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Students, academics and young professionals have attended the Mining Indaba’s Young Leaders in Mining Programme where they met mining CEOs, potential employers and government leaders

minign 11The miners of the future will have a very different skill set and ideas, according to the industry experts. (Image source: Dorothe/Flickr)

This year’s Young Leaders Programme saw a new feature building upon organisers’ drive to support young talent in the mining industry and help close the skills gap – a competition open to industry professionals under the age of 35 who have led on a major discovery or innovation in the last two years, with projects moving the industry forward in the fields of safety, water, exploration, mineral recovery and strategy.

Olebogeng Sentsho, CEO of Simba MgodiFund, the winner of the 2019 Leaders of Tomorrow competition, commented, “It means the world to me, and I'd like to thank the judges for trusting me with this award. And I hope that this inaugural award will inspire other young leaders to come forward and change this industry. We need disruption.”

Alex Grose, managing director of Mining Indaba, said, “The Young Leaders Programme has become the platform to connect mining executives with students, and we are proud to facilitate these opportunities and why we started a competition to identify and recognise talented young innovators such as Olebogeng Sentsho who are changing the industry.”

Carole Cable, partner and co-head of mining practice, Brunswick Group, added, “The Young Leaders Programme has blossomed from a small idea to help solve a big problem and now serves both to improve the image and perception of the mining sector by exploring all, sometimes controversial aspects and illustrating that it is a positive place to build a long-term career and contribute to host countries’ development.”

According to Timothy Schultz, director at Brunswick South Africa, “Mining isn’t just about breaking rocks and processing them. Done right it marries engineering excellence, environmental science, winning support from communities and staff, crunching big data and attracting billions of Rands of investment.”

“South African students have all the talent and skills to achieve this and more. But we need to create opportunities for them to speak about mining with top CEOs, innovators and government leaders if we are to unlock their talent as professionals or entrepreneurs and make mining a sunrise industry for the country,” Schultz further added.