Posts by Joanna Gaskell - Education Editor:

Afghanistan Looks to Australia for Mine Training

Afghanistan is seeking aid from the Australian mining industry in the creation of a school of mines to help the recovering country exploit its vast natural resources, reports
[Afghanistan] Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani said, "Australia is a model for us". "The government of Australia has been very generous to help us with our technical capacity, give us scholarships for postgraduate programs in the mining area and we've also been sending some people to the Australian department of mines and petroleum," he told The Australian.

Mozambique Calls Back Exiled Nationals with Skills in the Mining Industry

After discovering significant sources of oil, gas and coal in Mozambique, the government is calling for nationals living abroad to return to the country, most after being exiled during the civil war, reports Business Day.
The country is also expanding its skills-training programmes, while hundreds of Mozambican students are in China attending technical training programmes.

South Africa Suffers from Shortage of Rock Engineers

Mining Weekly: South African mine seismology specialist SiM Mining Consultants has pointed out a persistent issue in the mining industry in South Africa - too few qualified professionals in the rock engineering field. South African miners are aware of seismic risks in mines but seismic sensors must be installed in mines to record data and allow the industry to understand increased seismic activity, [SiM director Friedemann Essrich] says. Essrich believes that a greater pool of experts and increased awareness of seismicity can be created through the education of rock engineers.

LME Donations to Wits School of Mining Engineering Increase Student Thoroughput

The amount of first-year students studying at the Wits School of Mining Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand has dramatically increased due to donations from the London Metal Exchange (LME), reports International Mining.
Professor Fred Cawood, head of the Wits School of Mining Engineering, aims to increase the percentage of sponsored students in the school to provide opportunities for those drawn from a disadvantaged socio-economic background and the donation from LME fulfilled this exact purpose. “Our objective is to identify students who are needy - students coming from poor families who cannot afford to study, and deserving - those who have a realistic chance of success if their money problems are resolved,” says Professor Cawood.

West Virginia Mine Safety Training Facility to Start Construction in June

A new training facility for mine safety could be breaking ground in Julian, West Virginia, by June of this year, reports The State Journal.
Alpha [Natural Resources] agreed to build a "state-of-the-art" training facility in Julian as part of its obligations to settle with the Department of Justice in regard to the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. The accident resulted in the death of 29 miners.

Philippine Government will Finance Education of Miners

The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources will finance the university education of geologists and mining professionals to counter the steady decline of these professions in the workforce, reports Inquirer News.
“The past years saw a steady decline in geologists and mining and metallurgical engineers in the MGB for two reasons—their recruitment by the private sector or their going abroad which offers bigger salaries, and a halt in DENR’s recruitments because of the rationalization program,” [Environment Secretary Ramon] Paje said.

Northern Territory Government and Minerals Council to Encourage Territorians Towards Mining

Experts have estimated that Australia's Northern territory will need an extra 6000 workers over five years to meet mining and gas demand. The Northern Territory Government and Minerals Council are working together the encourage local Territorians to take those positions, reports NT News.
Industry and the Government will work together to show students "clear pathways" to careers in mining. The program will include industry training, work experience, mentoring and school-based apprentices.

South African Coal Industry Plagued by Skill Shortage

Mining Weekly: Though efforts are being made to remedy the shortage of engineers in the South African coal industry, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Mining Engineering head Professor Fred Cawood says that not enough is being done to meet demand for skilled technicians and artisans.
“This challenge will not be sorted out unless significant investment is made into further education and training colleges,” says Cawood.

Construction Sector Council: Mobility and Training Needed to meet Labour Needs in B.C. Mining

Equipment Journal: The Construction Sector Council has declared in a new report that in order to meet upcoming construction labour needs in mining and other industries around British Columbia, worker mobility and training will need to increase.
“Industry will need to meet labour demand requirements through worker mobility, including regional moves by workers within the province - south to north and potentially workers from outside our province or country to meet peak demands,” added [President of the Construction Labour Relations Association of BC, Clyde] Scollan. “Both short- and long-term worker training will have to be a focus to help meet the labour demand on the industrial and engineering projects in remote areas.”

Rio Tinto Creates Geotechnical Engineering Chair at University of New South Wales

Rio Tinto Northparkes Mines has established a professorial chair in geotechnical engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to enable underground mining and block caving research, reports Australian Mining. Head of UNSW School of Mining, Bruce Hebblewhite, explained that "this partnership recognises the importance of geotechnical engineering as a core element for successful and safe underground mining. "[Block caving] is the lowest cost underground mining method available and is growing rapidly around the world….and there is a significant shortage of people with skills in these areas," Hebblewhite added.

Kemira Mienrals Holds Pre-PASTE Workshop on Polymers

Kemira Minerals and Metals will be holding a one-day workshop on polymers preceding the 3-day PASTE seminar in Sun City, South Africa this April, reports
Along with representatives from other global manufacturers and suppliers of polymers, Kemira's Mick Bower will lend his experience and insight to the fundamentals of coagulation and flocculation applied to paste thickening, as well as conventional uses and methods of application.