In 2014, our copper asset Mopani built the Mopani Central Training Centre, a $15 million apprentice training centre, to train learners in various engineering and mining skills. We also use the centre to upskill our current employees and contractors. In 2015 we expanded the centre with a $6 million investment in mining simulation infrastructure, including a fully-equipped replica underground mine, to complement the existing engineering and electrical facilities.
In 2015, 190 engineering apprentices, mostly drawn from the local community’s high school leavers, received upkeep allowances, meals and accommodation and recreation facilities.
The centre’s capacity is 314 students
All students enrolled will also be offered full sponsorship. 43 learners drawn from Mopani’s employees and contractor companies will begin training in 2016.
In addition, 6,717 Mopani employees and 4,490 contractors took various refresher courses at the centre, along with 22 vocational students from local tertiary institutions.
While the engineering students at the centre pursue long-term craft/trade qualifications, the mining simulator will initially offer short courses to our people. These include pipe laying, track laying, construction, cage tenders & attendants, loco operation, dump truck operation, utility vehicle operation, load haul dumper operation,
drill rig operation and bolter operation, as well as first-aid & rescue skills. Once fully operational the simulator will offer professional courses on skills in basic operations and blasting, supervisory skills, management & leadership, health & safety, shaft construction and maintenance. The virtual reality training in explosives is considered a global leader; students will use the world’s largest touchscreen for marking and blasting training. The simulation allows the centre to offer formal training in blasting qualifications and skills recognised by the Technical Education, Vocational Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA).
The school also accommodates a fully-equipped first-aid clinic and control room for emergency response training purposes. Graduates of the training centre will be offered employment at Mopani.