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Please Note: This course is not taking new applications.
This course provides specialised training in the core disciplines of earth science, process mineralogy, mineral processing, hydrometallurgy and pyrometallurgy for a career in the mining, minerals and resources industries.
The course consists of seven units: six core fully-online units and one laboratory-based practical unit requiring on-campus attendance.
Students should complete the six online units before attempting the practical component.
The practical component consolidates the theoretical material covered in preceding units.
Graduates of a Graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy will have advanced knowledge within a systematic and coherent body of knowledge that may include the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills in a new or existing discipline or professional area.
The course addresses all core areas of extractive metallurgy- mineral processing, pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy and process mineralogy. The course contents incorporate an in-depth knowledge of the physico-chemical principles required for mineral processing, hydrometallurgy and pyrometallurgy with the engineering and plant design aspects. Students are required to complete a total of 24 points over a period of 1 year full-time equivalent, which is available in internal, external or mixed-mode of study.
Graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy will have:
- cognitive skills to review, analyse, consolidate and synthesise knowledge and identify and provide solutions to complex problems
- cognitive skills to think critically and to generate and evaluate complex ideas
- specialised technical and creative skills in a field of highly skilled and/or professional practice
- communication skills to demonstrate an understanding of theoretical concepts
- communication skills to transfer complex knowledge and ideas to a variety of audiences
The course is designed in a way that the postgraduate students, irrespective of their previous degrees in science or engineering, can learn aspects of geology, earth science and mineralogy in relation to the formation, occurrence and identification mineral resources, an introduction to the physical and chemical treatment of various naturally occurring ores and the physico-chemical aspects to separate impurities and produce pure metals and value added commodities using mineral processing, pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical unit operations which contribute to an overall process flowsheet of metal production.
Graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy will demonstrate the application of knowledge
- to make high level, independent judgments in a range of technical or management functions in varied specialised contexts
- to initiate, plan, implement and evaluate broad functions within varied specialized technical and/or creative contexts
- with responsibility and accountability for personal outputs and all aspects of the work or function of others within broad parameters
Students conduct the laboratory or pilot scale unit operations in relations to all the aspects in mineral processing and extractive metallurgy and get hands on experience. The engineering aspects involved in each unit operation including process parameters, fluid mechanics, fluid and slurry transport and metering, mass, energy and heat balance are discussed along with more complex issues in relation to overall flowsheets, modelling and design equations of various mineral processing, pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical unit operations in plants, recycling, energy consumption and environmental issues.
The laboratory work and assignments are designed in a way that the students test and improve their understanding in scientific, mathematical, operational, engineering and computing skills, and critically analysing and reporting as well as engaged in team work.
Students also learn how to conduct critical literature reviews and PowerPoint presentations to gain confidence on gathering information, reporting and presentation skills and to update their knowledge on current research and modern practices in extractive metallurgy.
Some students have been successful in obtaining vacation employment during their studies which help them to select a career in minerals industry.
Graduates will have a qualification in mineral processing and extractive metallurgy that is recognised in the mining, minerals and resources industry.
Graduates may work within the minerals industry as metallurgists, on mine sites in metal recovery and concentration operations, in metal refineries, smelters, foundries or in research and technology development and use their specialised knowledge of fundamentals underlying metal extraction and process engineering to control and improve the processes that separate, concentrate and recover minerals and metals from ore bodies.
A recognised Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent.
Applicants without university level chemistry, mathematics, physics or thermodynamics should contact the Academic Chair.
No specific experience is required, although experience in the mining industry is an advantage.
English language requirements
International students must have an IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL 550.
To qualify for the award of Graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy students must complete all seven core units (accumulate 24 credit points)
3 Point units:
EXM193 Introduction to the Minerals Industry
EXM524 Metallurgical Unit Operations
EXM527 Extractive Metallurgy I
EXM528 Extractive Metallurgy II
EXM565 Mineralogy for Metallurgists
EXM566 Advanced Mineral Processing
6 Point unit:
EXM562 Practical Metallurgical Processing
Students should enrol in EXM562 Practical Metallurgical Processing towards the end of their study program.
This unit requires attendance at laboratory sessions at the Perth campus of Murdoch University.
Please contact the Academic Chair for detailed information:
Dr Aleks Nikoloski,
Academic Chair of Extractive Metallurgy
Tel. +61 8 9360 2835
Any recognition of prior learning to be credited towards the Graduate Diploma must be applied for and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Academic Chair according to Murdoch University policies.
Eligible OUA students can access the government loan scheme known as FEE-HELP. You pay back the loan through your taxes once your income reaches a minimum threshold.
Who can access it?
- Australian citizens who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to their course
- Permanent humanitarian visa holders who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit
- Permanent visa holders who are undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of their study
- Credit card (Visa and MasterCard)
- Money order
You should make cheques and money orders payable to 'Open Universities Australia' and send them to:
Open Universities Australia
GPO Box 5387
2015 Course Changes
Below is the list of the units that have been recoded.
Old Unit Code - New Unit Code
- EXM131 - EXM193
- EXM504 - EXM566
- EXM556 - EXM565
- EXM568 - EXM527
- EXM557 - EXM528
- EXM513 - EXM562
2014 Course Changes
The structure of the Graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy has undergone a number of changes to enhance graduates’ skills and knowledge in the area of extractive metallurgy.
- The introductory unit EXM130 Introduction to Earth Sciences has been removed from the course.
- The unit EXM557 which was previously Extractive Metallurgy, has been renamed to EXM557 Extractive Metallurgy II. This unit will give students an extensive grounding in the area of hydrometallurgy.
- The introduction of a new unit to cover the area of pyrometallurgy. This unit is EXM568 Extractive Metallurgy I. Inclusion of this unit will now allow graduates to gain accreditation as Metallurgists with the AusIMM.
There is no change to EFTSL weightings for the course.
Murdoch University will continue to offer the unit EXM130 Introduction to Earth Sciences through OUA. However, it will cease to be a core unit in the Graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy at the end of Study Period 2 2014.
Students who have already completed the unit EXM130 Introduction to Earth Sciences will still have this unit counted towards their degree, and will not be required to complete EXM568 Extractive Metallurgy I. However, this will only apply for enrolments prior to Study Period 3 2014.
Students should direct enquiries to:
Dr. Aleks Nikoloski
Academic Chair of Extractive Metallurgy
Tel. +61 8 9360 2835