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Boost for mining skills

- By Buhle Zuma

 Wits and Curtin University in Australia have entered into a partnership that will produce mineral economists with a difference.

The two institutions sealed the partnership to develop specialist skill today, Tuesday, 11 November 2014, by signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation between the Wits School of Mining Engineering and Curtin University’s business school.

The Head of the School of Mining at Wits, Professor Fred Cawood, says that this is a unique agreement and the first for the School to sign with a business school.

“We have relationships with mining schools on all continents but none with business schools.”

“With the continuing trend of international companies recruiting Wits mining graduates and Australia experiencing a shortage in mining skills, the joint partnership will allow Wits graduates to operate even more efficiently in international mines and prepare them for an international career,” says Cawood.

Students pursuing a masters of science in engineering with specialisation in mineral economics will, upon completion of the Wits programme, be eligible for a Curtin master of science in mineral economics. The 50% credit of course work completed at Wits will ensure speedy completion of the Curtin programme.

Mineral economists are involved in the business aspect of mining and are concerned with how to finance mining operations, the economics of establishing a mine and running profitable operations.

The signatories to this ground breaking agreement were Wits Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Postgraduate Affairs and Curtin University’s Professor David Wood, Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and Vice-President International at Curtin University.