Job profiles and descriptions - Proskills

Job profiles and descriptions - Proskills

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 1 of 41

The extractive and mineral processing industry is a fast moving high tech industry that requires

workers of a special calibre;

They need to be highly motivated and able to work with autonomy;

They will be working with highly specialised and very expensive equipment. Equipment that will

need maintenance and repair…

Sounds a bit like your previous job description?

Read on…

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 1 of 41


Industry Profile 2

Job Descriptions 3

Sample MOD Trades 4

Job Descriptions:

Driller 6

Electrician 8

Fixed Plant Fitter 10

Fixed Plant Operators: (examples only)

• Asphalt Plant 12

• Primary Crusher 14

• Screening Plant 16

Laboratory Technician 18

Light Vehicle Mechanic 20

Logistics Manager 22

Mobile Plant Operators: (examples only)

• Dump Truck Driver 24

• Front End Loader 26

Road/Rail Loadout Operator 28

Shotfirer 30

Team Leader/Foreman 32

Weighbridge Operator 34

Structure/Progression Routes 36

EPIC Courses 38

Additional Useful Contacts and Further Information 40

Acknowledgements and Contacts 40

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 2 of 41

Industry Profile for the Extractive & Mineral Processing Industries

The extractive and mineral processing industries are vital to our everyday lives as they provide us with

places to live, work and play. These key industries provide the essential raw materials for use by the

construction industry, agricultural, manufacturing and by the energy production industry.

Each year the industry supports:

• the building of 180,000 new homes

• £1.6 billion on school and university


• a £1.15 billion hospital building programme

• maintenance of our 230,000-mile road and

10,000-mile rail networks

• a £1.7 billion programme of improvements

to water services

• the continuing upgrading of UK airports

• supplies of special sands for glass foundry

and other industries

• cleansing of emissions from coal-fired

power stations

• the construction of lottery-supported arts

and community projects

The industry employs approximately 49,000 direct employees across 700 companies with a further 20,000

indirect employees. The industry has operational sites in every local authority area in the United Kingdom.

Approximately 10% of the industry is in Scotland, with 8% each in Wales and Northern Ireland. Principal

areas are Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Somerset and Central Scotland.

Annual production exceeds 250 million tonnes, of which over 90% is used in the construction industry, the

remainder being used widely including in the production of paints, inks, paper, concrete products, glass,

pottery and ceramics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, fertilisers, metals, plastics, cosmetics, toothpaste. Total

value exceeds £6 billion.

The industry has committed itself to minimising the call on primary aggregates and is investing heavily in

facilities which will maximise the proportion of recycled and secondary aggregates. Britain leads Europe in

the race to recycle with these materials now accounting for around a quarter of Great Britain’s aggregate


Extraction is by one of three methods:


In terms of the number of working sites, numbers employed and volume of output, aggregates is, by far,

the largest sub-sector producing over 200 million tonnes per year. There are more than 1,400 sites through

Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1 .


In the UK this is primarily sands and gravels for construction aggregates from seabed deposits particularly

the North Sea, English and Bristol Channel. Some inland sand deposits are extracted from barges

operating from lagoons operated by quarries with a very high water table.


In this country mining currently includes: coal; salt; potash; gypsum; silica sand; dimensional stone. UK

Coal and Scottish Coal are by far the largest producers of coal both mined and open cast. UK Coal

employs 4,200 employees in total operating across 6 deep mines and 5 open cast mines. The largest

single mine is Cleveland Potash (Boulby Mine) extracting potash and rock salt from off the Yorkshire


1 Data Source: Quarries & Quarry Equipment Directory

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 3 of 41

Employment and Career Opportunities

Job Descriptions

The industry is keen to attract, employ and retain the best people

available by offering competitive salaries, benefits and safe

working environments. Employers are committed to developing

employees to attain their full potential by investing in training and

continuing professional and personal growth. The industry offers

a wealth of job and career opportunities ranging from: mining,

civil, mechanical and industrial engineering, geology, estate

management, logistics, contracting, operations and

production, environment, planning and development, health

and safety, finances, IT, sales, marketing and HR; with just a

very few of these opportunities for the quarrying industry

highlighted here in this document.

In the following pages there are descriptors of just some of the careers and job roles to be found in the

extractive and mineral processing industries. More details can be found on the;; and websites.

Actual job titles do vary across the industry so it is important that the component parts of the profession are

looked at and consideration is given to mapping your skills to that required by the industry.

As with any profession you are entering for the first time then you may need to prove yourself before

progressing. This document is meant to enable you to be aware of the industry needs prior to applying.

The layout of the job descriptions is explained below:

‣ Task. These bullet points indicate the type of operations and competencies required to carry out the

job role. You need to look at the competencies and match them to your own skills and training

rather than concentrate on job titles.

Job Context. This description gives an idea of the context in which the job role is undertaken within

the industry. It may indicate other indirect requirements of the role. There may also be details of

progression possibilities.

‣ Qualifications/Training. This section gives details of the qualifications that are desirable to have or

will be achieved whilst carrying out the role. To progress or to appeal to the industry this section

gives you an idea of the training and qualifications that could be achieved prior leaving the services.

Health and safety is paramount in any job within the industry and proof of competence is a legal

requirement of the HSE.

‣ Experience. This is an important section as experience gained during service can be matched to

that required by the extractive and mineral processing industries and needs to be highlighted in any

CV or interview.

Each job description also includes a brief comment on working conditions. These comments are meant

to be a realistic summary of the working environment and types of salary ranges for the job. Working hours

are indicative only and will vary from employer to employer; flexibility is preferred and advantageous.

These descriptions are not meant to be specific, or binding, and will vary between employers. The industry

will also be interested in generic skills such as administration and management. Transportation is a major

function; as a consequence there are many job and career opportunities in logistics.

Skilled workers in the industry are highly regarded and much sought after. Employers in the industry regard

attitude and aptitude just as importantly as qualifications. There is an emphasis in the industry on

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 4 of 41

competence acquired qualifications such as National and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (N/SVQ).

These qualifications are achieved in the workplace whilst actually doing the work.

Following the job descriptions there is a diagram showing possible progression routes for a sample of the

job roles to be found in the sector together with an indication of the training and qualifications which some

employers would provide and/or expect.

As with most modern industry sectors employers require a multi-skilled workforce so there will be many

opportunities to exploit existing skills and learn new skills. The job descriptions should not be seen in

isolation but rather as opportunities to expand your skills.

If you have received training and/or qualifications during your service career that does not seem to fit in

with industry requirements please contact EPIC or one of the contacts listed at the end of this document for

advice as the job descriptions listed is only a sample of industry careers. Skills acquired through working in

stores, fuel replenishment, security and general duties will also be of value to the industry who, as

previously noted, appreciates attitude and ability to learn very highly.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 5 of 41

Sample of Army, Royal Navy and Royal Airforce professions that may have transferable

skills into the Extractive & Mineral Processing Industries

The skill base requirements for the sector covers a wide scope, ranging from mobile and fixed plant

operators and administrators through to laboratory technicians; electricians; fitters and quarry managers.

Therefore, it is likely that anyone of the sample service trades listed below, are likely to have skills that will

be directly or indirectly transferable to the sector. Employers will provide opportunities for individuals to

develop existing and new skills and encourage career progression. For personnel leaving the services, this

sector can provide a productive and satisfying second career.

Electronics Technician

Avionics Technician

Aircraft Technician


Vehicle Mechanic


Recovery Mechanic

Technical Storesperson




Dispatch driver




Building Finisher

Geo Data Technician


Draughtsman (E&M)

Draughtsman Designs



Equipment Mechanic

Fabricator (Welder)

Fitter (Air Con)

Materials Technician

Plant Operator


Resources Specialist


Airframe Technician

RAF Regiment

Propulsion Technician

Electronics Technician

General Technician

Aerial Erector

MT Driver


Painter and finisher


Armoured vehicle drivers

Supply Technicians

Catering Accountant


A Mech

B Mech

C Mech

Plant Fitter

Stores Accountants

Marine and weapons Technicians

Air Engineering Technician

Logistics Officers

GEO Terrain Technician

Driver Specialist

Resources Specialist

Petrol Operator



Port Operator

Movement Controller

Munitions’ Technician

Movements Operator

Personnel Administrator

Staff Nurse

Medical Assistant

Environmental Health Technician

Imagery Intelligence Analysts

MT Technician

Infantry man/woman

Aircraft Electrical Technician

Diesel Engineers

Hydraulic Engineers

Navy Ratings

General Technician Electrical


Flight Operations Assistant

Telecommunications Operator

Air Cartographer

Aerospace Systems Operator

Laboratory Technician

HGV/C+E Drivers


This list is not exclusive and purely for information purposes; other relevant trades may exist.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 6 of 41

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Title: Driller

Job Description: To carry out production and development drilling operations prior to shotfiring.



• Drillers are expected to

achieve NVQ Level 2 in

Drilling Operations

(Extractives) at the earliest


• Progression to Drilling

Supervisor via NVQ Blasting

Operations Level 3 and

Explosives Supervisor Level



• Health and Safety Induction

to IOSH Working Safely

standard as minimum. To

include environmental

awareness (dust, noise, oil,

spillage, etc.)

