Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and the University of Kolwezi (UNIKOL) have partnered to launch the ERG Mining Academy, with its first student intake in January 2023. The collaboration will see UNIKOL partnering with global teaching institutions, such as the University of Mons, and ERG as an industry partner, to develop a post-graduate engineering curriculum with a focus on exploration, geology, metallurgy, mining and cross-cutting subjects, including ESG.
Benedikt Sobotka, ERG’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “In addition to producing the critical resources needed for a sustainable future, mining plays a vital role in the social and economic upliftment of its host communities. As an established and growing operator in the DRC, we want to ensure that the communities near us benefit from our operations and evolve alongside our business. We are honoured to work with UNIKOL to equip local engineers with industry-relevant skills that will help them seize opportunities within the sector as it continues to scale.”
200 Congolese nationals holding a civil engineering, or a geology and mines degree from UNIKOL, will be eligible to apply for the programme. This study path will culminate in a recognised Professional Master’s degree, endorsed by the Ministry of Higher and University Education, providing graduates the opportunity to secure highly sought-after positions within the rapidly-growing mining industry in the DRC.
The DRC has some of the largest reserves of critical minerals required to power the green energy transition. With most major economies across the globe committed to this shift, the demand for these materials continues to rise. The DRC currently accounts for 73% of the world’s cobalt supply and 9% of globally mined copper – both essential to the production of EV batteries and renewable energy systems.
“The DRC is home to many great resources – one of which is our bright and talented youth. When the programme starts next year, as educators, and community members – we will be proud knowing that we are creating future-ready professionals that can enter the workforce and contribute to the overall economic upliftment of our country,” said Professor Yvon Mwengwe Muhongo, Rector of UNIKOL.
Under the collaboration, colloquially referred to as Project Kesho (meaning future), UNIKOL will ensure the delivery of the programme, whereas ERG will provide the resources for its implementation including securing staff, guest lecturers, lecture rooms, multimedia equipment and training opportunities, as well as supporting the development of the programme’s curriculum content and materials. Furthermore, ERG is developing the online learning and management platform where students can re-watch lessons, download course and reference materials, view videos, submit assignments, and communicate with lecturers.
“The ERG-UNIKOL collaboration is an exemplar of an innovative partnership that allow us to invest in Congolese people and position ourselves in regard to the issues of the day, including actively contributing to the global energy transition. The ERG Mining Academy in Lualaba will enable young Congolese to take ownership of the production chain of critical minerals through exploration, production, processing and distribution of raw materials,” said the Minister of Higher and University Education, His Excellency, Mr. Muhindo Nzangi Butondo
Prospective students can apply for this two-year programme until 10 December via www.academie-des-mines-erg.unikol.ac.