WINDHOEK, 01 June – The establishment of the University of Namibia’s Centre for Mining and Metallurgical Research and Training at Arandis will contribute to socio-economic development in Namibia.
This was said by the Chamber of Mines of Namibia’s first Vice President, Hilifa Mbako during a stakeholder conference on the establishment of the centre here on Thursday.
The University of Namibia (UNAM) last year announced that it plans to establish the centre at Arandis, where the town authority has availed 8 000 hectares of land worth more than N.dollars 4 million.
Mbako agreed with the idea as he said the local mining industry needs a highly skilled labour force.
“Compared to other sectors in Namibia, mining contributes the most to the Gross Domestic Product and has spent close to N.dollars 12 billion on local suppliers of goods and services,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga thanked UNAM for conducting a study on local knowledge and skills gaps, which she said will in the long run enable Namibia to fully exploit its mineral wealth for the benefit of its people.
“UNAM acknowledges that Namibians need to have world class production skills that would drive economic development through utilisation of the country’s mineral resource wealth. The establishment of the Centre for Mining and Metallurgical Research and Training in the Erongo Region is the way forward,” Shilunga said.
The two-day meeting started Thursday and was amongst others attended by representatives of Debmarine Namibia and Swakop Uranium.
Discussions also focused on links in the mineral value chain and required research and training that the centre can undertake to address mining sector challenges in Namibia and the Southern African Development Community region and the significance of skilled human capital, research capacity and infrastructure for environmental monitoring in mining operations.