• It often takes two or three

years experience for a

driller to become truly

competent in all the various

rock formations and

problems that a driller must

be able to overcome.

• Experience of the types of

rock, fractures and faults,

are important in safe drilling.

• Experience in drilling in all

weathers and conditions.

• Knowledge of pre-split

drilling techniques can be


• Experience on toe hole

drilling techniques would be


• Light vehicle licence.

• Knowledge of fall arrest


Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 7 of 41


• The role of the driller is to

drill blast holes at very

specific points so as to give

correct burden and spacing

at a given angle and

direction and depth. All of

these factors are vital to

ensure the correct amount of

explosive is used to blast the

face most efficiently.

• Drills used can be quite

small, (2.5in diam) mounted

on tracks, and operated by

manual controls at ground


• The role often involves a

degree of manhandling drill

steels up to large rotary or

percussion (hammer) drills

with a hole diameter of up to

nine inches, drilling twenty

five metre hole depths, with

automated controls inside a



• Drillers often work alone

though they may be part of a

small team.

• Natural progression would be

to Drilling Supervisor and

subsequently to a Shift

Manager in charge of face


• In a small quarry a change to

another role is often required

should promotion be required

there is Shotfirer.

• A competent driller develops

useful skills set that can be

transferred to specialist roles

in some types of

construction, water drilling,

environmental or

geotechnical job roles.


• Drillers are expected to

achieve NVQ Level 2 in

Drilling Operations

(Extractives) at the earliest


• Progression to Drilling

Supervisor via NVQ Blasting

Operations Level 3 and

Explosives Supervisor Level



• Health and Safety Induction

to IOSH Working Safely

standard as minimum. To

include environmental

awareness (dust, noise, oil,

spillage, etc.)

• Light vehicle licence.

• Knowledge of fall arrest


• It often takes two or three

years experience for a

driller to become truly

competent in all the various

rock formations and

problems that a driller must

be able to overcome.

• Experience of the types of

rock, fractures and faults,

are important in safe drilling.

• Experience in drilling in all

weathers and conditions.

• Knowledge of pre-split

drilling techniques can be


• Experience on toe hole

drilling techniques would be


Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 8 of 41

• Drillers must carry out prestart

maintenance checks

and safety equipment checks

such as ‘dead mans pedal’

be able to drill at exactly the

right spot, to the exact

requirements of the blasting

supervisor, and keep a

precise drill log of each hole

indicating where any

deviation from the norm

occurs such as cavities,

fractures, clay pockets etc.

Earnings are generally made up

of basic wage or by the hour.

This can make for seasonal

fluctuations as drilling is often

only permitted during daylight

hours which can mean that there

are opportunities for earning

more during the long summer

daylight hours.

• A working knowledge and

understanding of radio

communication equipment

and lone working

alarm/distress system.

• An understanding of the

methodology of marking out

drill holes and the importance

of accurate drill logs

• Setting up and maintaining

safety face fencing.

• Experience at the face

production side of the

quarry often gives rise to

other tasks such as sentry

during blasting, explosives

stores person or assisting in

loading or offloading

explosives and interest in

this area may offer

opportunities for a career

change as a shotfirer.

Storage of explosives on

site is being phased out in

favour of just-in-time


Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Drillers would start at £14,000 for a basic driller working on production faces rising to over £22,000 for experienced

Drillers of large rigs or specialised drillers working in difficult conditions.

• Generally Drillers would work an eight hour shift with perhaps five hours on Saturday morning every other Saturday. As Drillers work

only during daylight hours, the summer period may require earlier starts and later finishes with winter working hours being more

restricted. Some companies take account of these changes and the salary reflects the average hours worked annually, others may

pay extra for more hours worked during the summer months.

Job Title: Electrician

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 9 of 41

Job Description: To inspect and maintain in safe efficient working order all electrical plant and equipment on the Quarry site


• The role of the electrician

involves the day to day

inspection and maintenance of

all electrical equipment on site

to ensure it works efficiently, is

safe and complies with the

legislative standards

appertaining to Quarries.

• Involves cleaning, checking,

testing and proving, maintaining

and repairing a wide range of

electrical plant and equipment

to ensure an uninterrupted

source of power for the entire


• Equipment may include drive

motors, control panels,

substations, programmable

automated control systems,

sensor and detector checks,

and tests , motor contactors,

timers, relays, overload and cut

off switches, various electrical

safety equipment such as pull

wire checks, a wide range of

• In larger companies

opportunities will arise for

electricians to gain

promotion to team leader

(usually with the addition

of an N/SVQ Level 3 in


• Promotion to Electrical

Engineer possible,

although this will entail a

number of technical or

academic courses to be

able to design, specify

and install sophisticated

electrical systems panels

and control equipment. It

may also require the SHE

NVQ Level 3.


Electricians must have sufficient

knowledge and experience to install

and maintain electrical equipment

(this is a legal requirement)

• City and Guilds Parts 1 & 2

Practical. Ass. AM2

• N/SVQ Electrician (EMPTA)

Level 3 to prove basic


• IEE Wiring Regulations.

• Working Knowledge of the

Quarries Electrical Legislation

and standards (EAW) 1989

and ACOP35 as a minimum

• Opportunities exist for

apprenticeships on block

release with a local technical


• Experience in safe

working practices, permits

to work and ‘live working’

rules and procedures.

• Experience with fault

finding and identification

and repair. Work on a

wide range of plant and


• Experience in finding,

revealing and working on

buried cables and

recoding location.

• Working at Height and

certification of any

working equipment to

assist this such as MEWP

scissor lifts. etc.

• IEE Wiring Regulations

and practical experience

preferably of at least two

years operating to its


electrical emergency stopping

mechanisms and isolation

The skills obtained in the

extractives sector with its

• Certification to drive Light

vehicles. IOSH Working Safely

• Installation and tracking

work, how to label cables,

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 10 of 41


• Inspecting office equipment.

• All lighting requirements from

specific task lighting to high

level floodlights.

• Equipment from L.V.110volt or

less up to perhaps 11KVA High

voltage equipment and

switching gear.

• All handheld tools need

Portable Appliance Testing.

• Skills required in design,

installation and fault finding.

• Electricians are also involved in

pulling heavy cabling off drums

for laying into trenches, banding

cables into tracking, cable trays,

wiring buildings and fixed plant

and equipment.

heavy industrial power

requirements and harsh

environment requiring high

specification standards,

maintenance and repair skills,

plus computerized control

systems are all competencies

that are sought after by many

other industries particularly

manufacturing and processing

industries such as the food

industry, petrochemical and

construction, and offer a wide

variety of career opportunities.

course or equivalent. Working

at Heights.


• Certificated to operate MEWPs

and forklifts to move large

cabling rolls around site.

• Knowledge of guidance on

How to Test at Quarries

produced by SaFED-2391

Inspection and Testing.

• Experience of 3 phase 415volt

and control systems would be


• First Aid Certificate or training

on CPR.

• IT skills particularly

competence in CAD.

Experience with HV switching

maintenance and repairs.

and circuits, correct

identification from

drawings and document

work and modifications.

• Understanding thermo

graphic survey reports

and carrying out the

required rectification


• PAT testing and hand tool

repair work.

• Knowledge of different

types of isolation

systems, and control

panel systems and

programs, sensor checks

pull wire and emergency


Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Electricians once qualified would range from £19,000 up to £29,000 however for senior electricians with experience

on more sophisticated and critical systems, with design and programming competencies salary could be in the region of £ 31,400.

• Hours of work could involve shift work typical on a large site may work out say 4 weeks of 40 hours ( 8 hr shifts starting early

06.00hrs ) with the 5 th week being 45 hours starting later at say 09.00hrs but working 5 hours on Saturday morning.

• Electricians not normally on a night shift unless operating on a large 24/7 site but they would be expected to be on some type of out

of hours call out for extra pay.

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Title: Fixed Plant Fitter

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 11 of 41

Job Description: To carry out repairs and maintenance to all fixed plant, and where necessary install and help commission new plant.


• The role involves the

maintenance and repair of

every item of plant that is

not mobile or electrical.

• In the extractives sector

this involves crushers,

screens, conveyors,

pumps, motors, concrete

and steel structures such

as storage bins and

buildings. Asphalt and

Concrete plants etc.

• The job is enormously

varied, and requires skills

to craftsman level.

• Usually involves basic

repairs checking and

replacement of worn out

wear plates or chutes,

screen deck changes,

repairing vulcanizing and

tracking conveyors,

changing rollers, motors

and pumps.

• Role requires the

maintenance and repair of

a wide range of plant. As

experience is gained there

is often the opportunity to

work on more complex and

very high-value plant.

• Opportunities exist to

attend various

manufacturer specific

courses to build up

specialist knowledge and

also opportunities to

develop skills in welding or


• Opportunities exist for

progression to supervisory

level in charge of a team of

three or four.


• EMPTA Plant Fitter Level 3

N/SVQ as basic competence

or other nationally recognized

equivalent qualification.

