Experienced surface mining practitioners have an opportunity to gain recognition for their expertise through a grandfathering process. Hurry if you need this recognition, but haven't started the process yet. The window for completing it closes at the end of March 2014.

Glen McGaviganThe South African National Institute of Rock Engineering (SANIRE) and the Chamber of Mines (CoM) have approved a process of grandfathering experienced surface mining practitioners in the Chamber of Mines Rock Engineering Certificate (COMREC) for Surface Mining.

Some surface mining practitioners were active in the field of surface mining rock engineering when the COMREC for Surface Mining was first introduced in May 2008. There is a need to recognise their competence.

After all, these people typically had five years' or more post-qualification experience at the time of the introduction of the certificate. Thus, as of 2013, they have 10 years' experience.

The grandfathering criteria consider both knowledge and experience and are based on the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) registration requirements, the South African Institute of Civil Engineering (Geotechnical Division) Geotechnical Code of Practice and the Large Open Pit Project (CSIRO Australia) guidelines for competency.

People have a six-month window, which opened on 1 October, in which to complete the grandfathering process. Application forms have to be completed, a portfolio of evidence supplied and an interview conducted by a panel of extremely experienced open pit practitioners.

Click here for full details of the grandfathering process and application forms.