Orion Minerals has commissioned introductory mining familiarisation short courses within the Siyathemba Municipality, in South Africa’s Northern Cape province.
The project is aimed at raising public awareness of the mining industry and the opportunities the industry creates, ahead of the planned development by Orion of the Prieska Zinc Copper Project.
The courses, on offer to members of the public, free-of-charge, have been running since April 2019 and will continue until June 2019.
Participants are provided with:
- an overview of minerals mined in South Africa;
- an insight into how mining operations are conducted;
- an understanding of the career options available within the mining industry; and
- a visit to the Prieska Zinc Copper Project, where they will witness first-hand the early phases of a mine development project.
Orion is in the advanced stages of completing a bankable feasibility (BFS) on the Prieska Project, located within the Siyathemba Municipal area. A recently completed scoping study indicates that the planned Prieska operations could be in production by 2022, processing at 2.4Mtpa of run-of-mine material and having a skilled workforce of 850 people.
“While we advance our bankable feasibility study and put funding in place for project development, we want to start preparing the community to be able to leverage off the numerous opportunities mining ventures can bring. The Siyathemba community has considerable interest in the Prieska Project and are eager to understand our business and how best we can collaborate for mutual benefit. We have therefore initiated week-long training courses centred at Prieska, Marydale and Niekerkshoop, for those residents who have completed their grade 12 and have an interest in mining,” says Walter Shamu, COO of Orion.
The project has, to date, been successfully completed by 158 participants, with the total number registered for the first programme is 400. Participants also earn accreditation towards industry-recognised mining-related qualifications.
“This is one of many initiatives we have commenced in our effort to prepare the Siyathemba community for impending developments. We have already signed a collaboration agreement with the local municipality and are thus looking to promote more pre-emptive development projects with the support of local government, residents and businesses. We are very grateful for the support shown for the familiarisation program and believe that together with these communities, we can create a brighter future for the Northern Cape,” says Shamu.