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Short Course
Environmental law for the mining sector
The diversity of statutory measures, standards and requirements that mines operating in South Africa have to comply with is increasing and changing continuously. These requirements span an entire range of environmental sectors including, air, water, biodiversity, EIA and waste, to name but a few. Management and operational personnel are finding it increasingly difficult to keep track of the changes to the legal environment, what the legal compliance requirements are, and how to interpret and translate them into operational requirements. Knowledge of the complex South African legal regime is therefore essential and of strategic importance to all mines wanting to avoid the increasing number of compliance and enforcement orders issued by government departments. Equipped with the necessary knowledge of the requirements for legal compliance, managers are better able to minimise or avoid legal and financial risks and liabilities whilst operating within the dictates of South African environmental legislation

Purpose of the course:

The purpose of this course is to equip participants with an introduction to and a better understanding of the statutes, laws and regulations regulating environmental issues within the mining context in South Africa. The course will also highlight the potential challenges faced by the mining sector within this legal framework. The focus of the course is on empowering prospective and current environmental managers with a better understanding of the relevant legal framework or that they may perform their functions within that framework, and also on the legal tools and processes available to the environmental manager in fulfilling his or her duties. The course will lead to a practical understanding of the concepts and challenges faced in the mining field throughout the entire lifecycle of a mine, from its exploration, establishment and operation to its de-commissioning and closure.

Admission requirements:

Admission requirements: 
A Grade 12 certificate as a minimum
Learning assumed to be in place: 
Gr 12 or NQF level 4 competencies.

Course outcomes and assessment criteria :

Course outcomes and the associated assessment criteria: 

Study Unit


Assessment Criteria

  After completion of this course, participants will: Participant will be assessed on the following criteria:
1. Scope of knowledge and knowledge literacy

A detailed knowledge and understanding of

  • key terminologies, concepts, principles, and legal models related to mining; and
  • how knowledge of the key terminologies, concepts, principles, and legal models relate to applicable knowledge within the field of Environmental Mining Law.

Demonstrated ability to:

  • Use and explain key terminologies, concepts, principles, requirements and models correctly; and
  • Indicate how the legal requirements relate to mining in general.
2. Method and procedure

The ability to correctly select, evaluate and effectively implement and apply Environmental Mining Law requirements, with recommended methodologies and approaches;

Demonstrated ability to:

Actively source through all relevant planning and legislative texts in order glean the necessary and relevant legal and other rules and requirements in order to solve problems of a legal nature related to planning.

3. Problem solving

The ability to analyse and solve legal issues related to mining in unfamiliar contexts;

Demonstrated ability to, within an unfamiliar context:

  • Propose solutions to certain legal problems related to mining initiatives.
4. Ethics and professional practice An understanding of the ethical implications of decisions, actions and practices specifically relevant to Environmental Management, in accordance with the principles of sustainable development; Demonstrated ability to formulate their own ethical perspectives on selected environmental scenarios.
5. Accessing, processing and managing information

The basic research skills, such as gathering and verifying information from various sources provided, analysing and summarising key aspects and using the information to implement recommended methodologies and approaches;

Demonstrated ability to utilise the resources provided to extract, analyse, summarise and/or apply the relevant information to solve the problems posed in the practical exercises.

6. Producing and communicating information The ability to develop and present accurate and coherent written and verbal information as a portfolio of evidence; Demonstrated ability to effectively record and present diverse information generated as part of practical exercises in a written and verbal format.
7. Context and systems/ processes The ability to understand how the learning material offered in this course relate to contexts, other systems and/or processes and the interactions between these, to make decisions and act appropriately in familiar and new contexts;
  • Demonstrated ability to indicate how:
  • Environmental Mining Law, policies, primary and secondary legislation and guidelines
  • environmental permissions (authorisations, permits, licenses, exemptions)
  • relate to legal problems within the broader context of Mining
8. Management of learning The ability to act as group member and/or a group leader to successfully complete the practical exercises and taking co-responsibility for learning progress and outcome realisation of the group; and Demonstrated ability to actively participate in group work and contribute to successfully completing practical exercises.
9. Accountability The ability to monitor own learning progress, and apply relevant learning strategies and resources to successfully realise all outcomes of this course. Demonstrated ability to achieve the learning objectives in an effective and expeditious manner.


Certificate of successful completion To be awarded a certificate of successful completion, participants require: • a final participant assessment score of at least 60%; and • an examination score of at least 50%; and • course attendance of at least 80%; and • to have made payment in full. Participants who do not qualify for a certificate of successful completion may be awarded a letter of attendance should all requirements be met. To be awarded a letter of attendance participants require: • a final participant assessment score of at least 50%; and • a sub-minimum Examination Score of at least 40%; and • course attendance of at least 80%, and • to have made payment in full.
Method of assessment: 
Continuous Assessment; Structured Practical Work; Peer Evaluation; Examination

Additional information

Mode of delivery: 
Target group: 
Environmental practitioners
Contact us
Telephone number: 
018 299 2715