Surface mining industry association Aspasa says it is moving rapidly to formalise quality standards for sand and stone that are set benefit both producers and their customers.

Since the establishment of a special technical committee on quality management, the association has made strides in addressing quality issues internally among its members, as well as assisting in the formulation of new national standards that will be used as a measure of quality among users of sand and aggregates.

According to Saartjie Duvenhage, chairperson of Aspasa’s technical committee on quality management, a number of large strides have already been made to narrow the gap between customer’s expectations and the actual ability of producers to supply the required materials.

Quick guide to quality management

“First and foremost, we have defined quality and what it means to everyone on the entire supply chain, from extraction, to processing and delivery to the customer’s site. In our case we define this as a product that meets a certain measure of excellence which is free from deficiencies and significant variations.

“To assist our members to achieve this, we have subsequently introduced our own quick guide to quality management. The 123 of Quality Management for Material Producers guide is designed to act as a guideline to quality management and explains the concept with eight steps for members to successfully implement their own systems.

Revising codes

She adds that the committee is furthermore assisting in the revision of South African National Standards codes including SANS 1083, as well as the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) revisions of the G-materials guides and the distribution of guidance specification of G-materials.

“We are working towards introducing mandatory quality audit systems among our members, as well as awarding meritorious achievements among our members. These and other new innovations will also be discussed nationwide as we take our quality solutions to our members further afield across South Africa,” concludes Duvenhage.