• Light vehicle license

• Health and Safety

awareness is essential and

possibly more important for

Fitters than for any other


• IOSH Working Safely

training or an equivalent.

• Lifting and slinging training

• Use of oxy/act/propane

cutting equipment. Welding,

not necessarily to coded

level for non-safety critical


• Evidence of experience

and/or apprenticeship in

similar environment to the

extractives sector.

• Generally three to five years

would be required before

promotion to supervisory


• Experience of working with

hand and, powered tools

both electrical, air and


• Nearly all machinery is

electrically powered so

experience in this field is


• Also an appreciation of

hydraulics, air and electrical

driven, or control


• Role also includes

• The varieties of skills


• Experience also in welding,

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 12 of 41

complete change out of

major items of machinery

involving the operation of

mobile plant such as

cranes, and MEWPs.

involved are easily

transferable and are in

demand, both inside and

outside the industry.

Salary is made up of basic wage

but there are nearly always

opportunities for overtime, oncall

payments are not

uncommon particularly if during

unsocial hours.

• Specific training on any

item of mobile plant such as

MEWP, forklifts, cranes,

and front end shovel


• Any specialist

tools/equipment training

such as hydraulic

wrenches, lathes, pillar

drills, specialist welding

techniques or coded


cutting, grinding, fabrication

from drawings and general

engineering skills.

Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Fixed Plant Fitters will depend on the amount of experience on appointment a fitter could expect £19,000 rising with

experience and the complexity of the plant plus additional specialist skills to reach £29,000.

• Generally fitters would work shifts and Saturday mornings to about midday. If on 24 hr working Shifts might be expected to be 06.00

to 14.00hrs; 14.00 to 22.00hrs; and 22.00hrs to 06.00hrs.

• Call outs in cases of emergency is not uncommon.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 13 of 41

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Title: Fixed Plant - Asphalt Plant Operator*

* Various types of fixed plant are used across the industry and this is just one example.

Job Description: To operate the plant to mix asphalt to the required standards and to customers needs


• The role is a complex and

varied one controlling in excess

of a million pound plant.

• The job entails knowledge of

the function of each element of

the plant, the raw materials,

additives, mixes recipes, quality

standards, and methodology of

mixing to a pre-arranged


• The operator is usually

responsible for checking and

inspecting some key elements

of the plant prior to plant start


• Running the actual plant and

monitoring performance is done

by touch-screen computers.

• The operator needs to keep

close control of the flow of dry

stone aggregate into the plant,

the drying and heating process

• Operators work either in sole

control or as a team of two

and in close liaison with the

weighbridge operator who is

co-ordinating the transport.

• The role requires a degree of

mental agility with a number

of continuous and

interrelated activities

happening all at once.

• Operators need good

communication skills and

ensure effective

communication between the

shovel drivers loading the

cold feed hoppers, vehicle

drivers requesting and

picking up specific loads,

plant programmers, fitters

and delivery suppliers of

bitumen filler etc.

• Operators sometimes have

to deal directly with


• After one year in the role the

operator will require N/SVQ

Level 2 (or Level 3)

Processing Operations for

the Extractive and Minerals

Processing Industries or

other equivalent nationally

recognised qualification

• A thorough knowledge of

aggregate sizes standards,

types of mixes and recipes,

the different Pen values of

bitumen, the different uses

and types of additives.

• A thorough working

knowledge of the constituent

parts of the plant and its


• A level of Health and Safety

training is essential, plus

environmental training and

knowledge of the planning

restriction and controls on

• Any prior knowledge of the

plant and its functions.

• Any experience driving

mobile plant, and

knowledge of different

aggregate sizes.

• Knowledge of British

standards & specifications

for road building materials.

• Any experience working

with a processing system.

• Experience with computers

and communication


• Any fixed plant fitting skills

such as knowledge of

hydraulic systems, pumps

and valves, hoppers silos,

rubber and slat conveyors

weighing devices and/or

knowledge on calibration of

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 14 of 41

until the required temperature is

reached before adding bitumen

and additives into the mix.

• The operator controls the

loading out into the skip for

discharge into a vehicle or via a

hot storage bin.

• The role will include the

ordering, receipt, safe delivery

and checking of bitumen

supplies and other additives

such as EVA, Wet Fix ,Fibres,

Pigments, Latex, Filler. etc.

• Some cleaning around the plant

and assistance in basic

maintenance is often part of the


customers and salesmen

and must have the ability to

make rapid decisions when

materials change or the plant

breaks down.

• The responsibility, decision

making, plant knowledge and

requirement to foster good

working relationships all

work towards a career path

that is usually to Assistant

Plant Manager and then

Plant or Site Manager.

• Skills learnt, and experience

gained will be most useful for

most supervisory roles in a

wide variety of industries.

Earnings are made up of basic

wage with few opportunities for

overtime. Some companies may

pay bonuses to those who

manage to produce more than the

targeted tonnage during their shift.

the plant.

• A sound working knowledge

of the company procedures

and safe systems for

maintenance, checking,

calibrating, recording and

documentation to do with the

operation of mixing and

dispatching asphalt.


• Maintenance capability.

• IT skills.

• Fire and environmental

awareness training.

• Certificates of competence

for operating small mobile

equipment such as bob cat,

forklift telehandler, etc.

• IOSH Supervising Safety

• Hazards associated with


• First Aid Training

devices measuring various

fluid or solid substances.

Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Asphalt Plant Operators would start at £16,000 and rise to £25,000 depending on the complexity of the plant, the

experience of the individual and the hours worked.

• There is no general standard of when shifts would start. It varies enormously especially as more and more asphalt is being laid at

night to prevent day time road congestion, hence the requirement at many sites that have planning permission to work 24Hrs to mix

throughout the night. Standard hours may well be 48hrs average a week but there would certainly be opportunities to earn overtime

by late night, or weekend working.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 15 of 41

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Title: Fixed Plant - Primary Crusher Operator*

* Various types of fixed plant are used across the industry and this is just one example.

Job Description: To control the safe and efficient operation of primary crushing.


• The role of the primary

crusher operator is to ensure

a smooth regular flow of non

contaminated rock from the

delivery source (dumper,

shovel or 360 excavator)

through the crusher, which

might be a Gyratory, Rotary,

Jaw or Impact type crusher

and hence on by conveyor to

the primary stockpile,

scalping system or

secondary crushers

depending on the type of

rock and/or plant

configuration being utilised.

• The role entails checking

incoming material for

contamination (scrap metal,

unexpended explosive, clay

or other impurities). A major

cause for stoppage is the

tipping of too large a boulder

into the mouth of the crusher.

• The job requires constant

vigilance to ensure that

material that could slow; stall

or stop the crushing

operation cannot enter the

crusher unless it is within the

crushing capabilities of the

crusher design.

• The skills learnt can be

transferred to other control

operations such as

screening, secondary crusher

operator, load out, etc and

are a natural progression to

increase experience.

• Promotion via Shift Managers

position and on through to

Production Manager is


• Skills achieved are

transferable to processing

manufacturing and retail type



• No formal entry requirements.

• After one year’s experience

individuals are likely to be put

forward to achieve the N/SVQ

Level 2 Process Operations for the

Extractive & Minerals Processing


• Promotion on to Shift Manager will

require N/SVQs in Management

Level 3; NVQ in Health, Safety &

Environmental Management in the

Extractives and Mineral Processing

Industries Level 3 and an N/SVQ

Plant Operations (Extractives)

Level 2 for one or more face

loading machine.

• A thorough understanding of the

crushing limitations of the plant,

which will often be a combination of

rock size, flow rate ,power

utilisation, rock hardness and

contamination in order to optimise

the performance of the crusher.


• A number of years

working either as a

process plant operator in

another environment or

as part of a primary

production team perhaps

as a dumper driver would

be of benefit.

• An appreciation of the

hazards surrounding this

type of plant which

consumes more power

than any other single item

of plant in the quarry.

• Experience of

maintenance tasks would

be of benefit as Fitters

often rely on the Crusher

Operator for assistance in

repairs particularly

replacing worn out parts.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 16 of 41

The operator will need to

spot and then stop the

tipping process before this

occurs. Use hydraulic grabs

or overhead cranes to

remove or readjust the

boulder so that it can be

crushed .If too large to

remove, it may have to be

mechanically broken up into

smaller pieces.

• Depending on the optimum

type of crusher flow rate

(from choke fed to trickle

feed) it is important to control

the tipping rate of dumpers

or shovels. The role will

involve assisting trained

fitters on maintenance tasks

plus greasing and systems

checks, keeping a log of all

incidents, flow rates

stoppage times and causes,

plus total shift tonnage


• Primary crusher operators

work largely on their own,

sometimes multi-skilling

allows them to swap roles

such as dumper driver for

meal breaks etc.

Earnings are either salary or

hourly paid. Shift work is not

uncommon particularly on large

sites although planning

restrictions will often prevent

crushing before 06.00hrs and

after 20.00hrs. Overtime is rare

• A knowledge of the control

mechanisms such as flow rate of

feed, aperture settings, discharge

speed, power consumption etc. The

start up and shut down procedures

and to recognise when worn parts

need to be replaced or other

maintenance is required.


