2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 4:10 PM

SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION OF MINERAL PRODUCTION SPECIALISTS FOR THE GLOBAL ECONOMY


HITZMAN, Murray W., Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, mhitzman@mines.edu

Mining is a truly global business in both industry and academia. Mineral production is increasingly focused in the emerging world due to both economic and societal considerations. However, the developed world has approximately 75% of the worldÂ’s educational institutions capable of training the next generation of mineral-production specialists (economic geologists, mining engineers, and mineral economists). This situation is unlikely to change in the near term even though the number of professionals needed in the minerals industry continues to decrease in the developed world. Statistics from the Colorado School of Mines indicate that the school averages approximately 30 graduates (MS +PhDs) a year in the mineral-production field; this number is relatively steady with a slight increase over the past decade. Approximately 50% of mineral-production graduate students in the past ten years were non-US citizens; over 80% of these were from the emerging world. In economic geology the majority of funding for these graduate students has come from companies, while in mining engineering most graduate students are self-funded. Approximately 70% of the foreign students in economic geology and mining engineering went on to work in the minerals industry whereas less than a quarter of the US citizen graduates in these fields found employment in the minerals sector. Educational institutions in the developed world must strengthen linkages with students from emerging nations to exchange the technical, cultural, and financial skills necessary to ensure the continued supply of raw materials for our global society.