines provided by the appropriate local Mines Inspectorate jurisdiction for the operation under review, as well as reflect the in-house corporate governance requirements.   

An approach has been developed to audit GCMP documentation, related operating standards, management plans, procedures and the site implementation process to ensure compliance to legislation and industry expectations. The approach is designed to evaluate and score the mine’s GCMP documentation and associated operating procedures consistently, to satisfy legal requirements and robustness to the rigours of regular Mines Inspectorate geotechnical audits.

The Mines Inspectorate recognise that mining experience and professional judgment in geotechnical engineering are not easily quantified, but can contribute significantly to formulating various solutions to a particular mining problem. Management is required to recognise, identify and address the geotechnical issues that are unique to their mine, using current geotechnical knowledge and tools.

Methodology: This systematic approach provides a methodology, checklist and assessment process that auditors can follow when evaluating GCMP documentation and auditing operational compliance to the plan.

Table 1 above summarises the overall section rating score and category descriptions that can be used to evaluate the outcome for each section based on their individual elements audited.

The auditor rates these specific element questions, which drilldown into each section according to compliance and priority for improvement, if required. Each element question is assessed and a priority level is assigned based on documentation and operational compliance.

Any comments and supporting evidence needed or provided by the mine site is noted and collected as part of this process. Each section is provided with an overall rating according to standard definitions (Table 1 above).

Results: Following the audit, the site receives a report highlighting the level of compliance of their GCMP and supporting documentation, evaluating the effectiveness of the controls; and an action plan with priorities addressing areas requiring improvement.

Conclusions: This audit methodology is intended to provide transpa rency and identify any deficiencies or vulnerabilities in the current GCMP documentation, supporting procedures and implementation on site. In the long term, this process will encourage a systematic self-management and auditing tool of ground control-related risks, which typically improve safety and performance on site. It is important to remember you cannot manage what you don’t measure.

Louie Human:

SRK Africa