Diploma in Metallurgy  Technology


Diploma in Metallurgy Technology is a three year programme covering the three major fields in metallurgy namely, minerals processing, extractive metallurgy and physical metallurgy. Each student is expected to undertake a final year industrial based research project. The entry requirements are the same as for the degree programme.

Programme Details


For first year metallurgy diploma courses please refer to Mining Engineering diploma program listing.


Fluid properties. Hydraulic press, jack, brakes and manometers. Viscosity determination and index. Fluid flow characteristics: Bernoulli theorem; Darcy and Chezy formula. Settling and hindered flow: Stokes’ law, laminar and turbulent flow, Rittinger’s law, particle behaviour in fluids and fluid flow in beds of particles, pumps and pumping.
Mineral processing; unit processes and operations, costs. Sizing; particle size, shape and shape factors. Sizing techniques; presentation of data. Industrial sizing. Comminution; crushers and grinding mills. Separation methods: gravity, heavy media. Jigging and jigging machines. Separation in streaming currents; flotation. Magnetic and electrostatic separation.
Introduction; simple flowsheets and applications. Extraction methods used on the Zambian Copperbelt. Leaching. Dewatering; thickening and filtration. Solution purification and concentration; chemical precipitation, solvent extraction and ion exchange. Recovery of metals from solution, cementation, pressure reduction, electrochemical precipitation.
Fuels: properties; combustion calculations; types. Types of refractories. Pyrometallurgical processes; pre-treatment for concentrates. Smelting from ores and concentrates; copper matte, smelting in reverberatory, electric and flash furnaces. Charge composition, fluxes, slags, heat and mass balance calculations.
Stoichiometry; gas reactions, the mole concept, Avogadro’s law. Organic chemistry. Atomic structure, chemical bonding, electron energy levels. Kinetics and chemical equilibrium. Aqueous solution, dissociation, pH electrolytes, hydrolysis. Qualitative analysis: cation & anion groups. Quantitative analysis: gravimetry and titrations.
Destructive testing: tensile and impact testing; brittle fracture; hardness. Relationship between microstructure and mechanical properties. Non-destructive testing; dye penetrant, magnetic particles, X-rays, ultrasonic and eddy current. Atomic structure, bonding and crystallography of metal. Plastic deformation, effect of work hardening on mechanical properties.
Dispersion statistics; Probability distributions; Three dimensional trigonometry; Basic vector algebra; Matrix algebra and application to equations; Further differentiation; rates of changes; power series; Further integration; Differential equations; 1st order, separation of variables, integration factors
Crystallography & mineralogy; igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic rocks. Surface processes; stratigraphy; plate tectonics. Geology of the Copperbelt ore deposits. Theory of optics. Optical properties of minerals. Ore microscope. Sample preparation. Ore mineral identification in plane-polarised and crossed-polarised light; texture, paragenesis. Description and examination of common ore minerals. Applications: liberation properties, grain size & counting, relative abundance of ore minerals.


Chemical Thermodynamics: laws and functions; Gibbs energy and entropy. Enthalpy, adiabatic process, Ellingham’s diagram; chemical kinetics, heterogeneous reactions, catalysis. Electrochemistry; Galvanic cells and practical aspects of electrolysis, solutions and interfacial phenomena.
Dewatering. Materials handling; ore and concentrate storage; dust control. Effluent disposal, tailings; environmental considerations. Sampling; sample treatment, data handling. Metallurgical accounting. Solid-liquid mixing. Design calculations release analysis, bulk segregation and differential tests, RTD, flow sheet development, grinding circuit analysis, conveyor belt calculations, thickener calculations. Developments in mineral processing technology.
Leaching; reaction kinetics, solid-liquid separation. Solution purification and concentration of leach solutions. Chemical precipitation, solvent extraction, solute-extractant interactions, kinetics, ionic exchange. Recovery of metals; electrowinning and electrorefining, cementation, pressure reduction.
Extraction of ferrous and non-ferrous (Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) metals. Continuous smelting, converting, fire refining and casting of copper; ferrous extraction, manufacture of iron and steel. By-products; pollution control. Heat and mass balance; flowsheets.
Solid solutions; equilibrium diagrams. Heat treatment; cooling rate, annealing, normalising, hardening and tempering. Steel: grain structure & physical properties; types. Mechanical working; material failure: creep, fatigue, wear, corrosion, stress. Non-ferrous materials; Cu, Ni and it’s alloys. Manufacturing processes: casting, forming processes, pipe and tube making, sheet metal making, metal joining.
Instrumental methods of chemical analysis; emission, X-ray fluorescence and atomic absorption spectroscopy. Introduction to process control; theory and practice of level control, pressure, weight and fluid flow measurement, pH control.
Introduction. Ore dressing: crushing, screening, grinding. Classification; flotation; separation; dewatering. Material balances. Pyrometallurgy: concentrate pretreatment, smelting, converting, fire-refining and anode casting. Flowsheet and stoichiometric balance. Hydrometallurgy: leaching, solid/liquid separation, solution purification and concentration, material balances, electrolysis. Tankhouse operations