The Department for Energy and Mining's Chief Inspector of Mines has the responsibility for assessing applications for underground mine and quarry manager's certificates, under the provisions of the Mines and Works Inspection Regulations 2013.
Current Requirements for Quarry Manager's Certificate
As at 1 January 2021, the Work Health and Safety (Mine Manager) Variation Regulations 2020 ('Mine Manager Regulations') came into effect.
SafeWork SA will regulate mine manager competency under the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA) (WHS Regulations). This is a
result of the introduction of the Work Health and Safety (Mine Manager Variation) Regulations 2020 (SA). SafeWork SA now has jurisdiction
with respect to the mine manager competency requirements.
Essentially, it is for the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to determine whether a particular mine (quarry) manager is
competent to be the mine (quarry) manager based on their ability to perform specified duties based on knowledge, training and experience.
What has changed?
Mine manager competency requirements will no longer include:
- a government administered assessment and certification process (previously administered by the Department for Energy and Mining)
- minimum age requirements
- a mining law examination
Mine Manager Competency
Regulation 615A requires that mine operators appoint a competent person to be a mine manager. A mine operator will need to independently
assess the competence of a person to be a mine manager. Mine operators and mine managers should be familiar with the Work Health and
Safety Act 2012 (SA) (WHS Act) and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA).
A person is competent to be a mine (quarry) manager if the person has satisfied the mine operator that they:
- hold the relevant training, qualifications, experience, knowledge and skills to manage and supervise the mining operations. Note,
qualifications are unspecified for sites <20 workers and a minimum of a Diploma for sites >20 workers.
- has knowledge of the requirements of the Act and these regulations; and
- is capably\e of managing all hazards and risks at the mine.
Quarry sites with 20 or more workers
A person is competent to be a mine manager in relation to a quarry with 20 or more workers if the person has satisfied the mine operator
that they meet the requirements under 615A(9)(a) and the person:
- holds a degree in mining engineering or a diploma in surface operations management from a university or tertiary institution in
Australia, or an equivalent institution as determined by the regulator; and
- the person has at least three (3) years practical experience in quarrying during which the person had:
- one (1) year quarrying operational experience; and
- experience supervising quarry operations.
Quarry sites with less than 20 workers
A mine operator will need to independently assess if a person is competent to be a mine manager at a quarry site with less than 20 workers.
While the legislation does not require specific qualifications, a Certificate IV in Surface Extraction Operations for lower risk operations and a
Diploma of Surface Operations Management for higher risk operations are good benchmarks. Equally, the mine operator has the responsibility
to ensure the person appointed remains competent. Therefore, ensuring there is evidence that the person regularly updates their skills, and has
current skills and knowledge to undertake the role at the site they are managing is important.
Managing multiple quarry sites
The mine operator is prohibited from appointing a person as mine manager where that person is already managing another mine (or multiple
quarry sites). A mine operator who fails to do this commits an offence. This remains the case unless the mine operator has been granted an
exemption from the Regulator. An exemption may enable a mine operator to appoint a mine manager to multiple sites in certain situations.
A mine operator will need to independently assess the competence of a person to be a mine manager. A mine operator must ensure that they
assess a person's competence to manage the site and maintain adequate records of their training and experience. While there is no definitive
way records are to be kept, a mine operator must keep a record of:
- the appointment of each mine manager
- individual record of the mine manager (kept for the duration of the person's appointment as mine manager, and for at least two (2) years
after the person ceases to be a mine manager at the site) in relation to:
- formal qualifications
- relevant training and professional development
- past experience
- knowledge and skills
- knowledge of the requirements of the Act and regulations