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New environmental audit for surface miners

An all-new environmental audit system is on the cards for members of surface mining industry association, ASPASA’s, that will simplify the process and improve an organisation’s ability to undertake effective environmental management.

The new audits will begin from 2022 and sets out to be more inclusive than previous audits with criteria that are easier to understand and implement. The new system will also require an overall comprehension of the environmental requirements on a mine rather than encouraging a tick box approach.

ASPASA director, Nico Pienaar, says that a special workshop was held mid-year this year to fine-tune both the statutory and regulatory requirements of such an audit, as well as define the process of auditing members’ mines that is thorough, fast and efficient.

Positive outcomes

“Our aim is to achieve environmental compliance for all ASPASA member operations with a user friendly, practical compliance audit and to equip site managers with the correct information and knowledge to be able to deal with regulatory authorities and other interested and affected stakeholders.

“Following a positive dry run on some trial sites we have also decided to implement a special workshop to assist managers to prepare for the first audit of its type and to have a good understanding of the relevant information.

“They will see that the audit uses existing About Face Audit information and filing systems as well as introducing some additional components that are designed to assist operations to be compliant. This type of audit is designed to empower managers to be able to deal with environmental issues and equip them with the necessary tools to be able to interact with NGO’s, communities and stakeholders.

True compliance

“Rather than a tick box, this audit is based on the generic flow of operations with weightings according to the mode of operation and the scores achieved in the audit will give a true reflection of the level of compliance on the site rather than just measuring paperwork,” says Nico.

He explains that ASPASA is a recognised world leader in the implementation of mandatory environmental audits for its members and that the new audit system is a complete evolution and modernisation of previous versions that is in keeping with modern requirements.

  • Managers who would like to attend the pre-audit workshops should contact ASPASA, Nico Pienaar, Tel: (011) 791 3327, Fax: 086 647 8034, Email:, Web:     
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