The African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture through the Department of Earth Sciences held their first meeting on the ARM/UNIVEN partnership. This partnership aims to identify areas of mutual benefit and importantly create opportunities for mining and geoscience students of UNIVEN. The meeting was held on the 8th of May 2024, at the UIGC Lecture Hall at the University of Venda.
The delegates from ARM, Faculty members from the Department of Earth Sciences, and the Mining and Environmental Geology students were in attendance. When welcoming attendees, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering, and Agriculture, Prof Natasha Potgieter, welcomed the initiative and the progress made so far by both the Department of Earth Sciences and ARM. She further shared the vision of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture which is guided by the University Strategic Plan 2021-2025, and how such partnership aligns with the faculty’s vision of the engineering programmes that will fall under the School of Engineering and the Built Environment.

The Group Executive responsible for Human Resources at ARM, Dr Busi Tshabalala, opened her talk by thanking her team for the initiative in establishing this partnership. In her talk “Message to Young Talent,” Dr. Tshabalala reminded the students to be focused on their studies and work hard so that they can achieve their academic objectives and make a meaningful contribution towards community development. She applauded the Faculty and UNIVEN for being student-centered and mentioned that ARM would extend opportunities to the students by selecting the best talent, endeavour to support them, and offering them employment.
The Executive Cooperate Affairs of ARM, Mr Benny Boshielo, thanked UNIVEN leadership for their commitment and the drive to create future leaders. He further said UNIVEN is recognized in the mining industry not only by the UNIVEN graduates who are employed in the mining industry but also by those who have successfully established consultancy firms that are now serving the mining industry. Furthermore, he stated that ARM is prepared to assist UNIVEN and that this should not only be looked at in monetary form but also in other forms where UNIVEN has challenges for the well-being of UNIVEN and the students.

Mr Victor Moyo, Geology Manager, ARM, presented the different resources and joint ventures that ARM is involved in and singled out a few relevant topics that students must consider important to succeed as geologists. In his talk, he emphasized that “attitude” is very important for one to succeed in the work environment and that this trait is taken seriously by ARM during their recruitment process. Mr Felix Mayanga, Mine Manager at ARM, presented the different technological advances that ARM has implemented in their mines. He advised the students to embrace technology and further stated that they should take the initiative and undertake online courses on artificial intelligence (AI), as this is where the mining industry is heading. His presentation was followed by that of Dr. Amu Modau, SHREQ Manager at ARM Platinum (in the photo below) who emphasised the importance of occupational health and safety in the mining industry.

The Organisational Development Specialist, ARM, responsible for Stakeholder Engagement, Lebo Pasha (in the photo above), thanked the UNIVEN team and ARM team for making this meeting a huge success. She further said that ARM is committed to improving young talents’ lives, and therefore, students should reciprocate by working hard. The presentation from the Department of Earth Sciences by Prof. Milton Kataka (Interim Head of Department) provided an overview of the Department, programme delivery, and the challenges.

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University of Venda
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