Machine operators, mineral and metal processing (NOC 9411)

About this job

Machine operators in mineral and metal processing run single-function machines or machinery that are part of a larger production to process mineral ore and metal products.

People in this career group work in mineral ore and metal processing plants such as copper, lead and zinc refineries. They also work in uranium processing plants, steel mills, aluminum plants, precious metal refineries and cement processing plants.

Common job titles
  • alumina clarifier / recovery
  • aluminum equipment
  • annealer
  • anode / anode caster
  • attendant, agglomerating
  • attendant, discharge door / induration


Machine operators, mineral and metal processing, perform some or all of the following duties:

  • set up, prepare and adjust mineral ore, metal and cement processing machinery to carry out one step in the overall mineral ore or metal processing operation
  • operate single-function machinery to grind, separate, filter, mix, treat, cast, roll, refine or otherwise process mineral ores
  • look at gauges, meters, computer printouts, video monitors and products to make sure machine operates properly and confirm specific processing conditions
  • make adjustments to machinery as needed
  • record production information and complete reports
  • may help with machinery maintenance or repair

Work environment

Key aspects of the work in this occupation:

  • Work takes place in a regular controlled indoor setting.
  • Work also takes place in an indoor environment where temperatures or humidity may vary considerably.
  • Working with equipment, instruments, machinery or power/hand tools may be source of injury.
  • Workers may be exposed to fire, steam or hot surfaces that can be hazardous.
  • The workplace many contain strong or toxic odours.
  • Airborne particles such as dust and sand may be present in the work environment

Career paths and resources

Career paths

With experience, machine operators may progress to central control and process operators in mineral and metal processing.

There is little movement among the various types of machine operators within the mineral and metal processing industry.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.