The visit followed an invitation from the Department of Mining and Processing Engineering.
Deputy Minister Shilunga and her delegation were given brief demonstrations of the laboratory equipment to give them an insight into the department’s operations. Shilunga said: “It is obvious that NUST takes the development of the mining industry seriously, and I look forward to the introduction of postgraduate studies in this field. This visit helps us to further understand the University’s objectives.”
NUST Vice-Chancellor, Tjama Tjivikua, emphasised that the Institution caters to the specific needs of industry; hence it is necessary to invest in modern buildings and equipment. He added that plans to introduce postgraduate studies in the department are underway and the technology advancements which have resulted in the discovery of more minerals indicating the need for more human resources.
The department has seven staff members who are PhD holders, and the head of the unit, Dr Harmony Musiyarira, is confident that the available expertise and new facilities, as well as the enormous efforts being made, will catapult the department to become a leader in cutting-edge research across the region.
“The sustainability of the minerals industry is heavily reliant on continuous improvements to existing mining operations and with building a relevantly specialised human resources base. Without such improvements or developments, the optimum value from resources may not be realised. It is on the basis of developing a sound and specialised human resources base for the country that the department was created in 2009,” Musiyarira said.
Representatives from the Ministry serve on the department’s Advisory Board which consists of departmental staff, Programme Development Officers and industry stakeholders who regularly discuss a range of issues from programme development and student support to internships and scholarships.