NUST students establish mining society

By Tracy Tafirenyika

NAMIBIA University of Science and Technology (NUST) engineering students have established a mining and process engineering society, which aims at growing the mining industry and prepare for the fourth industrial revolution.

Speaking to Confidente this week, the president of the mining and process engineering society, Joe-Justene Amakali explained:

“In light of the mining industry, it is highly important that we as a nation start preparing for the upcoming change and navigate the mining industry to a path of successful transformation. As the saying goes, change is the only constant, and the best way to predict the future is by reinventing it, and the time to mobilise for this change is now.

“Bearing in mind the health risks that may be associated with mining, and high costs involved I can assure you that it is likely that most mines in the next five to 10 years would be digitalised and this would consequently result in severe implications to the employment rate. This change comes as a result of the desire of mining companies to find safe mining conditions for mine workers and also, cheaper ways of mining and processing of minerals. Subsequently, this will result in retrenchment and high unemployment rates and severe long-term effects on the economy,” he said.

Amakali additionally said that, NUST is so far the best institution with great facilities for the mining industry:

“NUST mining and process engineering student society calls for all mining, metallurgical, chemical engineers and geologists in the industry to join the NUST society in forming a body that unifies all role players in the mining industry. This body becomes important in terms of spearheading mining related projects, facilitating research and development of the aforementioned projects on manufacturing.

“Not only that, but engage discussions together with Ministry of Mines and Energy, Chamber of Mines, Mining Companies and universities (including the current engineers in the making) on how going forward it’s important that all parties are aware of the decisions made currently regarding the future of mining in Namibia. As an example it is highly essential that the youth in this field are made aware of the Mining Charter and are engaged with during the drafting process of it,” he said.

Amakali also mentioned that, “Till this day we still have most value addition processes conducted elsewhere in essence for products such as uranium, zinc, lead and diamonds which are exported in their unfinished forms for further processing in foreign countries. Thus, Namibia doesn’t just miss out on revenue and employment that could have been created in the process but also in terms of the opportunities these processes may attract such as manufacturing industries for example battery, automotive, steel and energy”.