• Health and Safety Induction to

IOSH Working Safely

• An N/SVQ Level 2 Plant Operations

(Extractives) such as for dumper or

shovel would be an asset to the


• Light vehicle licence.

• Lifting and slinging course.

• Basic maintenance skills plus either

welding cutting or burning

experience would be


• Use of radio communication


Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Primary Crusher Operators will depend on size of quarry/crusher and experience but would expect to start on

£14,000 rising to over £22,000.

• Shift work may be required on larger sites working longer hours otherwise it would tend to be 07.00hrs start for eight hours with

every other Saturday to midday. Generally little opportunity for overtime.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 17 of 41

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Title: Fixed Plant - Screening Plant Operator*

* Various types of fixed plant are used across the industry and this is just one example.

Job Description: To control the screening of aggregate by size into their respective stockpiles ensuring correct compliance with standards.


• The role of the Screening

Plant Operator can be a

complex but always an

important role. The role

requires an understanding of

the flow rates and

characteristics of the

aggregate to be screened.

• Operators need familiarity

with the types of screens

being used their function and

method of operation.

• The impact of: speed of

material across the deck,

overloading, under loading,

and moisture.

• Screening Plant Operators

will probably become

involved in secondary and

tertiary crushing, as part of

the screening process.

• Undertaking visual

inspections, basic

• On a simple sand and gravel

plant with basic screening

decks the role is quite

straightforward needs

relatively little training as the

operators ability to control

flow rates or direct aggregate

onto different screens is


• On more complex screening

operations where there is a

multiplicity of combinations

that can be made to optimise

the quality, standards,

tolerances and output the

role becomes technically

complex - operators with this

experience and skill are

sought after within the


• Often operators will be asked

to assist on clearing

obstructions, blockages and

tramp metal from conveyor



• After a suitable length of time to

establish a degree of experience

Screening Plant Operators would

be expected to achieve the

N/SVQ Level 2 Processing

Operations for the Extractive and

Minerals Processing Operations.

• Promotion to Shift Manager may

require N/SVQ Level 3

Management and NVQ Level 3 in

Health, Safety & Environmental

Management in the Extractives &

Mineral Processing Industries

• An extensive knowledge of

screening methodology, the inter

relationship between crusher

output, conveyor direction and

screening output systems control.

• Health and safety induction to

IOSH Working Safely standard as

minimum. To include isolation

procedures and safe systems of

work on hazardous events such

• On small operations

experience may be

obtained after a few days

of supervision and

coaching, on more

sophisticated plant the

basics can be learnt after

perhaps a month of

understudying an

experienced operator.

• Previous knowledge of

the plant set up, types of

crushers and screens

used, the identification

names given to conveyors

and screens and their

screen deck sizes, plus

the aggregate sizes

required would be highly

beneficial and reduce the

learning curve


• Experience in adjusting

and calibrating plant.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 18 of 41

maintenance and

housekeeping duties.

• Operators need to have the

ability to monitor screens and

electronic indicators

depicting; flow rates, power

consumption, high and low

level indicators, tonnage flow

indicators etc. and make the

necessary adjustments.

• Their skill and knowledge of

the plant is often a key factor

when considering individuals

for positions such as shift

boss/foreman if they show

leadership and supervisory


• The generic ability to

understand a process and

manipulate it can be

transferred through to other

industries especially in the

processing and

manufacturing industries.

Earnings are made up of basic

wage with few opportunities for

overtime. Some companies may

pay bonuses to those who

manage to produce more than

the targeted tonnage during their


as blockages, stalls and hang



• N/SVQ Level 2 Plant Operations

(Extractives) on at least one

machine would be an asset.

• Ability to inspect screen decks

and associated plant and

estimate when changes need to

be made before holes and

contamination occurs.

• Communication skills via

telephone and radio.

• Basic maintenance knowledge

would be advantageous.

• Knowledge of British aggregate

size Standards, the make up of

blended materials.

• Working with overhead lifting


• Certificate of competence for

operating small cleanup

machinery such as bob cats.

• Experience in inspecting

changing and assessing

the remaining effective

longevity of screen decks

before replacement

becomes necessary.

• A certificate to operate

machinery such as small

shovels, bobcats, and one

tonne dumpers to assist

in housekeeping duties

would be advantageous.

• Some basic computer

literacy is becoming more


Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Screening Plant Operators will depend on complexity of plant and previous experience but would commence at

£14,000 rising to over £23,000.

• Working hours will be dictated by plant operating hours. Usually a shift based system. Early shift starting at say 06.00hrs and late

shift starting at say 14.00hrs, more sophisticated plants may well operate 24/7. Smaller sites may operate on the basis of a basic five

day, eight hour shifts with one Saturday in two working an additional five hours. Opportunities for overtime are not common as this

key role is usually adequately manned up.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 19 of 41

Job Title: Laboratory Technician

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Description: To test materials to establish their properties and/or check they meet specification.


• Testing of rocks, minerals

and/or processed

materials, using a wide

range of standard tests.

• Taking samples from, for

example, loads of

materials, deposits of

materials, stockpiles, drill


• Preparing sampled

materials in order to carry

out testing.

• Liaise with production

and/or customers and

plan sampling and

testing, ensuring testing

is carried out to match

customer or production


• Keeping detailed and

accurate records of tests

carried out and results.

• Checking results against

specifications to ensure

• A very responsible role in

ensuring quality of

materials and products

meets customer


• Technicians may be

assigned to a particular

quarry or plant, cover

several sites, or be based

at a centralised


• Technicians may be

employed by an

Extractives industry

company, but there are

some specialist

laboratory and testing


• Some laboratories carry out

physical and chemical tests,

simple and complex tests to

establish the size, strength,

composition of a wide range

of materials, such as

crushed rock, sand, asphalt

and concrete, whilst others


• Laboratory and Associated

Technical Activities N/SVQ at

Level 2 (achieved in an

extractives industries context).


employment in more

complex laboratories or for


• Laboratory and Associated

Technical Activities N/SVQ at

Level 3 (achieved in an

extractives industries context).


• Driving Licence.

• Working Safely, or some

equivalent Health and Safety


• First Aid Certificate.

• One of the above N/SVQs in

non-quarrying context.

• Certificate in Laboratory

Technical Skills.

• Some FE colleges

provide laboratory

training and education,

but in a general

context, and are

unlikely to relate to the

Extractives industries.

• The Royal School of

Military Engineering

(RSME) delivers an

excellent laboratory

training programme of

direct relevance to the

Extractives industries.

• Several years

experience of working

in the extractives or

similar industries would

be advantageous. It is

not unusual for

technicians to be

appointed by promotion

or by being transferred

from other jobs in the

industry and trained


Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 20 of 41


• Issuing test results as


• Working so as to not

endanger the health or

safety of self or others.

• Ensuring test equipment is

working properly and


• Accessing data to ensure

testing and sampling is

conducted correctly.

• Carrying out investigations.

• Analysing data.

• Producing reports and/or


• Housekeeping, particularly

care of equipment,

chemicals and materials.

• Stock control.

will carry out a very limited

number of tests.

• In some cases the technician

may be working alone.

• Many laboratories are UKAS

accredited, requiring strict

adherence to procedures

and standards.

• Care and health and safety

knowledge is required to

collect samples and to carry

out many tests. Use of PPE

is essential.

• Senior technicians may

supervise the work of other


• Work cycles can be very

varied, but a degree of

repetition can be expected.

• GCSE in Chemistry and


• National Certificate/Diploma at

Level 3 in Applied Science.

• For those wishing to progress,

particularly in the field of

Asphalt Technology the DAPS

course would be


• Knowledge of the Extractives


• Basic knowledge of geology

and materials associated with

the extractives industries.

• Training in COSHH.

• City & Guilds Concrete



• Several years of

laboratory work in

another industry could

be beneficial, although

the role of a technician

in extractives is

certainly not “white


• A technician must be

able to work


conscientiously and


• Outside work in all

conditions will be


• Communications and

planning skills are


• An Apprenticeship

Programme could be a

useful way into this


Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Technicians vary according to complexity of the role and level of responsibility, normally in the range of £12,000 up

to £24,000 for Senior Technicians

• Working hours will be dictated by the laboratory, or site, to meet the needs of production and customers. Typically technicians work

38-40 hours per week, but shift (including nights) work, weekend work and overtime is not unusual.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 21 of 41

Job Title: Light Vehicle Mechanics

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Description: Involves the maintenance and repair of light commercial vehicles within workshops and on-site emergency repairs.


• Involves vehicle repair and

maintenance on light

commercial vehicles and

company cars. Primarily

focuses on vehicle servicing

and minor part replacement

but occasionally involves

major engine and vehicle part

replacements. Some welding

may also be required as part

of the role.

• Use mostly workshop jacks,

lifting devices, cranes and

sling for manual handling of

large parts.

