Metallurgists research, control and develop processes that are used in extracting minerals from ore (rock) for refining metals.

Duties & Tasks

Metallurgists may perform the following tasks:

  • apply physical and chemical methods to separate valuable minerals from their ores
  • design processes to separate valuable minerals from ores and to reduce minerals to metals and alloys
  • design and operate plants to produce concentrated mineral products and metals
  • supervise sampling from various stages of processing for laboratory analysis and testing
  • modify and develop processes to improve recovery and quality as well as to reduce waste and costs
  • develop and operate processes to meet environmental requirements
  • supervise a team of metallurgists, technicians and other workers
  • advise operators on production methods and quality control systems
  • communicate with other professionals (such as geologists, mining engineers, chemists, administrators and managers) to improve efficiencies
  • control expenditure and prepare budgets and technical reports.

Working Conditions

Metallurgists work at mines, mineral processing sites, laboratories, research centres or offices. They usually work with other professionals such as mining or construction engineers, geologists, mineralogists, technicians and tradespeople.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy technical and engineering work
  • willing to adhere to safety requirements
  • able to identify, analyse and solve problems
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • practical and creative
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • able to accept responsibility.

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