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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Further Education and Training Certificate: Mineral Processing 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
64889  Further Education and Training Certificate: Mineral Processing 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
MQA - Mining Qualifications Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Further Ed and Training Cert  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  137  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification replaces: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
49049  Further Education and Training Certificate: Lump Ore Beneficiation  Level 4  NQF Level 04  166  Complete 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:

This qualification is intended to address the training needs for metallurgical process controllers. This competence provides the skills needed to supervise and coordinate significant processes within metallurgical operations. It also provides the basis upon which further related learning and career development can take place.

Through the employment of competent operating personnel, employers and in turn the field and sub-field have confidence that this critical work in the industry is efficiently carried out.

Social development and economic transformation are enhanced through efficient extraction, and career development and personal job satisfaction of operating personnel are facilitated through the learning process used to achieve the competency specified.

Learners credited with this qualification will be able to:
  • Communicate and solve problems in Mineral Processing.
  • Maintain Occupational Health, Safety and general housekeeping.
  • Lead a team to work co-operatively to achieve objectives.
  • Control metallurgical operations from a control room.

    Rationale:

    "Minerals Processing" in this context refers to the extraction of valuable minerals contained in mined ore and the production of related products, or enriched concentrates, for further processing or sale. Processes employed in the recovery of gold, platinum, uranium, base metals, coal, iron ore, diamonds, manganese etc. are provided for in this qualification. Recovery rates and cost implications relating to minerals extraction processes must be optimised to ensure the ongoing viability of the producer. Obtaining this qualification will equip learners to supervise and coordinate the Mineral processing operation in achieving this goal.

    End products of these processes are metals or metal compounds that can be used in a wide variety of applications, for example:
  • Gold used for jewellery, currency, electronic components, dentistry.
  • Uranium used for nuclear power stations fuel, nuclear powered ships and submarines, and isotopes for instrumentation.
  • Base metals like copper and aluminium for conductors, zinc for anti-corrosion coatings, cobalt for paint, and lead for battery poles.
  • Platinum group metals for jewellery and catalysts.
  • Mineral sand products (titanium etc.) for steel hardening, paint pigments and special alloys.
  • Lump Ore Beneficiation done to increase grade of the ore in order to minimise the cost of subsequent transport and further processing.

    Production of these commodities is of tremendous benefit to the economy, as well as society, by way of local and foreign investments and sale of products.

    Typical learners are operating personnel working in a metallurgical plant. A learner achieving this qualification will be qualified to monitor and control a mineral processing plant.

    This is the third qualification in the learning pathway for Mineral Processing. A learner would proceed from this qualification to a National Diploma or Degree in Extraction Metallurgy or Chemical engineering. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    This qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through recognition of prior learning.

    Evidence can be presented in a variety of forms, including international or previous local qualifications, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, work records, portfolios, videos of practice and performance records.

    Access to the Qualification:

    Access is open, however it is preferable that learners have completed the National Certificate in Minerals Processing, NQF Level 3. 

    RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    Fundamental Component:
  • All unit standards totalling 56 credits are compulsory.

    Core Component:
  • All 37 credits are compulsory.

    Elective Component:
  • A minimum of 44 credits must be obtained from the rest of the electives to make up a minimum of 137 credits for the qualification. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    Range:
  • Workplace refers to the Minerals Processing environment.
  • Minerals processing refers to the processing of Gold, Uranium, Base metals, Platinum, Minerals Sands and Lump Ore.
  • Metallurgical Operations include Milling- and Classifications, Leaching, Elution, Carbon adsorption, Froth flotation, Thickening, dense medium separation, de-watering, resin adsorption, Uranium recovery, Crushing etc.

    1. Communicate and solve problems in the workplace.

    2. Maintain Occupational Health, Safety and general housekeeping.

    3. Lead a team to work co-operatively to achieve objectives.

    4. Control metallurgical operations from a control room.

    Critical Cross field Outcomes:

    The Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are addressed in the qualification as follows:

    While overseeing mineral process operations, qualifying learners are able to:

    Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical thinking have been made:
  • Monitor and control plant, equipment and processes in a minerals processing environment in terms of physical condition and operation.
  • Monitor plant and control equipment and processes in a minerals processing environment in terms of compliance with operational procedures and quality assurance requirements.
  • Respond to non-conformances in a minerals processing environment.
  • Respond to emergencies in a minerals processing environment (plant, buildings, process).
  • Apply preventative or remedial action in accordance with operating procedures.

    Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community by:
  • Contribute to team goals and achievements by adhering to agreed working methods and processes.
  • Contribute to team efficiency by supporting other team members in the minerals processing environment.
  • Adhere to team protocols, codes of conduct and generally promoting a positive team spirit.
  • Coordinate one's work with that of others in the direct surrounding area, internal and external operations.

    Organise and manage oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively by:
  • Conduct shift take-over and hand-over activities effectively in order to ensure typical continuous operations in a minerals processing plant.
  • Apply operating instructions to control and respond to process plant conditions.
  • Take preventive and remedial action to solve operating problems in a process plant.
  • Maintain product quality by adhering to quality assurance requirement in a minerals processing environment.

    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information by:
  • Monitor operational parameters in a minerals processing environment.
  • Collate and sort quality assurance data.
  • Monitor and interpret quality assurance data against the requirements.
  • Manage records, reports and stock.

    Communicate effectively by using mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations by:
  • Interpret, record and report minerals processing plant data obtained from visual inspections, instrument readings and process control feedback.
  • Complete reports, log sheets, shift handover activities and other process control activities effectively, ensuring that all other team members are aware of critical information.
  • Prepare and submit reports, non-conformance reports and other required documentation.
  • Work with modern communications technology such as computer messaging, cellular phones and radio systems in a process control environment.

    Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others by:
  • Work according to health and safety regulations.
  • Use relevant terminology and adhere to standard protocols such as SI, ISO and other standards applicable in the minerals processing environment.
  • Control technologically advanced production equipment according to operating procedures.
  • Work and interpret technologically advanced instrumentation and computer systems.

    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem solving contexts do not exist in isolation by:
  • Understand the impact of upstream, downstream and parallel minerals processing systems upon each other and his own role in each context.
  • Request assistance from other team members and support personnel.
  • Assist other team members and work together with support personnel to investigate and resolve problem areas.
  • Adjust equipment and machinery while taking cognizance of the impact on other processes. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Range:
  • Workplace refers to the Minerals Processing environment.
  • Minerals processing refers to the processing of Gold, Uranium, Base metals, Platinum, Minerals Sands and Lump Ore.
  • Metallurgical Operations include Milling- and Classifications, Leaching, Elution, Carbon adsorption, Froth flotation, Thickening, dense medium separation, de-watering, resin adsorption, Uranium recovery, Crushing etc.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:

    1.1 Oral and written communication is maintained and adapted as required to promote effective interaction in a metallurgical plant.
    1.2. Mathematical principles are applied while performing the tasks related to mineral processing.
    1.3. Process problems are resolved and recorded in accordance with set standards.
    1.4. Time and the work processes are managed to achieve effective control of the different operations within a metallurgical plant.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1. Procedures, material requirements and methodologies are employed in compliance with the prescribed Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental standards.
    2.2. Plant safety, quality and efficiency maintained at optimal levels in accordance with organisational standards.
    2.3. Mechanisms for minimising of Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental impacts and risks, as specified in current legislation, are ensured to be in place in place.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

    3.1. The principles of leadership are explained and applied within a work unit.
    3.2. The budgeting function within a business unit is explained, planned and applied in accordance with set parameters.
    3.3. The organisation`s objectives and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are analysed in order to determine the direction of work units.
    3.4. Knowledge of group dynamics is applied to build a team.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:

    4.1. Knowledge of controlling and operating a metallurgical plant from a control room is demonstrated in accordance with standard operating practices.
    4.2. Metallurgical processes are monitored and controlled using various automated methods.
    4.3. The impact of all processes and material variables on the specific metallurgical operation is integrated as required.
    4.4. Corrective action is taken to maintain product quality and process integrity.
    4.5. Production results and deviations are reported and logged on a continual basis according to data logging requirements.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Integrated assessment at the level of the qualification provides an opportunity for learners to show they are able to integrate concepts, actions and ideas achieved across a range of unit standards and contexts.

