Higher National Diploma

in Metallurgical Assay


This course involves an in depth investigation of the chemical and physical properties of ores, metallic and non-metallic minerals, alloys from the mining process and allied industries. It also provides an appreciation of the activities of the mineral processing plant. The objective is that upon completion of the course students would have sufficient knowledge to accurately conduct assays of gold, silver and other precious metals and be able to identify and analyse divergent results to ensure improved accuracy. Methods taught will include cupellation for gold, potentiometric titration for silver and X-Ray fluorescence for precious / non-precious metals.

At Zimbabwe School of Mines, metallurgical assaying’s practical applications in engineering and industry are emphasised through field trips to the mines and attachment. The subjects you may touch on include Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Industrial Management among many others.


This course meets the education requirements of the HEXCO Higher National Diploma for certification for Metallurgical Assay. a Higher National Diploma certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the course.


After completing the course  students should be able to:

  • Access, evaluate and generate minerals and metallurgical information from multiple sources
  • Communicate in ways appropriate to the discipline of metallurgical fire assay.
  • Apply mineral and metallurgical scientific principles to the metallurgical process of fire assay.
  • Use and apply technologies, recognising their advantages and limitations, when applied to minerals and metallurgical information
  • Demonstrate responsibility and self-learning skills by applying critical thinking and being proactive
  • Describe and apply international best practice standards in minerals processing,  metallurgical and assay methods and technologies
  • Work ethically and professionally, both within a team and independently
  • Describe fire assay operations
  • Apply theory and data to solve problems
  • Evaluate fire assay unit processes
  • Communicate professionally with mining industry



  •  Metallurgical laboratory technician



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Course Atributes

Total Course Duration: 3yrs

Entry Requirements: 5 O-Levels including English Language, Mathematics and a Science Subject

Course Level: National Diploma