Mineral Processing Operator
Mineral processing operators use equipment to process mineral ores until the final form is produced.
Mineral-bearing ore is subjected to various processes to extract the minerals. The ore is first crushed, then processing equipment such as screens, grinding mills, filters, flotation cells, tanks and conveyors are used to extract concentrated minerals. The minerals in their final form are produced by smelting.
Duties & Tasks
Mineral processing operators may perform the following tasks:
- assemble and dismantle equipment and fittings in ore-processing plants
- operate ore-crushing and screening plants using manual and computer-based systems, conveyers, feeders, weight-meters, roll mills, pumps, jigs, spirals and flotation cells
- load, unload and store materials such as treatment chemicals and tools
- mix ore-treating chemicals, catalysts and reagents
- supply and control molten metal in furnaces
- clear blockages in materials-handling and transporting equipment
- clean, wash and maintain equipment, and remove spillages and rubbish
- maintain auxiliary systems, such as drainage, fluids-pouring and conveyor-belt systems
- take samples of materials for testing
- use thickeners in the drying processes, pump tailings and manage tailings dams and associated raw-water systems.
Mineral processing operators can be involved in all aspects of mineral processing, including sampling and laboratory work. They are often located in remote areas and working conditions may include dust, heat and noise. Mineral processing operators work in teams, and shiftwork may be involved.
- enjoy practical and manual work
- able to cope with the physical demands of the job
- mechanical aptitude.