ANOTHER significant long-term commitment by mining companies to a tertiary education initiative, this time involving China-backed MMG and gold miner Newcrest Mining. The two companies this month signed off on philanthropic gifts to support the establishment of a division of mining and resources engineering in Monash University’s engineering faculty.
AUSTRALIA’S minerals tertiary education and research sector is in sound shape, according to the head of the country’s biggest mining school. Far from being sinister, mining donations in one form or another are playing a pivotal part, as is the continuing shifting of industry research into academia. But universities are also learning to be better businesses too.
EXPLORATION and mining software developer Micromine has signed an agreement with Brazil’s Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology to introduce its flagship Micromine software in technical mining courses at IFMG’s Ouro Preto campus in Minas Gerais.
SWISS-based engineering and technology group ABB has pledged five years of support for a new mechatronics teaching laboratory at the University of Queensland in Australia, with the facility featuring an industrial robot and other advanced ABB products.
WESTERN Australia’s Curtin University has appointed veteran minerals industry figure professor Dudley Kingsnorth as head of its new Critical Materials Initiative, which is focused on “supply-limited … critical” commodities such as rare earths, platinum, lithium and tungsten.
DESPITE the importance of mining to Western Australia’s economy and a crippling skills shortage there is no WA high school with a school-wide focus on producing the next generation of mining engineers, surveyors and trades for the mining industry. That is until now.
THE first apprentices to receive formal qualifications under Australia’s National Apprenticeships Program (NAP) completed their training programs early, highlighting the potential of the scheme to meet resource-sector skills needs. Major energy projects are still expected to exacerbate shortages, even if mining investment stalls.
SOUTH African simulator technology company ThoroughTec plans to formally launch what it is describing as a new partnership with the Western Australian School of Mines at the upcoming Diggers & Dealers mining conference in Kalgoorlie, WA.
THE head of one of Australia’s major tertiary minerals education institutions believes the ‘business’ can double in size in the next 4-5 years as demand for mining engineers, geologists and other professionals continues to surge, and more money pours into minerals research.
THE RMIT University School of Engineering TAFE will deliver instrumentation training at Mount Isa in Queensland under a $A900,000 contract with Xstrata and Stanwell Corporation.
MINING giant Rio Tinto has extended funding support to the University of New South Wales to establish a new high-level academic position in the university’s geotechnical engineering department.
RISING Canadian gold major Kinross Gold Corporation will contribute $C625,000 over five years to a professorship in mining and sustainability at Queen’s University in Ontario.
FRUSTRATED with the response to its call for more mining vacation work for university students the AusIMM in Perth has named several large mining companies as appearing to be unsupportive of measures aimed at demonstrating to students the validity of the industry’s “skills crisis” mantra.
SKILLS shortage or no skills shortage? That is the question being asked by the AusIMM in Western Australia, where some university students looking for vacation work to complete degrees are said to be struggling to find it. The difficulties apparently have nothing to do with any kneejerk reaction by miners to global economic uncertainty.
LEADING consultancy Coffey International has taken its support for mining engineering education in Tasmania to a new level in Victoria with backing for a Masters of Mining Engineering program at Melbourne University. Program creator, Associate Professor Bill Bamford, says the unique program is aimed at addressing an industry skills shortage that hasn’t gone away.
AS mining companies head into 2009 surrounded by doom and gloom, educators of the next generation of mining professionals are, perhaps surprisingly, looking to the immediate future with more optimism. Just as a boom draws people into the workforce, busts sends many back to the books.
CONCENTRATIONS of rocks, minerals and funds are all vital to the sustainability of mines and mining companies. The new head of one of Australia’s major mineral tertiary education institutions says concentrating education resources is just as important to the industry’s future.
A DRAWN-OUT recruitment process to secure a new head of one of Australia’s leading mining schools has underlined the challenges faced by tertiary educators to keep the country’s minerals education institutions on the global map.