SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Recover precious metals from a lead button by means of the cupellation process 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
256602  Recover precious metals from a lead button by means of the cupellation process 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard replaces: 
US ID Unit Standard Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Credits Replacement Status
9746  Recover precious metals from a lead button by means of the cupellation process  Level 2  NQF Level 02   

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard is for persons responsible for recovering precious metals from a lead button by means of the cupellation process. It will apply to laboratory personnel working with precious metals.

This unit standard is intended to promote general skills in and knowledge of recovering precious metals from a lead button by means of the cupellation process.

Learners credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge relating to occupational health, safety and environmental legislation.
  • Prepare for cupellation.
  • Extract the precious metal prill.
  • Explain or deal with problems relating to the cupellation process. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are already competent in the following:
  • Communication at NQF Level 1.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 1. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    This process is applicable to the platinum mining industry and it applies to the cupellation of lead buttons containing precious group metals. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate and apply knowledge relating to occupational health, safety and environmental legislation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Hazards and risks pertaining to the recovery of precious metals from a lead button are identified and explained with reference to occupational health, safety and environmental impact. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Fumes.
  • Heat radiation.
  • Hot equipment.
  • Lead contaminated waste.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The appropriate preventive actions to address identified hazards and risks are described in accordance with specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The required fit for purpose personal protective and safety equipment is identified and used in accordance with legal and operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The work is conducted to meet occupational health, safety, security and environmental standards. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Housekeeping.
  • Waste disposal.
  • Storage.
  • Fume extraction.
  • Heat control.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The consequences of non-compliance with specified requirements are explained with respect to personal and team health and safety and impact on the environment. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate knowledge relating to the recovery of precious metals from a lead button by means of the cupellation process. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Equipment needed for the process is identified, used and maintained in accordance with operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Equipment must include:
  • Muffles.
  • Cupels.
  • Cupel fork.
  • Muffle mirror.
  • Button tongs.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Lead buttons are identified in accordance with specified requirements and verified as being slag free. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The importance of buttons being slag free is explained with reference to the impact on the cupel, prill formation, and possible precious metal loss. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The purpose and basic principles of the cupellation process are explained with reference to the precious metal fire assay method. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Recover the precious metal prill. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Cupels are selected and prepared in accordance with operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Equipment is used in accordance with specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The sample sequencing is correctly maintained throughout the process and the identification pattern verified in accordance with operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The prill obtained after cupellation is checked to be visibly free of lead and non-fragmented. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    All process deviations are recorded and reported in accordance with specified requirements. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Explain or deal with problems relating to the recovery of precious metals from a lead button by means of the cupellation process. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The effects of scoria, frozen buttons, spattering, vegetation, feathering, and fragmentation on the accuracy of the analysis are explained and suitable precautions described with reference to cupellation conditions, and sample composition. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Common problems and their influence on the process are explained and/or dealt with in accordance with operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Common problems must include:
  • No sample identification.
  • Incorrect labelling.
  • Missing samples.
  • Sample spillage.
  • Equipment malfunction.
  • Cupellation process deviations: Time, airflow and temperature.
  • Slag adhering to de-slagged buttons.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The work is conducted in a manner that ensures continuity throughout the process in accordance with operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The effect of non-compliance with operational requirements is explained in terms of production, quality, cost, lost time and turnaround time for analytical results. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or by an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in the associated Unit Standards.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The following essential embedded knowledge will be addressed in an integrated manner in the unit standard.

    Knowledge related precious metal recovery by means of cupellation:
  • Equipment needed for the process.
  • The purpose and basic principles of the cupellation process.

    Critical factors and functions relating to the process:
  • Safety, health and risk management requirements.
  • Achieving specified production requirements.
  • Emergency procedures.
  • Security requirements.
  • Specified communication requirements.

    Processes and events:
  • Process flow and interlock systems.
  • Factors affecting the performance of the process.

    Causes and effects (Safety and Health):
  • Use of personal protective equipment.
  • Use of tools and equipment.
  • Condition of safety devices.
  • Utilisation of process equipment and consumables.
  • Workplace hazards and associated risks.
  • Effective communication.

    Procedures and techniques:
  • Methods of collecting and analysing, organising, summarising and presenting data.
  • Fault finding and correction technique.
  • Quality related procedures.
  • Operating procedure.

    Regulations, legislation, agreements, policies and standards:
  • Safety, health and environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Quality policies, standards and agreements. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    The learners ability to work to high levels of accuracy and inconsistency will contribute to the overall performance of the laboratory team. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    The learner's ability to follow work procedures closely, adhering meticulously to relevant procedures when recovering precious metals from a lead button by means of the cupellation process. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    The learner's ability to keep accurate records and make accurate entries into the relevant log sheets. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    The learner's ability to use and interact with technologically advanced procedures and equipment in a modern laboratory environment recovering precious metals from a lead button by means of the cupellation process. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    The learner is aware that in the mining (refining) industry various systems are dependent on each other, and accepts responsibility in that regard. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    This unit standard replaces unit standard 9746, "Recover precious metals from a lead button by means of the cupellation process", Level 2, 7 credits.

    Terminology:

    Specified Requirements:

    Specified requirements include legal and site-specific requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:

    Legal:
  • Relevant Acts: e.g. Mine Health & Safety Act and Regulations and Minerals Act and Regulations.
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant Standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives/Instructions.
  • Guidelines issued by the Chief Inspector of Mines.

    Site Specific:
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRA).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management Programme.
  • Voluntary Codes of Practice.
  • Managerial Instructions.
  • Mine Standard Procedures.
  • List of Recorded OH&S Risks.
  • Working Guides.
  • Equipment and Materials Specifications. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  64949   National Certificate: Laboratory Practice  Level 2  NQF Level 02  Reregistered  2023-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.