• Light Vehicle Mechanics in

the extractives industry

spend much of their time

working in workshops but will

also carry out emergency onsite


• There may be

opportunities in larger

companies for

progression to a

supervisory role and in

most companies to

move into other job

roles as experience is


• The extractives sector

has close links with

the haulage, road

building and

construction industries

and the skills and


developed within the

extractives sector are

valued. These

industries provide a

potential career

progression route.


● Clean Driving licence (light

commercial vehicle)

● N/SVQ Level 3 Vehicle

Maintenance or other nationally

recognised equivalent qualification



● IOSH – Working Safely

● 3-5 years experience

maintaining and repairing

light vehicles

● Have an understanding of

vehicle systems e.g.

cooling, brakes, steering,

engine management,

transmissions, etc, with

some specialist knowledge

e.g. ABS, TRACS, etc

● Experience of working with

a wide range of light


● Experience of using vehicle

fault diagnostic systems

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 22 of 41

• The role requires a flexible

approach as in addition to

main job role mechanics are

often expected develop the

ability to work on plant within

the quarry and to multi-skill to

cover other job roles within

the quarry.

• Earnings are generally

made up of a basic

wage that is enhanced

by overtime, on-call

status and working

unsocial hours.

Working Conditions:

● Salary levels vary but generally are the minimum earnings level is around £16,000 to £20,000 on appointment

● The industry as a whole works long hours and generally start work at around 0730 hrs and the role may include shift working.

● Some weekend work may be a feature of the job role

● The role may also include some “on call” responsibilities which require out of hours working

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 23 of 41

Job Title: Logistics Manager

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Description: To manage the storage and distribution of products to meet customer and company requirements.


• Plan and arrange cost

effective and efficient

delivery of products to


• Scope and responsibility

of the job can vary

according to company



• Certificate in Professional

Competence (CPC) National

and, possibly International.

• Two years experience in

a logistics role, ideally in

the Extractives industry

but not essential.

• Maximise vehicle


• Manage the transport

fleet (which could include

forecasting, purchase,

maintenance and


• Ensure compliance with

external legislation and

company procedures.

• Manage transport

franchise arrangements,

if relevant.

• Communicate and liaise

across the company, with

customers, franchises,


authorities as appropriate

• Tasks may be carried out

under other job titles e.g.



• May be solely

responsible, or in larger

companies be part of a

team with responsibility

for supervision of others.

• Usually involves

organising deliveries by

road using heavy goods

vehicles, but can also

include management of

deliveries by rail, inland

waterways or sea.


(depending on level of


• Traffic Office N/SVQ Level 3.

• Knowledge of the Extractive

and Mineral Processing

industries and its products

and customers.

• IOSH Managing Safely, or


Job holders are likely to

be graduates (or

equivalent), but

progression from junior

logistics positions is

possible with lower

academic qualifications

• An Advanced

Apprenticeship (or

equivalent) completed

could provide a

foundation leading

towards this role

• High levels of


interpersonal, team

working, problem

solving and negotiating

skills are essential.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 24 of 41

• Promote health, safety

and environmental

awareness and


• Manage other logistics

staff (e.g. assistant

managers, area

managers, freight

forwarders, planners,

customer service staff

and administrators as


• Provide customer


• May also include

management of transport

and deliveries of

materials to the company

and also internal transfer

to material within the


• Employment may be with

an Extractives industry

company, or with a



company servicing the



• Membership of the Chartered

Institute of Logistics &


• Basic First Aid Certificate.

• Management N/SVQ Level 4.

• Driver Awareness training.

• Experience of planning

and auditing are


Job holders need to be

self motivating, flexible

and adaptable, with

business understanding.

• Logistics planning and

arranging is normally

based on computer

systems, therefore ITC

skills and experience is


• Usually office based, but

travel to company

locations, customers or

franchises is probable.

Working Conditions:

• Salary levels vary according to the scope of the job and number of subordinates. Normally salary levels will be within the range of

£23,000 to £50,000. In large companies, this position can be at Director or Senior Management level, with commensurate salary and


• Working hours may vary according to company and customer requirements, but would typically be 38-40 hours per week of normal

office hours.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 25 of 41

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Title: Mobile Plant – Dump Truck Driver/Operator*

* The industry uses various types of mobile plant, more examples are: bulldozers; cherry pickers; excavators; lift trrucks; mobile cranes; mobile elevated

working platform scissor; telehandlers; wheeled loading shovels, etc.

Job Description: To drive dumpers to be loaded with various sized aggregate from source to specific locations around the operational site, for tipping.


• Operators are required to

drive a rigid or articulated

dumper from the loading

point, usually the working

quarry’s (rock, sand or

gravel) operational faces

• Dumpers will be loaded by

front end shovel loaders, or

excavators, once loaded

drive to a primary crusher,

feeder hopper, or stockpile

and tip off material before

returning for another load.

• Dumpers may be required

to be loaded via overhead

storage bins or silos, and

tipping can be into fixed or

mobile crushers, over faces

or on top of existing tips or


• Operators usually work in a

small team, consisting of

other drivers and their

loading plant operator.

• Dumper drivers generally

report and obtain their daily

duties from the

production/site manager.

• The skills and qualifications

of a dumper driver can be

easily transferable to other

jobs particularly in the

construction industry.

• Qualifications obtained in

other industries on

dumpers may require

additional machine

familiarisation as quarry

machines are often larger,

and maybe rigid instead of



• Driving License

• EPIC or other nationally

recognised Certificate (e.g.


• Good eyesight to LGV

standards is essential

• Drivers will all receive basic

health and safety induction plus

environmental awareness


• Operators must understand prestart

checks, (fuel and

lubrication levels, tyres, brakes

lights, etc.) Defect reports,

brake testing.

• Operators require knowledge of

the sites emergency

procedures, such as engine or

tyre fires, tipping rules, and

quarry published vehicle rules

• A role that often

requires no previous

experience, as training

can be accomplished

quite quickly.

• Often used as an entry

job into the industry and

from there request

further training to

operate a wider range of

mobile plant.

• Many dozer, shovel and

excavator drivers

started initially by

becoming a dumper

driver first.

• Initial training can take

up to five days with the

first day or so under

close supervision.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 26 of 41

• Drivers must be sufficiently

knowledgeable to carry out

effective pre-start checks.

• Be able to carry out start of

shift drive through brake

tests, operate their

machine safely at the

correct speeds, reverse

and tip very precisely in

different weather conditions

and poor light conditions.

• Report any defects

immediately for mechanics.

• Keep the machine clean

and safety equipment


Earnings are made up from a

basic wage (paid by the hour)

with some opportunity to work

overtime in cases where

business is better than the norm

or to cover for sick or absent

colleagues. A few sites still pay

on tonnage delivered but this is

rare as it encourages shortcuts

and speeding.

covering safety equipment on

the machine, speeds, refueling,

action on fires, loading and

tipping procedures, seatbelts,

communications. Fuel spillage

procedures, operating in poor

visibility in icy or muddy

conditions . An appreciation of

what would be considered

material contamination.

• To prove competency most

drivers after a year operating a

machine will be asked to

achieve an N/SVQ Level 2

Plant Operations (Extractives).


Most need to operate a radio

communications system.

• Experience in driving in

poor weather

conditions, fog, driving

rain/snow and muddy

conditions which can all

affect judgment of

speed and distance.

• For some companies a

mechanical bent to help

on maintenance can be


• Experience may lead to

promotion to Foreman

level or progrssion to

operation of more

complex plant.

• Easy transfer into

construction and road

building industries.

Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Dumper Drivers usually start at £14,000 and can climb to £22,000 for experienced drivers. Salary levels can depend

on different Companies attitudes, some believing that the training is straightforward and therefore warrants fairly low pay others

place more value on the fact that operators drive one of the most expensive pieces of mobile plant on site and warrant the same

value as a specialist mobile plant operator. Some overtime work available but most quarries cover their dumpers sufficiently to cover

normal work conditions.

• Shift work is fairly common usually early or lates, i.e. earliest say 06.00hrs latest 22.00hrs. Night time working is rare unless on a

24/7 site where all driving may be at night with little during the day.

• Driving usually has to be undertaken in all weather conditions unless poor visibility causes unacceptable risk.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 27 of 41

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Title: Mobile Plant - Front End Loader*

* The industry uses various types of mobile plant, more examples are: bulldozers; cherry pickers; excavators; lift trrucks; mobile cranes; mobile

elevated working platform scissor; telehandlers; wheeled loading shovels, etc.

Job Description: To load aggregates from the face or from stockpiles into dumpers road vehicles or hoppers.


• The role of the Front End Loader is to

ensure a steady loading capability is

maintained of the source material into

the correct vehicle or hopper.

Generally this will consist of either shot

rock from the production faces into

dumpers for delivery to the primary

crusher, or different sized crushed or

screened aggregates from stockpiles

into road vehicles, site dumpers, or

fixed plant hoppers feeding asphalt,

wash plant or Ready Mix Concrete

(RMC) plants.

• The versatility of the machine often

means that the operator must have the

ability to carry out other roles such as

constructing safe stockpiles and

ramps, road edge protection bunds,

keeping site haulage roads and yards

free of material build up, clearing

material away from under overhead

bins, and silos.


