Small Scale Mining & Beneficiation

Mintek supports the SMME sector through research and development of appropriate technologies, and by providing training and support so that development can be as sustainable as possible even though based on limited resources.

SSMB Training School

Mintek’s Small-Scale Mining and Beneficiation Division (SSMB) has established a training school that will give Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners an outcome-based theoretical and practical training. The training offered will provide the miners with the sufficient knowledge to operate their Minerals based SMMEs safely, efficiently and environmental friendly.

The SSMB Division also assists aspiring and established Small-Scale Miners to become legal mining operators that are able to run their operations more efficiently and economically and ensure sustainability in their mining developments. Our Training School proactively searches for opportunities from which Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners can benefit, such as the beneficiation of products and new technology developments.

We have also undertaken beneficiation training at numerous localities across South Africa, often in rural areas.

During the 2004/2005 financial year the Department of Labour funded the training of 700 practicing or prospective miners through the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA). This training programme was deemed successful, and as a result the MQA registered Mintek as an official training supplier.

Training is given either at the school in Randburg, or at facilities close to where the SMME’s live and work. Training modules are prepared to align with the Unit Standards of the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA). Training has been designed to suit different commodities, such as gold, diamonds and industrial minerals. The areas that are covered in the training are as follows:

The Advanced SSMB course includes hands-on training covering the skills needed for running a small scale mining operation.

Download Training programmes offered at SSMB Training School (PDF File).


A course on beneficiation (the adding of value to concentrates, industrial minerals and waste products) is given to suitable candidates. Some of the courses that have been developed and presented are:

  • The manufacture of glass beads from recycled waste bottles.
  • Making jewellery and lifestyle products from hand made glass beads.
  • Making pottery on a potters wheel or by slip casting, bisque firing and glazing.
  • Making bricks from clay or cement and sand.
  • Metal Jewellery Making.