The Ghana Chamber of Mines has cut the sod for the construction of the Mineral Resource Block at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa in the Western Region.

The three-storey block project would be funded by the Ghana Chamber of Mines Tertiary Education Fund and would be completed in 24 months.

Also, the Chamber has awarded scholarships to thirty undergraduate students pursuing courses in mining engineering, electrical engineering, metallurgy, and geological engineering, among others at UMaT.

Speaking at the function, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Sulemanu Koney, said the Chamber during its launch of the Tertiary Education Fund, committed to contributing over $400,000 annually to enhance teaching, learning and research in relevant areas in the mining industry.

He said the first five years of the fund were dedicated exclusively to UMaT, adding that “it is not just infrastructure but teaching, learning, internship opportunity for faculty and students are all part of this comprehensive package.”

Mr Koney said the Chamber had noticed that some technocrats working in the firms are products of UMaT, hence the need to invest in the university to improve upon the capacity to provide quality teaching and learning.

“We know our brothers from the sub-region send students here to obtain training and it is important that we keep UMaT as the shining light for mining education in West Africa,” the CEO noted.

Mr Stephen Ndede, the Board Chairman of the Ghana Chamber of Mines Tertiary Education Fund, said 14 faculty members had completed a secondment with mining firms of the Chamber for this year and it would continue for the next five years.

He said software and hardware were procured to support virtual teaching and learning and would also offer classes for students, especially workers who did not have the flexibility of studying on campus.

The Board Chairman said a key aspect of the Tertiary Education Fund was to support faculty members and post-graduate students to undertake research work pertinent in the mining industry.

Mr Ndede said the Chamber expected that the students produced would lead the innovation and technological advancement in Ghana’s industry.

“The second and third-year students who received the scholarships would have the opportunity to undertake industry training programme, which would provide these undergraduate students with specific and guided industry training,” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor of UMaT, Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah expressed appreciation to the Chamber for sponsoring six projects on campus.

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