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In depth: An upbeat mining vision for South Africa

Professor Cuthbert Musingwini
Professor Cuthbert Musingwini

An upbeat mining vision for South Africa- The baton of leadership has changed hands at South Africa’s oldest and largest mining school, as Professor Cuthbert Musingwini steps up to take the School of Mining Engineering at Wits University forward and discusses his visions for South Africa’s mining future with Mining Review Africa.

After a decade of teaching at Wits, Professor Musingwini is no stranger to the campus or to the region’s mining sector. He began his career in the gold mines of Zimbabwe after he graduated – with the Arthur Bensusan Prize for best fi nal year Mining Engineering student – from the University of Zimbabwe in 1991.

His Lonrho bursary placed him as trainee graduate mining engineer at Lonrho’s Mazowe gold mine in Zimbabwe and he was soon an overseer miner before moving to the company’s Redwing gold mine in Penhalonga, where he rose to mine captain.

Turning to academia

So a career at the stopes and in the boardroom was on the cards when he decided to take the academic route and become a research fellow in the GTZUZ Mining Project at the University of Zimbabwe in 1996. Four years later he moved into full-time lecturing in the department at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, focusing on mine design and planning, as well as mine management, economics and the environment. An invitation from Wits University’s Professor Huw Phillips to consider tackling a PhD at Wits was the next game changer, and led to his moving to Johannesburg in 2004 to study and lecture. He continued to publish actively and by 2014 had moved through the roles of senior lecturer and…

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