• Shovel operators are

usually allocated to a

particular part of the

operation such as face

production or road loadout,

and therefore work closely

within that small team.

They will obtain their

working duties from the

Department Supervisor or


• The machine requires

similar driving attributes as

say a dumper but can be

more skilled, requiring more

co-ordination, material

knowledge and



• Certificate of competence

from a reputable training

organisation such as EPIC,

CITB or other nationally

recognised certification.

• Good eyesight to LGV

standards is essential

• Health and Safety Induction


• Understanding of the different

sizes of material, how they

are called or referred to.

• The importance of preventing

contamination both in the

shot rock or primary face

material, stockpiles, hoppers

and into vehicle bodies, and

likely consequences.

• Operators often become

shovel drivers having spent

time and experience as a

dumper driver, but entry

level directly into the role is

not uncommon particularly if

a certificate for machine

driving is already held.

• An appreciation of the

working environment around

the vehicle is essential.

• Primary face loading

operators have a relatively

repetitive task, whereas

those operators required to

load an asphalt plant

hopper, need to have an

understanding of how the

plant works, what product

mixes require which

material and how quickly it

will become depleted, and

keep the manager informed

of stockpile levels.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 28 of 41

• Operators must be competent to carry

out effective pre start checks, and start

of shift brake tests, and complete the

necessary documentation.

• A skilled operator must remain vigilant

and be capable of manoeuvring their

vehicle often in close proximity to fixed

plant and moving vehicles, sometimes

in poor light or dusty conditions and

with almost 50% of their time in


• Must keep the vehicle clean, all safety

equipment functioning at all times and

work within the machine’s known

capabilities and within the parameters

dictated by the particular working


• The skills and

competencies of a shovel

loader can be readily

transferred to other

industries, in particular

construction forestry,

agriculture, logistics &


• Operators may extend their

range of driving skills to

include equipment such as

forklifts, MEWPs,

telehandlers or cranes etc.

Earnings are generally based on

salary or by the hour. Few pay

by amount loaded. Opportunities

do frequently arise for overtime.

• An appreciation of both how

the onboard material

weighing mechanism

functions, how moisture will

affect weight loaded onto

vehicles and by how much.

• A clear understanding of how

to load vehicle safely, what

constitutes an unsafe load

and the consequences of

poorly loaded material.


• Most operators after one full

year in the role will be

requested to achieve an

N/SVQ Level 2 Plant

Operations (Extractives) for

that size of machine.

• If loading road vehicles at

the same time, it will be

appreciated that a shovel

operator is a key member

of the team, his/her job

will have to be covered

during his/her breaks and

this often means that the

operators are multi-skilled.

• Shovel operators who

display forward planning &

organisational skills may

well be in line for

promotion to Asphalt

Wash or RMC Assistant

Plant Operator.

• Knowledge of how to operate

radio communications.

Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Front End Loaders would commence at £14,000 rising to over £22,000 depending on both the size of the machine

and the complexity of the site and subsequent experience required to keep the site running smoothly. Some companies pay more for

drivers operating very large and expensive equipment others put more emphasis on the complexity of the site.

• As the machine is very versatile there are usually a number of opportunities to work overtime, for extra stockpiling duties or

assisting in out of hours housekeeping or assisting other departments.

• Shift work is common usually early or lates, to fit in with the department under which the shovel has been allocated. If for example it

is being used to feed an asphalt or RMC plant then typical hours might be 45 hrs week one i.e. five days of eight hours plus five

hours on Saturday followed by 40 hours week two made up of five 8 hour shifts.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 29 of 41

Job Title: Road/Rail Loadout Operator

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Description: To load road vehicles and railway wagons with the correct size and weight of aggregate for dispatch.


• Loading Road Vehicles, the

operator correctly identifies

the vehicle by its registration

number and can marry this

with visual screen data

depicting information on

specific type, size and/or

blend of aggregate. The data

source is via the Weighbridge


• The Loadout Operator will call

forward the vehicle onto the

loading bay and using a

control panel select the

correct bin or combination of

bins and/or feeders whilst

monitoring and controlling the

loading operation by CCTV.

• The operator is responsible

for replenishing the overhead

bins, liaising with weighbridge

staff and shift bosses over resupply

in terms of tonnage

and sizes. Reporting defects

and contamination.

• Working either alone or

as a team of two in a

control room, there is a

constant stream of

information on screens

and dials showing

stockpile levels either

increasing or depleting

depending on sales

versus production.

• Frequent communication

with weighbridge staff

and shift

boss/supervisor, via

telephones and radios.

• The knowledge acquired

by working in close

liaison with the shift boss

means that the next

career move may be to a

shift boss appointment.

• Skills acquired could be

usefully transferable to

other industries in roles


• Within one year operator

would be asked to achieve

N/SVQ Level 2 Processing

Operations for the

Extractive and Mineral

Processing Industries.

• A thorough understanding

of all aggregate sizes made

by the quarry and

permissible blends and

combinations of aggregates

and their names.

• A thorough understanding

and knowledge of the

quarry plant and how to

control the feed conveyors,

storage bin silos and

discharge gates.

• IOSH Working Safely.

• A understanding of what is

meant by a safe load (and

what constitutes an unsafe

load) from a road and rail

• Two years prior experience

in any role within the quarry

operation or similar that

would enable the individual

to learn about aggregate

sizes their names and how

the plant was configured.

• Particularly the names of all

its component parts (

conveyors and feeder


• Experience as a road

haulage driver would be

advantageous but not


• Experience of loading road

vehicles by shovel (which is

by far the most common

method of road loading).

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 30 of 41

• Loading Rail Wagons is more

complex. The operator will

work from a rail load manifest

which identifies the type of rail

wagon (i.e. maximum weight

allowed) what sizes or blend

of aggregate and how many

wagons required of each size.

• The train is then directed to

the correct position and the

operator will set the relevant

stockpile discharge gates to

activate in sequence the

length of time necessary to

feed the correct weight and

size of aggregate onto the

loading conveyor to fill one

rail wagon precisely.

• The loading speeds are fast

and timing, co-ordination,

concentration and cooperation

with all involved is


such as transport

programming, or where

processing plant

operations need coordination

and control.

Working hours are defined by

quarry opening times on the

road load out side and by rail

timetabling and sales volumes

on the rail loadout side. As no

freight can be moved during

rush hour passenger periods

many trains are loaded at

night to travel and arrive at

their destination terminals

before 07.00hrs in the

morning, so shift working is a


wagon perspective

• Understanding what would

constitute a contaminated

or out of specification load

and what steps to be taken

to rectify the situation.


• Radio communication skills

• A basic level of IT literacy

• Ability to monitor a number

of events simultaneously.

• Certificate of competence to

drive a light vehicle.

• Customer care skills,

telephone skills, handling

customer dissatisfaction

and complaints.

• The larger quarries that

utilise automated loading

systems all function or are

controlled in their own

unique way depending on

their plant configuration and


• Most lorry and/or rail

loadout operators would

learn the role by on the job

training and mentoring

Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Road or Rail Load Out Operators would commence at £ £16,000 rising to over £24,000depending on experience and


• Working hours for Road Load Out Operators would start at 06.00hrs (some sites open their gates at 07.00hrs) and be for eight to nine

hours. Rail Load out Operators would almost certainly work shifts typically one week of days consisting of five x 9 hour days

followed by one week of nights again five x 9 hours.

• Overtime potentially available during busy periods or if covering for leave or sickness.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 31 of 41

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Title: Shotfirer

Job Description: Involves the storage and transportation of explosives on site. The preparation and charging of shotholes, the shotfiring process, and

post blast inspection.


• Responsibilities vary at

different site but generally

Shotfirers are responsible for

the safe offloading and

storage of delivered

explosives including


• Shotfirers ensure the security

of the storage of explosives

and the magazine; this often

involves stocktaking and

inventory skills.

• Role includes the

transportation of explosives

to the blast face the

preparation and correct

charging of the holes which is

particularly demanding with

drill holes in fractured or fault

ridden faces, and where

environmental considerations

of vibration and noise are


• At most sites Shotfirers work

as part of a small team,

supervised by the

Explosives Supervisor or

Production Manager.

• Shotfirers have to be

qualified with an NVQ Level

3 in Blasting Operations

• People with past experience

in explosives may well be

able to fast track their way

into the role but to obtain the

NVQ qualification they will

require a period of time at

the relevant quarry using the

specific type of explosive.

• Those with an existing NVQ

may only require site

experience and



• NVQ Level 3 Blasting


• Ability to drive light



• LGV license holder.

• Forklift and/or Shovel

Loading N/SVQ or at least

EPIC or CITB certificate.

• IOSH Working Safely


• Environmental awareness

is important within the role.

