Students from the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall, UK are attending the International Intercollegiate Mining Games, aided by sponsorship from technology developer Maptek.
This year, the 35th Mining Games are being hosted by the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado from March 13-17. Teams represent universities throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Germany, and Holland.
Three teams from Camborne have headed to Colorado, with 21 students representing the School and sponsors such as Maptek at the event. Camborne which is part of the University of Exeter, hosted the 2012 Games.
Maptek involvement dates back to 2006, with the provision of academic software licenses of Maptek Vulcan mine planning software.
Sponsorship of Camborne at the Games in Colorado was especially fitting with Camborne’s hosts being Colorado, because Maptek has employees and customers as alumni from both of these world-renowned institutions.
Camborne teaches principles of geology, mining, mineral processing and renewable energy. Staff from Maptek’s Edinburgh office train third year mining students in underground and open pit mine design. This year Maptek provided additional staff to help cope with the burgeoning student numbers, which at around 40 have nearly doubled since 2012.
Vulcan knowledge may not help the Camborne students win games though, as events like the ‘Gold Pan’ and ‘Suede Saw’ test physical mining capabilities rather than modelling and mine planning skills.
The competition aims to keep these traditional mining techniques alive, many of which were developed in Cornwall. Other events include the ‘Jackleg’, where 2 competitors use a pneumatic drill to create the deepest hole in a concrete block, and the ‘Ore Muck’, which requires 5 students to fill a 2-ton ore cart and run it down a track.
The competition enhances the comradeship of international mining students and allows mining companies to meet potential employees.
‘Involvement with the training of Camborne mining engineers provides mutual benefits for Maptek and the University,’ said Colin Comberbach, Technical Services Manager, Maptek Europe. ‘We provide future mining professionals with some of the skills they will need, and they become our advocates within the industry.’