AfREC Industry Coordinator Dr Muza Gondwe, in her concurrent role with the UWA Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance (MEfDA), hosted six academics from the University of Zambia’s School of Mines for a two week mining and sustainability course in WA from 14-30 June 2019. The University of Zambia is also a co-member with UWA of the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN).
The academics are involved in an Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) programme which is funded by the African Development Bank. As part of ESDA, UNZA is delivering a Master’s programme in Sustainable Mineral Resources Development in Africa (SMRD). This is a new trans-disciplinary and inter-institutional programme offered by University of Zambia and the University of Cape Town. The program is aimed at providing a postgraduate qualification that highlights the critical factors of sustainable development in the context of mining and minerals processing in Africa.
The delegation included Dr. Bunda Besa, Dean of the School of Mines; Dr. Stephens Kambani, Head of Mining Engineering Department; Dr. Edward Siame, Head of Department, Department of Metallurgy and Material Processing; Dr. James Manchisi, Department of Metallurgy and Mineral Processing; Dr Jewette Masinja, Department of Metallurgy and Material Processing; and Dr Mususu Kosta Mpongo Kaonda, Department of Metallurgy and Material Processing.
The main purpose of the visit to WA was to build capacity in the teaching staff of the ESDA program in the area of mining sustainability. The workshop shared teaching and research on sustainable mining practices to enhance the design and delivery of UNZA’s SMRD in Africa program. The presentations, discussions and field trips focused on environmental management and the socio-economic impacts of mining. The workshop facilitated knowledge exchange, teaching practice and practical demonstrations in the following areas: mine closure, socio-economic impacts of mining, acid mine drainage, mine waste management, mine rehabilitation, climate change and mining, environmental and social impacts, environmental concepts in mining, and teaching methodology – problem based and field based learning.
The UWA mining sustainability workshop involved presentations from UWA academics, CSIRO researchers, field visits to the Centre for Mine Restoration, Newmont Goldcorp Boddington gold mine, and Westgold mine. AfREC Research Fellow Prof. Andy Fourie contributed expertise to the workshop program.
About the School of Mines, University of Zambia:
The mining industry still remains the mainstay of Zambia’s economy and will continue to play an important role in the development of the country. It is in the context of an acute shortage of graduate manpower for this vital industry that the School of Mines was established in 1973 as one of the thirteen (13) schools of the University of Zambia. Hence, the School has the most important part to play in the training and production of much needed professional geologists, mining engineers and metallurgists. During its existence spanning over three decades now, the School has up to 2017 produced over 2000 graduates. Structurally the school has three departments namely:
The School of Mines offers a four-year programme of study leading to the degree of Bachelor of Mineral Sciences (B.Min.Sc). Students are admitted to the School of Mines on a competitive basis after successfully completing the first year in the School of Natural Sciences. The School also admits, as direct entrants, applicants with Diplomas as well as those with A-levels. The number of students in the 2016/2017 academic year was about 239 and the total number of graduates the School produced until 2016 is about 2000.
The School of Mines also offers postgraduate programmes leading to the degree of Master of Mineral Sciences (M.Min.Sc). The programmes include Geology, Mining Engineering, Metallurgy and Mineral Processing, Mineral Economics, Rock Mechanics, Mineral Production Management, Small Scale Mining, Sustainable Mineral Resources Development, Mineral Resources Management and Hydrogeology. Other programmes offered by the School are Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Science degree in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) programme. The School also offers Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in all the three mining Disciplines.
In response to the concerns and needs of the mining industry, change in mining technology and in line with aspirations of Zambia’s Seventh (7th) National Development (2017 – 2021), the School of Mines is repositioning itself for global excellence in producing quality and competitive graduates, local solutions and public service.