Kavuru’s copper crusade

  • Cutting edge Mining Training Centre opens in Maun

A multi-million Pula mining training institution, Kavuru Training Centre, opened in Maun over the weekend as the tourism town continues to position itself as a destination of choice for business investment.

Seen as a key driver towards mechanised mining, Kavuru has been running since 2019 but, after several upgrades, was officially opened by Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane in his capacity as Acting State President.

“Maun is truly blessed to have a state-of-the-art facility such as this one, where excellent safety, quality and productivity outcomes are achieved through leading technology,” declared an appreciative Tsogwane.

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P20 million was invested on building the facility, located in Boseja industrial site.

The centre was established to provide inductions, safety, equipment operator and maintenance training support to Khoemacau Copper Mine and its sub contractor,

Barminco, a subsidiary of Perenti group.

The facility, which replicates parts of Khoemacau’s underground set-up at zone 5, is expected to give trainees practical experience of exactly what goes on at the site.

In 2015, Botswana government awarded Khoemacau a 20-year mining licence. Three years later, in November 2018, govt, through the Ministry of Labour, signed a Human Resource agreement with Khoemacau, in which the mine and its contractors agreed to transfer skills to Batswana through robust localisation and training plans.

“To facilitate this, it was agreed that training and development will include Secondment programmes and Apprenticeship programmes. The Apprenticeship Programme was to be appropriate, relevant and Botswana Qualification Authority recognised facilities and similarly accredited courses,” noted Tsogwane.

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Although he commended Kavuru as a huge step in the right direction in this regards, the VP voiced concern at the ‘lax’ pace of skills transfer to Batswana in different sectors of the economy.

Tsogwane issued a stern caution to companies failing to honour similar agreements, warning ‘we are watching you!’

“I must warn that we cannot continue to have companies that come into our country under the pretext of skills transfer and not have any of our people to show as experts in the end. We are aware that most companies have beautiful policies on paper which do not correspond to what is happening on the ground in terms of empowering the locals.”

With equipment used in mining now increasingly digital and electronic, Tsogwane stressed such skills were becoming more imperative than ever before.

Kavuru's copper crusade

“I am delighted to learn that locals from within the mine’s locality or zone of influence, the likes of Toteng, Sehithwa, Legotlhwane, Bothatogo, Bodibeng, Somelo and Komana are engaged at your operations,” added Tsogwane as he called on the copper mine to consider expanding their training for other local and regional mines as well, including Debswana and Lucara which are expected to go underground soon.

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“I trust you will agree that this initiative represents a significant investment in Botswana and the future capability building of the Batswana workforce,” he concluded.

So far the centre has been used to induct 600 mine workers since 2019. According to Perenti General Manager, Ron Day, ten Batswana women who did not have any mining background prior to their engagement at the mine, have been trained in heavy duty plant operations at the same facility.

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