The inaugural symposium was held under the theme: “Practice and Developments.” This year, the horizon was broadened to look at challenges facing mining globally which have impact locally, under the theme: “Overcoming Challenges Facing the Global Mining Industry.” The theme reflects the current depressed state of the global mining industry with plummeting commodity prices, declining ore grades, increased corporate social responsibilities, increased regulation and legislation, and escalating costs, amongst others.
The Mining Commissioner in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Erasmus Shivolo, underscored the need for mitigating efforts in the water and energy crisis in the country. “With a growing mining industry, particularly the uranium sector, urgency is needed to address these challenges. Besides serving as a key revenue stream for government, the mining industry is a major lifeline for various State-Owned Enterprises and continues to be a major source of employment,” Shivolo said.
The Vice-Chancellor, Tjama Tjivikua, said NUST is of the conviction that through the helix approach that involves both government and industry in a symbiotic partnership, and seeking holistic and long-term solutions rather than partial solutions, Namibia will be able to address real issues plaguing the industry. “In a fast-paced and dynamic world, we cannot afford to insulate ourselves in the proverbial cocoon and insulate ourselves from on-going developments. The minerals industry stands to benefit from this interaction that allows knowledge transfer and flow of innovation,” Tjivikua remarked.
The Department of Mining and Process Engineering was established in 2009 to address Namibia’s skills shortage in this sector through career-oriented education which meets international standards.