Mining Technician

South Africa’s mineral and mining sector contributes significantly to the national economy and employs over 450 000 people. The process of extracting valuable minerals and metals from diamonds and gold, to reserves of iron ore, platinum and others, is labour intensive and poses significant environmental, safety and health risks. Technical prowess and accuracy is needed in the mining environment to minimise impacts during exploration, extraction, processing and transportation in mining operations.

Mining technicians provide technical assistance and research around location, extraction, transportation and equipment used in the extraction of minerals and metals. They conduct topographical surveys and collect and prepare rock samples to determine chemical and physical properties to inform the most efficient extraction of minerals. They also monitor the use of equipment and assist in enforcing strict occupational health, safety and environment regulations.

Mining technicians assist mining engineers, metallurgists, production supervisors and other professionals with mineral exploration processes. They work above and below ground under dangerous working conditions and occasionally work in a laboratory environment to test mineral samples.

Skills

Mining technicians need an extensive and sound knowledge of rock and mineral characteristics, physical properties and extraction processes and procedures. They will also benefit from:

  • Ability to research and conduct land surveys
  • Understanding of mine health, safety and environment regulations
  • Good problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Physical stamina and endurance to with stand harsh work conditions

Tasks

Assist in planning and designing a mine, mine shafts, tunnels and underground facilities

Conduct research and geological and topographical surveys

Collect, prepare and test rock, mineral and metal samples

Monitor technical, regulatory health, safety and environment aspects in mining processes

Studies

B.Sc.Eng. in Mining Engineering at Wits

B.Eng. in Mining Engineering at UP

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Mining Engineering at UNISA

Employers

National, provincial and local government.

Mining companies.

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