I definitely belong in the mines
This year’s UNAM graduates in engineering have not fallen short of employment opportunities. Speaking to The Economist, Stefanus Nuno Pereira is one such go-getter graduate who is currently employed at Okoruso Flouspar mine. His degree in mining engineering with honours has enabled him to be one of the young Namibian citizens to enjoy the fruits of his extensive technical studies.
The young man explained with excitement his journey to his current position.
“After a mine visit in 2010 I fell in love with the mining atmosphere in Okorusu. I applied for an internship in June 2011. It was just for a month but then I decided it is where I would like to begin my professional career. They offered me a bursary and permanently employed me this year in April.” According to Pereira his job entails making plans for drilling, blasting, loading and hauling of the material from the ore to the processing plant. “However, at this very moment I am going through a detailed training program where I’m exposed to all the departments at the mine. That is geology, metallurgy, mechanical and mining. This is to groom me, to one day, God willingly, become the mining manager of Okorusu.
When asked what is the most exciting part of his job he beamed, “you know how it felt when you played with those tiny soldiers, car toys and firecrackers? Picture that with heavy equipment, real explosives and you are part of the people controlling the army, in this case employees. The blasting is especially exciting. Watching the hardwork in planning and preparing a round of explosives, the adrenaline rush as you drive off to safety as the fuse burns and witnessing the blast goes off! Driving back to see the fragmentation and thinking to yourself, mission accomplished. This is what we do.”
Currently, Pereira explains he is the only graduate from Unam who is working there but he is confident that the mine will be accepting new interns soon. According to him, the demand for engineers is still very high. He stated that other than the mining manager he is the only other mining engineer present at the mines.
Pereira gives a special thanks to UNAM’s education programme in mining engineering, “I am no genius but with what UNAM armed me with, I can contribute positively to the mine’s operations. My mind has also been opened to other industries in the engineering fraternity.”