    Integrated assessment must evaluate the quality of observable performance as well as the thinking behind the performance, and must be based on a summative assessment guide. The guide will spell out how the assessor will assess different aspects of the performance and will include:
  • Observing the learner at work (both in the primary activity as well as other interactions).
  • Asking questions and initiating short discussions to test understanding.
  • Looking at records and reports in the portfolio and reviewing previous assessments.

    In some cases inference will be necessary to determine competence depending on the nature and context within which performance takes place.

    It is necessary to ensure that the fundamental part of the qualification is also targeted to ensure that while the competence may have been achieved in a particular context, learners are able to apply it in a range of other contexts and for future learning. The assessment should also ensure that all the critical cross-field outcomes have been achieved.

    The learner may choose in which language he/she wants to be assessed. This should be established as part of a process of preparing the learner for assessment and familiarising the learner with the approach being taken.

    While this is primarily a workplace-based qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be introduced if pertinent to any of the exit-level outcomes. The assessment process should cover both the explicit tasks required for the qualification as well as the understanding of the concepts and principles that underpin the activities associated with minerals processing. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The proposed qualification was compared with qualifications, courses and other learning interventions available elsewhere in the world in order to ensure that the qualification structure and unit standards proposed are comparable in terms of level, scope of qualifications and competencies covered.

    In many countries related training is offered at tertiary education level (typically for higher "NQF" levels than the Level 4 of this proposed qualification), or on-the-job training, which is often very site-specific and not formally recognised.

    It was interesting to note that as the levels of qualifications increase, the competencies required become broader or more generic. Specific competencies become more specialised, but aspects such as Safety, Environment, and Quality etc. appear in the majority of courses and qualifications.

    Formal Qualifications:

    Relevant formal qualifications were found on the Australian and New Zealand frameworks. The proposed FETC: Minerals Processing compared well with both these qualifications.

    Australia: National Training Information Services:

    The following programme is offered:

    Certificate IV in Metalliferous Mining Operations (Processing):

    Numerous competencies from this qualification/programme are within the proposed South African Mining and Minerals SGB qualification or in the learning pathway leading to the qualification.

    Some of the competencies in the Australian qualification are:

    Core:
  • Work safely.
  • Communicate in the workplace.
  • Contribute to quality work outcomes.
  • Participate in environmental work practices.
  • Mine supervision:
    > Apply, monitor, rectify and report statutory/legal compliance systems.
    > Apply and monitor mine emergency preparedness and response systems.
  • General:
    > Apply risk management processes.
    > Conduct safety and health investigations.
    > Communicate information.

    Elective units:
  • General:
    > Apply basic First Aid.
    > Apply advanced First Aid.
  • Mine supervision:
    > Apply and monitor mine services and infrastructure systems.
    > Commission/recommission plant.
    > Supervise work in confined spaces.
  • General processing:
    > Manage plant shutdown and restart.
    > Decommission plant.
    > Analyse data and report results.
  • By-product management:
    > Monitor and coordinate waste and process water treatment.
  • Supervision:
    > Develop work priorities.
    > Develop teams and individuals.
    > Coordinate implementation of customer service strategies.
    > Monitor a safe workplace.
    > Promote innovation and change.
    > Implement effective workplace relationships.
    > Implement operational plan.
    > Implement workplace information system.
    > Implement continuous improvement.
    > Promote team effectiveness.
    > Contribute to assessment.
    > Plan and organise assessment.
    > Assess competence.
    > Participate in assessment validation.
    > Provide training through instruction and demonstration of work skills.

    New Zealand: The New Zealand Qualification Authority:

    The following programme is offered:

    National Certificate in Extractive Industries (Mineral Processing - Alluvial Gold), Level 4, Credits 216.

    The structure, outcomes and purpose of this qualification compare well with the proposed South African Mining and Minerals SGB qualification.
    Some of the competencies in the New Zealand qualification are:

    Compulsory:
  • Suppress fire with hand extinguishers and fixed hose reels.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of electrical safe working practices.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of electrical testing to ensure safety.
  • Operate alluvial gold plant.
  • Maintain an alluvial gold plant.
  • Manage first aid in emergency situations.
  • Provide first aid.
  • Provide resuscitation.
  • Protect health and safety in the workplace.
  • Communicate information in a specified workplace.
  • Sling and communicate during crane operations.

