The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
Michael Lesher, director of mining initiatives at Laurentian University, said the new School of Mines, announced on June 23, will take the institution’s existing expertise in fields related to mining and put them under one umbrella.
“We’ve already been doing many of the things that mining schools have. We’ve got one of the top mineral exploration programs in the world, one of the best mining engineering programs in the world, and we do environmental restoration like nobody’s business,” he said.
“We (also) want to develop programs in mining-related occupational health and safety and offer programs on aboriginal consultation as it relates to potential new mining communities up north.” Asked whether or not the new school would have its own building, Lesher said it wouldn’t “right now.” “I don’t think a building is on the table.”
Lesher said that while Sudbury is famous for environmental monitoring and subsequent rehabilitation, he sees room for expansion in the “assessment stage, which entails deciding whether or not an area can be mined economically.”
Lesher said there are many places Laurentian as a university “can be doing more” with mining, including specialized professional education. For instance, Lesher said the new school would bring with it “an executive MBA in mining.”
Lesher said the university already trains “some of the best mining engineering students in the world, they keep winning awards,” but said their careers can hit an impasse without proper education and training.
“If they’re really good at that, they end up in management with no management experience. The idea is they come back and get training, but they’d take a mining-specific MBA program with case studies derived from the mining industry.”
Many of the programs of the new school will be geared toward the field’s existing professionals.
“We want to expand on the idea of life-long learning,” he said.
From an environmental perspective, Lesher said there’s added room for potential growth.
“There are lots of other aspects of mining to build on, like the initial assessment processes, monitoring of mining, closure of the mines and cleanup, if it’s necessary after the mining process.”
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