Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and the University of Kolwezi (UNIKOL) have partnered to
launch the ERG Mining Academy, with its first student intake in January 2023. The
collaboration will see UNIKOL partnering with global teaching institutions, such as the
University of Mons, and ERG as an industry partner, to develop a post-graduate engineering
curriculum with a focus on exploration, geology, metallurgy, mining and cross-cutting subjects,
Benedikt Sobotka, ERG’s Chief Executive Officer said: “In addition to producing the critical
resources needed for a sustainable future, mining plays a vital role in the social and economic
upliftment of its host communities. As an established and growing operator in the DRC, we
want to ensure that the communities near us benefit from our operations and evolve alongside
our business. We are honoured to work with UNIKOL to equip local engineers with industryrelevant skills that will help them seize opportunities within the sector as it continues to scale.”
200 Congolese nationals holding a civil engineering, or a geology and mines degree from
UNIKOL, will be eligible to apply for the programme. This study path will culminate in a
recognised Professional Master’s degree, endorsed by the Ministry of Higher and University
Education, providing graduates the opportunity to secure highly sought-after positions within the
rapidly-growing mining industry in the DRC.
Under the collaboration, colloquially referred to as Project Kesho (meaning future), UNIKOL will
ensure the delivery of the programme, whereas ERG will provide the resources for its
implementation including securing staff, guest lecturers, lecture rooms, multimedia equipment
and training opportunities, as well as supporting the development of the programme’s
curriculum content and materials. Furthermore, ERG is developing the online learning and
management platform where students can re-watch lessons, download course and reference
materials, view videos, submit assignments, and communicate with lecturers.
“The ERG-UNIKOL collaboration is an exemplar of an innovative partnership that allow us to
invest in Congolese people and position ourselves in regard to the issues of the day, including
actively contributing to the global energy transition. The ERG Mining Academy in Lualaba will
enable young Congolese to take ownership of the production chain of critical minerals through
exploration, production, processing and distribution of raw materials,” said the Minister of
Higher and University Education, His Excellency, Mr. Muhindo Nzangi Butondo
The DRC has some of the largest reserves of critical minerals required to power the green
energy transition. With most major economies across the globe committed to this shift, the
demand for these materials continues to rise. The DRC currently accounts for 73% of the
world’s cobalt supply and 9% of globally mined copper – both essential to the production of EV
batteries and renewable energy systems.
“The DRC is home to many great resources – one of which is our bright and talented youth.
When the programme starts next year, as educators, and community members – we will be
proud knowing that we are creating future-ready professionals that can enter the workforce and
contribute to the overall economic upliftment of our country,” said Professor Yvon Mwengwe
Muhongo, Rector of UNIKOL.