    Elective:
  • Select, use, and care for engineering hand tools.
  • Select, use, and maintain portable hand held engineering power tools.
  • Follow safe working practices on an engineering work site.
  • Lubricate machines in industry.

    Other courses and programmes:

    ASM International runs courses in the USA, Canada as well as the UK.

    Elements of Metallurgy:
  • Steps in processing common ores to metals.
  • Beneficiating and reducing methods.
  • Types of furnaces.
  • Refractories.

    These items could very well form part of the training for the achievement of the proposed Minerals Processing qualification. However, they are not organised in the same manner as the proposed qualification.

    India:

    In India the courses offered are pitched well above the level of this proposed certificate. There are also degree courses and hence a comparative analysis was not practical.

    Practical Metallurgical Solutions offers courses in various countries all over the world including:
  • North & South America.
  • India.
  • China.
  • Europe.
  • Japan.
  • South Korea.

    The courses are not as broad as qualifications, but cover the learning that is part of the FETC: Minerals Processing.

    Britain:

    The competencies required for Minerals Processing are very similar to those required in the Chemical field. Competencies from the City & Guilds Level 3 NVQ in Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Petro-Chemical Manufacture illustrate this observation:
  • Controlling Process Operations.
  • Technical Support.
  • Safety.
  • Teamwork.
  • Work handover.
  • Preparing, controlling, maintaining, restoring and completing processing operations.
  • Quality management.
  • Cleaning and preparing equipment.
  • SHEQ.
  • Problem solving.
  • Risk assessment.
  • Quality control.

    Conclusion:

    It can be concluded that the competencies addressed by the FETC: Minerals Processing are in line with courses and qualifications from other parts of the world and represent best practice. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification allows for both vertical and horizontal articulation.

    Vertical articulation exists with:
  • National Diploma: Extraction Metallurgy, NQF Level 5.
  • National Diploma: Chemical Engineering, NQF Level 5.

    Horizontal articulation exists with:
  • ID 58538: Further Education Training Certificate: Chemical Operations, NQF Level 4. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against the qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or by an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in the associated unit standards.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Assessors should be in possession of:
  • An appropriate qualification above the level of the qualification and preferably relevant workplace practical experience.
  • Registration as an assessor with the relevant ETQA. 

  • REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    NOTES 
    This qualification replaces qualification 49049, "Further Education and Training Certificate: Lump Ore Beneficiation", Level 4, 166 credits. 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  8016  Maintaining occupational health, safety and general housekeeping  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  117877  Perform one-to-one training on the job  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  242810  Manage Expenditure against a budget  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  261017  Monitor and control a metallurgical plant from a control room  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Core  244105  Participate in a task team in a process environment  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119472  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral/signed communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119457  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119467  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119465  Write/present/sign texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9015  Apply knowledge of statistics and probability to critically interrogate and effectively communicate findings on life related problems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119462  Engage in sustained oral/signed communication and evaluate spoken/signed texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119469  Read/view, analyse and respond to a variety of texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  9016  Represent analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119471  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  7468  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business, national and international issues  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119459  Write/present/sign for a wide range of contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  260998  Administer first aid in the event of cyanide poisoning  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  261137  Control a resin adsorption process in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  261003  Control the Biological Oxidation (Biox) Process  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  260989  Control the carbon adsorption process in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  260980  Control the crushing and screening operation in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  261011  Control the de-watering process in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  261010  Control the dense medium separation process in a metallurgical plant.  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  260978  Control the drying operation in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  261013  Control the elution process in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  260988  Control the froth flotation process in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  260983  Control the gravity concentration process in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  260985  Control the jig operation process in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  260999  Control the lump ore beneficiation process  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  260986  Control the milling and classification operation in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  261002  Control the operation of an electric arc furnace  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  261118  Control the process of uranium recovery from solution in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  260987  Control the thickening process in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  120389  Explain and apply the concept, principles and theories of motivation in a leadership context  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  261117  Generate steam by means of a coal-burning boiler  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  261012  Oversee the leaching operation in a metallurgical plant  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    When qualifications are replaced, some (but not all) of their learning programmes are moved to the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replaced qualification.
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.