- determining the feasibility of mining and processing various mineral deposits, together with the mining engineer and geologist
- plant design, especially installation and commissioning
- developing new metallurgical processes
- optimising current processes
- quality and environmental control and management
At the Refineries, chemical engineers are involved in the following activities:
- high-value refinery trouble-shooting
- process engineering and design
- production supervision and management
- technical supervision
- project engineering and management
- research and development
- technical contracting
- environmental impact assessment and its management
What you should study
You can study towards a BSc Eng in either metallurgy or chemical engineering (minerals processing). This is four-year full-time course. You will also be required to complete structured vacation work. To be accepted at university for this degree, you must have a senior certificate with university exemption and a C symbol in both mathematics and science on higher grade.
Graduates should have degrees from preferably the universities of Cape Town, the Witwatersrand, Pretoria or Natal.
Graduates at Impala Platinum can join one of the operating divisions:
- Mineral Processes, including the smelter and concentrating plant
On joining the company, the new metallurgist/chemical engineer undergoes a period of familiarisation and undertakes shift work to develop practical knowledge and skills. This includes laboratory work. A chemical engineer is expected to attend a number of prescribed training courses, aimed mainly at developing managerial skills.
On qualifying, the career path for metallurgists at Mineral Processes is as follows:
- Plant Metallurgist
- Senior Plant Metallurgist
- Senior Metallurgical Engineer
Graduates joining the Refineries may progress to the level of senior chemical engineering, once they have had relevant, practical experience in a wide cross-section of activities. This is followed by promotion to either production, commercial, technical or management level. Allowance is also made for those who wish to become technical specialists in a particular field.
After graduation, Impala employs development and analytical chemists who are involved in:
- method development and validation
- instrument commissioning and calibration
- the investigation and recommendation of new technology
- the training of analysts on new instrumentation
- routine analysis of samples
What you should study
Ideally you should complete a BSc, majoring in Chemistry with Statistics as the second major. Applicants must study to honours level.
The universities have different selection procedures to select candidates for a BSc degree.
On joining the company, the new development chemist will be given the opportunity to work in as many of the company's laboratories as possible so that they are familiar with the various processes used and to develop their knowledge and skills.
The career path is as follows:
- Development chemist
- Senior chemist
- Chief chemist
- Laboratory manager
The main purpose of a chemist's job, besides ensuring the day-to-day running of the laboratory, is to manage and provide analytical services. All Impala Platinum's laboratories are run in accordance with ISO 17025 1999. Chemists verify that results to be reported are accurate and have technical responsibility for the laboratory.
We are looking for
People who have innovative thinking abilities. Ideal candidates must be able to lead people, have an attitude that is receptive to change and an aptitude for science and mathematics. In addition, the successful metallurgist/chemical engineer should be:
- able to think logically and analytically
- a self starter
- highly motivated
- strong in communication skills
- be interested in science