• Working at Heights


• Most Shotfirers progress

into the role by starting as a

trainee, gaining experience

assisting the Shotfirer

• External courses will give

technical knowledge


• Experience with a particular

type of explosive and the

effects on the rock type in

any given quarry is essential

and experience built up over

a number of years in

different conditions is


Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 32 of 41

• The correct wiring up and

checking the imitation circuit

prior to the shotfiring

sequence. Post blast

inspection and record


• Higher qualifications to

Explosives Supervisors role

is a logical progression.

Earnings are usually fixed as

there is little opportunity for

overtime or out of hours working.

Generally not on shift working or

call outs.

Working Conditions:

• Salary levels will depend on experience and the complexity of the shotfiring skills required starting salary would be

approximately £14,000 with the higher levels reaching over £22,000.

• Working hours. These would be dictated by the scale of the operation but tend to be start early say 06.00hrs and therefore

finish by mid afternoon. Typical hours might be 5 x 8 hour days with one 8 hour Saturday every other week.

• The role does not normally attract overtime, but machinery driving skills may be in demand for other operations

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 33 of 41

Job Title: Team Leader/Foreman

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Description: For the time period of the shift, to be responsible for the co-ordination of the production of material in specification and for its

dispatch to customers.


• The Team Leader/Foreman

(terminology dependant

upon historical, geography

and company)

• Responsible for the minute

by minute production and

dispatch of material for the

duration of the shift.

• He/she must ensure the

plant is inspected and safe

to operate.

• Responsibilities include the

planning and organizing of

workloads, the co-ordination

of any planned or

emergency shut down for

maintenance, overseeing

cleaning and contractors

around the plant.

• Checking production and

dispatch schedules and

orders. Co-ordinating staff

and equipment to ensure

orders are met with the

• A very responsible role with

management skills combined

with knowledge and

experience of plant and


• Role development through

promotion to senior supervisor,

or junior manager or

department head. Most

Quarry Managers not

originating from an academic

/graduate background will have

spent time as a Team


• The management skills are

comparable to those of NCOs

in the services and any

supervisory level roles in most


• Role requires knowledge of

mobile and fixed plant

capabilities and operation.


• Management N/SVQ to Level

3 or nationally recognised



• NVQ Level 3 in Processing

Operations for the Extractives

& Mineral Processing



• A thorough working

knowledge of the production

or manufacturing process,

together with the site’s plant

and equipment.


• NVQ Level 3, Health, Safety

& Environmental

Management in the

Extractives & Mineral

Processing Industries (on

being employed).

• Five years experience in the

extractive and mineral processing

sector or similar in a demanding

situation and probably a

minimum of one years

experience of the particular or

equivalent site. There are

supervisory positions throughout

the industry that require

supervisory qualifications or

experience that do not require

specific industry knowledge.

• Have the ability to communicate

with staff at different levels within

the company, but particularly

have motivational leadership and

decision making skills.

• Experience of dealing with

rescheduling of orders and

workloads at short notice.

• Experience of operating the sites

production plant and machinery.

• Knowledge of mobile plant;

specifically crushers, screens,

conveyors, rollers, loading

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 34 of 41

correct in specification


• Being responsible for

dealing with breakdowns

and keeping records and

documentation in order.

• Being responsible for

maximizing production.

• Ensuring Health, Safety and

Environmental standards

are being adhered to.

• Motivating and supervising

staff under his/her control

including maintaining quality


May become involved in

performance appraisals, new

employee induction and

training, accident investigations,

assigning of different tasks,

advising on new safe systems

of work and procedures,

training of staff to widen their

experience and advising on

systems and developments to

them and the plant operate

more effectively.

• Potential to transfer skills to

technical consultancy or sales.

• General managerial skills are

transferable to most other

industries specific industry

familiarization is all that will be

required to release potential.

Salary level may be enhanced by

overtime to cover during periods of

holidays or other absences but this

is not common practice. Emergency

call outs are not usual as once off

shift all responsibilities are

transferred over to the current Team


Working environment is varied

requiring visits to all areas and staff

around the site but some office work

hours now more increasingly


• A thorough working

knowledge of the site working

procedures and Quarry

Regulations and good


• Demonstrate an ability to

manage Health and Safety

obtained by attending the

IOSH ‘Managing Safety

course' or equivalent.


• Certificated to drive light


• The ability to drive some of

the site mobile plant so as to

cover for short term periods.

Therefore the qualification of

Plant Operations

(Extractives) Level 2 would

be advantageous.

For Team Leaders/Foremen with

ambitions for promotion the

DAPS Course (see course

information at end of document)

in Quarrying would be


equipment and systems.

• An appreciation of what is

required to ensure the machinery

functions efficiently, the

importance of planned

maintenance and safe operating

processes, and experience of

knowing how hard to push plant

and how long plant can be safely

left to operate before just-in-time

repairs must be carried out.

• Experience in the effects of

weather on production, wear

rates, and how changes in raw

product feed can affect

specifications and how these can

be catered for within the

capability of the machinery and

processing plant.

• Experience in dealing with

personnel issues and the ability

to be able to motivate and yet

fairly manage staff.

• Experience in how to organise

and plan ahead.

Working Conditions:

• Salary levels for Team Leader/Foreman (the name varies according to regional and historical terminology and management

preferences) would start at £ 23,000 rising to over £35,000 for large and quite sophisticated processing operations.

• In busy periods shift hours may be extended or some week end working may be required, but this is not common. Call out during

periods not on shift is the exception rather than the rule unless the individual has specific experience of a particular situation or set

of circumstances that requires his involvement.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 35 of 41

Job Title: Weighbridge Operator

Requirements of job roles within the extractive and mineral processing industries

Job Description: To control and co-ordinate the dispatch and delivery of all materials (aggregates, asphalt, blocks, bagged products etc.) to

customers with an accurate and legal conveyance note.


• The primary role is to ensure that

vehicles entering the site are accurately

weighed to ascertain tare weight of

vehicle, to note their registration number,

direct them to the correct loading point.

• Communicate with the site loader the

customers’ requirements and then weigh

off the loaded vehicle to obtain the gross

weight for legal compliance on the public

highway and calculate the net weight for

invoicing by the company.

• The role requires organizational skills to

ensure the daily program is dispatched to

order, advising drivers of road works,

accidents diversions, waiting times, sites

contacts route or site restrictions, dealing

with customer enquiries and informing

them of breakdowns and/or delays and

expected arrival times.

• Juggling program to minimize ‘flooding’

or ‘starving’ at customer’s site.

Job can be working

alone in a weighbridge

office or as a part of a

close knit team.

• Generally a fair balance


communicating face to

face with individuals,

telephone/radio work,

and computer and

data/records work.

• Appeals to individuals

who enjoy interaction

and communication

with people.

• Individuals who prove

to have communication,

negotiation and

organizational skills can

move on to roles such

as transport dispatch

and program planning,

sales, transport


• An N/SVQ Level 2

Weighbridge Operations

(awaiting accreditation as at

March 2007) other

training/qualifications may be


• A thorough working

knowledge of the safe

working procedures, activities

and operations,

• General knowledge of

transport operations and

legal compliance related to

overloaded or unsafe loads

on the public highway.

• Sound basic IT skills with

competency on the

companies computerized

conveyance/ticket system

and weighbridge equipment.

• At least two years either

working as a vehicle driver or

handling or loading the

products would be very

advantageous but not


• Experience with computers,

radio equipment and

customer relations particularly

via the telephone.

• Training and experience in

handling dissatisfied

customers, would be


• An understanding of Quality

specifications, environmental

requirements such as

sheeting vehicles, split loads,

contamination spillages, etc.

• Knowledge of planning

restrictions such as dust,

working hours, parking

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 36 of 41

• Recording vehicle data into computer or

onto manual tickets.

• Cleaning, checking and inspecting

weighbridge and surrounds.

• Checking vehicle compliance, with

company procedures Environmental,

Health and Safety, Quality and Road

Traffic Act requirements, contamination,

correct loading of material and

positioning on vehicle, handling cash

sales, directing and advising visitors,

suppliers and contactors.

• Maintaining good working relationships

with Hauliers and customers in

sometimes difficult circumstances.

• Checking incoming supplies and delivery

documentation and accuracy.

supervisor and site


• The skills learnt as a

weighbridge operator

are easily transferable

to other transport


warehousing and

storage operations, and

logistic importing and

exporting companies.

Earnings are generally made

up of basic salary

(sometimes hourly paid.)

with opportunities for some

overtime payment if working

on sites with flexible

planning restrictions allowing

late, weekend, or night


• Reasonable numeracy skills

to handle weighing data,

cash sales and VAT.

• Knowledge of how to check

accuracy of weighbridge and

relevance of compliance to

weights and measures



• H&S to IOSH Working Safely

or equivalent.

• An LGV license would be

useful experience for the


• Sound explanatory and

communication skills both

verbal and on the radio and

telephone. Customer care

skills and dealing with


• A foreign language would be

an advantage, recently the

ability to make one self

understood to drivers whose

first language is not English.

restrictions, noise, traffic

routing, etc.

• Health and safety

requirements and how these

relate to the weighbridge and

vehicle activities on site.

• Knowledge of road network,

and likely congestion areas.

