The progressive development and growth in the building and construction sector have triggered a demand for the mining of raw materials within a sustainable framework to ensure the environment and other resources are not affected for our future generations.
These are the words of Fiji National University (FNU) academic Rohitesh Prasad who believes sustainable development should not be compromised for short term gains.
According to Prasad, while Fiji has an abundance of resources, it is important to approach mining delicately as the livelihoods of future generations need to be considered. He said locals needed to use resources sustainably to ensure benefits to the people through development and new career pathways.
Prasad, who is the Head of School of Building and Civil Engineering at FNU’s College of Engineering, Science and Technology (CEST), said FNU is proud to be the only University in the country to train professionals in this field.
“The Certificate IV in Geology, Mining and Quarrying Programme aims to provide a broad-based, vocational programme for the technical workforce, specialising in geology, mining and quarrying in Fiji.”
“When we think of mining, we normally think of gold and copper but the development minerals, which are sand and gravel, are even more important for us. These are the important ingredients for construction of infrastructure.”
Prasad said the extracting of sand from the rivers for building purposes is currently being done mostly by expatriates and through this programme, FNU intends to develop local specialists who can manage their resources.
“The programme emphasizes, wherever possible, on practical ‘hands-on’ teaching methods. There is a deliberate focus on the neglected of development minerals, in particular sand and gravel, given the anticipated increase in the need for these commodities in the development expectations of Fiji now and in the years ahead.”
The programme can be taken in two years full time or four years of part-time studies. The full-time studies consist of four quarters of the first year, preceding a mandatory 12 months of supervised and monitored industrial training of the second year.
The Certificate IV in Geology, Mining and Quarrying course is offered through the University’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) stream.
Interested students and stakeholders can learn more by visiting https://www.fnu.ac.fj/tvet-pasifika/