Ground control is defined as the ability to predict and influence the behaviour of rock mass in the vicinity of underground excavations or open pit mining. Ground instability often results from deficiency in quality in ground control activities. Quality in ground control consists of recognising ground conditions, providing geotechnical input in mine design, geotechnical supervision of mining activities (drilling, blasting and support), and monitoring rock mass performance. A quality assurance program in ground control management is achieved by developing and implementing ground control policies and management system.
The ground control quality system at a mine should comprise geotechnical management (organisational structure), documentation (procedures, practices, instructions and specifications), operational activities (drilling, blasting and support installation) and monitoring and inspection.
All ground control activities such as data collection, drilling, blasting, maintenance of excavations and monitoring should be described in the work procedures. Geotechnical inspection and monitoring should allow for preventative and corrective action to be taken before rock mass becomes unstable. Quality assessment consist of defining responsibilities and authority, assuring competency and training, establishing communication and reporting, and document control system. Measuring ground control quality can be achieved by recognising a shortfall in the quality grade and quality level.