Chief Metallurgist at First Quantum Minerals(FQM)

First Quantum Minerals(FQM)

At First Quantum, we free the talent of our people by taking a very different approach which is underpinned by a very different, very definite culture – the “First Quantum Way”.

Working with us is not like working anywhere else, which is why we recruit people who will take a bolder, smarter approach to spot opportunities, solve problems and deliver results.

Our culture is all about encouraging you to think independently and to challenge convention to deliver the best result. That’s how we continue to achieve extraordinary things in extraordinary locations.

Job description:

Purpose of the role

To be accountable for definition, implementation, monitoring & reporting of the Nickel plant process strategy to optimise metallurgical performance with a focus on daily-weekly-monthly optimisation, providing technical reports on plant performance and improvement projects. The role will also encompass the management of daily, weekly and monthly metallurgical accounting/reconciliation processes and to support the preparation of an annual budget and forecast updates.


Job & Candidate Requirements 

Specific Job Responsibility

  • Define and implement the metallurgical process strategy.
  • Consistently deliver and exceed the main KPI’s of throughput, recovery, power and reagent consumption through monitoring and optimisation.
  • Consistently deliver and exceed the main KPIs of metallurgical accounting and technical reporting – (i) accuracy and (ii) timeliness.
  • Directly participate in the daily & weekly work activities of the processing plant, serving as a technical support to operations personnel to enhance performance.
  • Monitor, analyse, control and report process performance indicators (including in-plant sampling & results).
  • Maintain comprehensive technical documentation for crushing, grinding, and flotation processes, including equipment specifications, operating procedures, and change records.
  • Collaborate with the metallurgical team to conduct detailed process simulations and tests to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Conduct regular metallurgical testing and analysis, including mineralogical studies and particle size distribution assessments.
  • Collaborate with the laboratory team to ensure accurate and timely sample analysis and data interpretation.
  • Investigate and resolve process issues and deviations promptly to minimize production disruptions.
  • Take accountability for the monitoring and optimisation of the Process plant’s performance.
  • Work in collaboration with Commercial team to manage the concentrate quality component of the concentrate shed inventory and dispatch management system.
  • Work in collaboration with Commercial team on routine accounts and report on processing reagent stocks, ensuring appropriate levels are maintained at all times.
  • Maintain health, safety and environmental standards and ensure strict compliance within the nickel plant.
  • Coordinate the proper and thorough completion of loss tracking systems to ensure high integrity of production loss and asset performance reporting.
  • Develop and execute the site metallurgical accounting procedures, providing accurate and auditable production reconciliations and reporting systems.
  • Conduct troubleshooting and detailed data analysis to identify root causes and corrective actions to optimize plant performance.
  • Coordinate milling/flotation surveys, plant field trials and metallurgical test-work to evaluate circuit performance and recommend ways of improving performance.
  • Document and maintain a database of all plant trials, including parameter changes and plant responses.
  • Maintain and routinely communicate a database of critical metallurgical values.
  • Ensure strong integration and alignment of technical activities with process operations team.
  • Issue to and follow up on daily operating parameters to the shift teams on key process parameters, tasks and considerations.
  • Constantly seek out and implement innovative solutions, including testing of new reagents.
  • Review plant design, scope and develop justification for capital upgrades.
  • Active involvement in the commissioning of new projects.
  • Interact with Mining team & Geologists on feed ore characteristics and work closely with the geology and Geo metallurgy functions on ore types of definition, control and feed options.
  • Supervise and control the activities, standards of performance of subordinate staff.
  • Ensure cost management is part of on-going decision making.
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the Senior Superintendent.

Job Specific Competencies

  • In-depth knowledge of metallurgical principles, mineral processing, and flotation circuit design.
  • Strong understanding of complex metallurgical information, process improvement and control strategies.
  • Proficiency in process control systems, data analysis tools, and simulation software.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and the ability to analyze complex technical issues.
  • Knowledge of safety regulations and best practices in metallurgical safety.
  • Experience with plant trials, test work, and statistical analysis.
  • Excellent analytical, problem-solving, and data interpretation skills.
  • Strong communication and leadership abilities.
  • Excellent literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Good cognitive and analytical skills for identifying process shortfalls, bottlenecks and implementing metallurgical testing.
  • Project management skills to oversee equipment upgrades and process improvement projects.

Key Job Attributes

  • Must be thorough and detail oriented
  • Must be dependable and self-motivated
  • Must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to interact with people of different cultures.
  • Must be bold, smart and driven.
  • Must be able to work under pressure and multi-task.
  • Must be adaptable and a team player.
  • Work safely and to regulations – setting an example for all personnel.

Experience required to perform in this job

  • 14 years in complex metallurgical operations
  • 4 years in a similar role
  • Direct experience in plant metallurgist roles with specific experience in base metal flotation.
  • Experience in process control systems, process information databases (i.e., PowerBI, PI Process Book) and metallurgical optimization practices required.
  • Demonstrated site-based experience in nickel flotation is a plus.
  • Previous experience in talc flotation circuits is advantageous.
  • Involvement in the commissioning and ramp up of a processing plant is desirable.


  • . Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or a related field. A master’s degree is preferred.
  • Manual SADC class B driver’s licence preferred.
  • EIZ membership eligibility

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