• Experience of dealing with

Hauliers both ‘in house’

owner driver and contract

driver and what their needs

and motivations are, and how

to persuade and cajole them

to undertake deliveries to

sometimes unpredictable

customer’s needs and


Working Conditions:

• Salary levels are from £16,000 up to over £25,000 for experienced operators on busy sites.

• Hours of work will depend on planning restrictions on site. Generally it will involve start times of between 06.00hrs and 07.00hrs so

that vehicles can get on the road early and have their first delivery waiting to tip off when the customer starts operations. Hours of

work between 40 to 45 hours per week and would include some Saturday morning work.

• Overtime usually only available for holiday cover unless on an unrestricted site where late or night working is more prevalent.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 37 of 41

Extractive and Mineral Processing Industries: A few examples of Specific Job Roles and Typical Career Progression Routes

Key for Symbols

Used -

refer to next page

Start Roles

Not requiring specific

qualifications or

industry experience

Mobile Plant Driver or

Fixed Plant Operator

Progression 1:

Requiring some degree

of experience in a

similar and/or related


Team Leader/Foreman

Progression 2:

These roles require

industry experience

and/or specific training/


Quarry Supervisor

Progression 3:

These roles require

industry experience

and specific training/


Quarry Manager

The training and qualifications listed are for indicative purposes

only as this will vary according to the specific job role and

responsibilities and from company to company

Required Training &


Required Training &


Required Training &


Required Training &


EPIC Mobile/

Fixed Plant* Certificate


N/SVQ in Plant/Processing

Operations (Extractives)

Trainee Technician

N/SVQ Level 2 Laboratory

& Technical Activities

Goods Vehicle Driver or

Weighbridge Operators

LGV Licence; EPIC Haulier

Card; N/SVQ Level 2

Driving Goods Vehicle or

Weighbridge Operators~

Trainee Driller or Shotfirer

DAPS# Course in


EPIC Supervising Safety

EPIC Understanding

Quarry Regs.

Field Technician/Senior Technician

Assistant Logistics Manager

NVQ Level 3 SHE^

IOSH Managing Safely

EPIC Supervising Safety

N/SVQ Level 3 Laboratory & Technical Activities

DAPS Course in Quarrying/Asphalt

Certificate in Professional Competence (CPC)

N/SVQ Level 2/3 Traffic Office

Driller or Shotfirer

EPIC Shotfiring Certificate (Shotfirer Only)


NVQ Level 2 Drilling or NVQ Level 3 Blasting Operations

Blast Designer

Additional NVQs Units in

Blast Design

NVQ Level 3/4 SHE^

Technical Manager

N/SVQ Level 4 Laboratory

& Technical Activities

DAPS Course in


Logistics Manager

Certificate in Professional

Competence (CPC)

N/SVQ Level 3 Traffic


Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 38 of 41


*Mobile Plant

This is the general term for large specialised vehicles of

various sizes that extract and move materials. These are

predominately diesel powered, wheeled or tracked, with

sophisticated electrical, electronic and hydraulic systems.

The size and quantity of mobile plant at an operating site

will vary according to the type of operation and from

employer to employer. Mobile Plant are expensive pieces

of equipment costing anything from £20,000 to £1/2


Mobile plant is principally used to lift and transfer loads

(e.g. lift trucks and cranes), to extract (excavators), to construct and form (bulldozers and graders)

and to transport loads (dump trucks and loading shovels). Depending on size of company or site

location Mobile Plant Operators may be expected to operate a range of plant equipment.

*Fixed Plant

This is the general term used in the extractive and mineral processing industries to describe plant

and machinery used to process and add value to extracted materials. The most common

processes are as follows:

• Crushing/Screening/Washing – the extracted material is reduced in size by crushing

(primary and secondary), grading by size (screening) and cleaning (washing) to meet

customer specifications.

• Concrete/Mortar Production involving the production of concrete, mortar and similar

materials by batch or continuous production.

• Asphalt/Coated Materials Production – the production of asphalt and other similar coating

materials by batch or continuous production.


Health, Safety & Environmental Management in the Extractive & Minerals Processing Industries

National Vocational Qualification [NVQ] available at Levels 3, 4 and 5.

~ Weighbridge National Occupational Standards

As at May 2007 these standards are awaiting approval.


As from September 2007 the DAPS Course which is aimed at supervisors and managers and

delivered largely through distance and work-based learning will be available as new diplomas in

Quarry and Asphalt Technology from the University of Derby. The study modules include health

and safety, environmental awareness, management skills, material testing and a focus on industry

specific technical activities such as blasting, pavement design, road surfacing, engineering,

processing of minerals and environmental controls. These diplomas will provide the essential

underpinning knowledge required by quarry managers and supervisors to demonstrate their

competence under the Quarry Regulations and National Highway Sector Quality Assurance

Schemes and enable engineers involved in the industry to register with the Engineering Council.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 39 of 41

EPIC Training & Consulting Services Limited

EPIC is the employer membership-based group training

association for all employers in the extractive and solid mineral

processing industries. Its members, who employ the majority of

staff in these industries, support EPIC to spearhead the delivery of

a world-class competent workforce. It aims to improve the skills

and knowledge of people employed and to be employed to improve

members’ business competitiveness at home and abroad.

EPIC members support Proskills on the basis that it considers strategic skills needs and improves the

level of public funding to address such needs. EPIC delivers any training as well as assisting Proskills

in meeting the requirements of its roles.

Listed below are a range of the courses available to employers and individuals.

It should be noted that employers will provide opportunities for individuals to develop existing and new

skills and encourage career progression. There may be the opportunity to enhance your skills prior to

seeking employment and information is available through the contacts listed below.

IOSH Managing Safely

EPIC Health and Safety Courses

NEBOSH General Certificate

EPIC Supervising Safety in Quarries

EPIC Supervising Safety in Processing Plants

EPIC Effective Safety Committees

EPIC Quarry Safety Inspections

EPIC Generic Risk Assessment

EPIC Courses

EPIC Risk Assessment in Quarries/Processing Plants/

Road Building Operations

EPIC Understanding the Quarries Regulations 1999

EPIC CDM and Management of Contractors

EPIC Safety Awareness for Operatives

EPIC Basic Manual Handling

EPIC Management of Safe Working at Height

EPIC Fire Safety Awareness

EPIC Managing Confined Spaces

EPIC Safe Entry into Confined Spaces

Aimed at the following

Job Roles

Team Leaders; Foremen; Deputy &

Quarry Mangers

Deputy & Quarry Mangers including

H&S Managers

Team Leaders; Foremen; Supervisors

Team Leaders; Foremen; Supervisors

for Fixed Plant

H&S Representatives

Deputy & Quarry Managers including

H&S Managers

Team Leaders; Foremen; Deputy &

Quarry/Contracting Mangers

All employees

Contract Managers

All employees

All employees

Team Leaders; Foremen;

Supervisors; Managers

Fire Wardens; Team Leaders

Supervisors & Managers

Supervisors & Managers

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 40 of 41

EPIC Health and Safety Courses

EPIC Site Safety Awareness and Safe Behaviour for Road


EPIC Environmental Courses


Aimed at the following

Job Roles

Those with environmental

responsibility - operators, supervisors

and managers

EPIC Management and Personal Development Courses

Interpersonal Skills for Managers and Supervisors

Supervisors & Managers

EPIC Making Meetings More Effective

An Introduction to Supervisory Techniques

Team Leaders, Supervisors &



Training Skills Courses

EPIC Instructional Techniques

Training Instructors

EPIC Toolbox Talk Presentation Skills

EPIC Off-Highway Plant Training

EPIC Geotechnical Training

Team Leaders; Supervisors and


Mobile Plant Operatives

Quarry Operatives; Supervisors;

Managers and Senior Management

For further details on the courses, please telephone:

EPIC Training and Consulting Services Limited on 01727 869008, or by email to:

Alternatively, you can visit the EPIC website at

Other sources of information on courses in the Extractive and Mineral Processing sector can be

found at:

The Institute of Quarrying – The leading institute for the quarry industry lists courses and

providers on its website at

The Institute of Asphalt Technology - The leading institute for the asphalt industry lists courses

and providers on its website at

Additional website addresses are listed under Additional Useful Contacts and Further Information.

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 41 of 41

Additional Useful Contacts and Further Information

British Aggregates Association

Careers Website

Careers Scotland

Careers Transition Partnership

EPIC Training & Consultancy Services Limited

EMP Awarding Body

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Institute of Asphalt Technology

Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining

Jobcentre Plus

Learn Direct Scotland

Proskills UK, Sector Skills Council for the Extractive &

Mineral Processing Industries

Quarry Products Association, Trade Association for the

Quarrying Industry

The Institute of Quarrying


Proskills would like to acknowledge the assistance and support from:

• Highlands Skills Fund supported by Scottish Executive and Highlands and Islands

Enterprise (HIE)

• Quarry Products Association (QPA)

• EPIC Training & Consultancy Services Limited

• British Aggregates Association (BAA)

• JCB for providing the photographs

• Career Transition Partnership (CTP)

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 42 of 41

Extractive & Mineral Processing Page 43 of 41

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