The mining industry still remains the mainstay of Zambia’s economy and will continue to play an important role in the development of the country. It is in the context of an acute shortage of graduate manpower for this vital industry that the School of Mines was established in 1973 as one of the Schools of the University of Zambia. Hence, the School has a most important part to play in the National life of Zambia; in the training and production of much needed professional geologists, mining engineers and metallurgists, who are needed by the existing mining industry and, indeed, by the future related. The three departments of the School, namely, Geology, Mining Engineering, and Metallurgy and Mineral Processing reflect the most important disciplines involved in the search for ores, their recovery from the ground and the extraction of metals from these ores.
The School of Mines offers a four-year programme of study leading to the degree of Bachelor of Mineral Sciences (B.Min.Sc). Students are admitted to the School of Mines on a competitive basis after successfully completing the first year in the School of Natural Sciences. The School also admits applicants with Diplomas as well as those with A-levels. Upon entering the School of Mines, the students are directed to one of the three disciplines, depending mainly on their personal preferences and also on the guidance of the staff of the School, especially the Heads of Department. However, personal preference does not necessarily guarantee admission to any of the three departments as much would depend upon the background of the student. The number of students in the 2016/2017 academic year was about 239 and the total number of graduates the School had produced up to 2016 is about 2000. Although this is a significant contribution to the need for graduate manpower for the mining industry, there is still a long way to go before the existing and perceived future requirements can be met. In view of this, the School is progressively increasing its intake.
In order to maintain the relevance of the training in the School of Mines to the Zambian industry, the School has close contacts with the mining industry. Most of the industrial training of the students is done with the mines. The School has qualified academic staff with PhDs and in certain instances, the mining industry provide lecturers and visiting staff. As a result, the School’s Advisory Committee comprises, in part, members from the mining industry.
The School of Mines offers postgraduate programmes leading to the degree of Master of Mineral Sciences (M.Min.Sc). The programmes include Geology, Mining Engineering, Metallurgy and Mineral Processing, Extractive Metallurgy, Physical Metallurgy, Mineral Economics, Rock Mechanics, Mineral Production Management, Small Scale Mining, Mine Environment Sustainable Mineral Resources Development, Mineral Resources Management and Hydrogeology. Other programmes offered by the School are Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Science degree in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). The School also offers Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in all the three mining Disciplines. Apart from the postgraduate diploma studies in IWRM, M.Min.Sc students in the School of Mines can do their Masters by either course work, followed by research, or by research only. Doctorate studies are done by research only. The School also host the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa, Mineral Resources Unit.
PAST AND PRESENT DEANS