Mining technology developer Maptek reports that it has given fourth-year mine engineering students at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, access to opencut and underground mine design, pit optimisation and geostatistical applications through its Vulcan geological modelling and mine planning software licences.
The company provided 15 of these networked licences to the university earlier this month. The university provided all of the equipment, including computers.
“The fourth-year class, which comprises about 30 students, will apply the Vulcan software in their studies. The Vulcan laboratory sessions will account for two hours a week of the mine engineering course and training will start in August,” says MUST mining and engineering school director Dr Lkhamsuren Purev.
“By making the latest software technology available for universities in an affordable way, Maptek offers students an opportunity to increase their professional knowledge as they study the principles of mine planning, 3D in full modelling and reserve estimation. The commercial value of the licences is about $1-million and Maptek is a reseller of the software in Mongolia,” he adds.
Purev says the mining industry has been developing extensively in Mongolia over the last few years, resulting in mine engineering being a popular field of study. The School of Mining Engineering at the MUST has a strong research base that is closely linked to industry. Many of the academic staff come from industry and bring practical, educational and research experience to the faculty.
Maptek reseller in Mongolia, IT Experts LLC, is set to conduct training for staff and teachers next month, and the MUST also cooperates with the University of Arizona and the University of Alaska to offer the ‘2+2’ programme, which enables students to study for two years in Mongolia and for two years in the US.
Student training in Vulcan software will be provided by information technology firm IT Experts.
“The Maptek Vulcan laboratory is signi-ficant for modern engineers and technical workers to increase their knowledge and experience. “This laboratory will be dedicated to student training, with ongoing cooperation from Maptek and IT Experts,” explains Purev.
“We are providing students from the Mining and Engineering School with the opportunity to learn about and gain experience from the most powerful mining software. It is a significant step for them to be introduced to the latest technology, helping to ensure their success in the international labour market after graduation,” says IT Experts LLC director Agraa Munkhbadral.
The establishment of the Maptek Vulcan laboratory at the MUST is just one of many recent initiatives between Maptek and tertiary institutions. In 2012, Maptek announced the donation of Vulcan software licences to the University of the Western Cape (UWC), in South Africa.
The Department of Earth Sciences at UWC plans to incorporate Vulcan into a second-year course as an introduction to geological modelling techniques. The vision includes making Vulcan available across all areas of research to enhance the scope of postgraduate projects, especially in economic geology. More than 500 students will have access to the latest software from Maptek to enhance their skills development and research capabilities, states Maptek.
Other recent partnerships include those with the University of Kentucky, in the US, which has acquired Maptek I-Site laser-scan- ning technology with Vulcan software, and the roll-out of educational Vulcan licences at Northwest Missouri State University, in the US, the University of Zacatecas, in Mexico, and the Universidad Nacional del Altiplano, in Peru.