Process Optimisation Specialist

First Quantum

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:

Overall Job Purpose

As key member of the Process Operation Optimisation team and reporting into Process Operation Optimisation Superintendent, the Process Optimisation Specialist-Metallurgy scrutinizes operating strategies and process reports to identify gaps for improvement. Drive underperformance investigations, testing and implementation of new operating strategies and control systems. Maintain and optimise process analysers and control system. Drive training of Control Room Operators.

Specific Job Responsibility

  • The role has process operational improvements accountability.
  • Develop training material, dashboard and organise on job training of Control Room Operators.
  • Identify control system deficiencies and propose improvements options.
  • Collaborate with both operational and technical teams to drive implementation of improved operating strategies in the field of operation.
  • Collaborate with software team to tune, improve and optimised control systems.
  • Collaborate with engineering team to identify and address operational issues across the plant.
  •  Conduct downtime analysis and propose solutions to avoid reoccurrence.
  • Analyse process report, highlights issues and propose improvement actions.
  • Maintain process automatic reporting systems in the absence of Business Information Coordinator.
  • Create monitoring trends, dashboards and increase ability of Control Room Operator and supervisors to use them so as to make good production decisions.
  •  Drive implementation and introduction of advanced control technologies to improve operation and production.
  • Manage and optimise expert system and analysers.
  • Establish data and info needed by operational team for each section of the plant to increase process parameters and KPI visibility so as to improve their control and impact on production.
  • Conduct field optimisation surveys, generate and execute optimisation projects.
  • Supervise sectional projects so that they are delivered in good time and operate efficiently.
  • Engage suppliers through various support contracts so that the department achieve from them maximum benefit.

Job Specific Competencies

  • Deep understanding of Metallurgical operations of a high throughput copper concentrator.
  • Knowledge of plant control systems, data management systems and software packages i.e.  SCADA, PLC’s, PI.
  • Deep computer literacy.
  • Deep understanding of process advanced control systems.

Key Job Attributes

  • Maintain HSE standards, promote them where possible, ensure all safety incidents are reported promptly and addressed, and maintain a very high standard of general safety.
  • Drive skills transfer and training, with the aim of increasing competencies and skillsets in senior and control room staff where possible, in understanding how to use data.
  • Control and reduce operational costs.
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by Process Management. Commitment to SHEC performance.
  • Good leadership and motivational skills.
  • Strong drive and personal sense of ownership and accountability.
  • Strong ability to build working relations, including a balance of assertiveness and cooperation.
  • Excellent cognitive and analytical skills.
  • Ability to work autonomously and maintain self-discipline under pressure.
  • Be diligent and thorough in approach.
  • Be enthusiastic and pro-active in manner.
  • Computer fluency is a must.
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.
  • English language fluency.

Experience required to perform in this job

  • Minimum 3 years working as Metallurgist or Process Control Metallurgist, Process Engineer or Production Engineer.
  • Experience in metallurgical process operations of large copper concentrators highly regarded.
  • Knowledge of Excel, VBA, SQL, Matlab, PowerBI required and other programming languages are a plus.
  • Experience in using process advanced control systems.


  • Grade 12 Certificate
  • Degree in Metallurgy, Mineral Processing, Chemical Engineering or related.
  • Eligibility for membership of the Engineering institute of Zambia (EIZ).
  • A certificate or post-graduation qualification in data management system will be preferred.

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