File image: From left to Right: Ms Karen Coetzee (Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Development, UJ); Mr Neal Froneman (Chief Executive Officer, Sibanye); Prof Tshilidzi Marwala (Vice-Chancellor Designate, UJ), Prof Saurabh Sinha (Executive Dean: Faculty of Engineering and the Built environment, UJ) and Dr Hennie Grobler (​Head of Department: Department of Mining Engineering and Mine Surveying, UJ)
JOHANNESBURG - Sibanye partnered with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to integrate mining education with the Fourth Industrial revolution and will be injecting R15 million into the University's mining engineering faculty over the next three years, which will be R5 million each year from 2017 - 2019.

Sibanye CEO, Neal Froneman, said: "Although the primary aim of the investment is to provide high-quality teaching and learning, increased research and innovation intensity, and capital investment into facility expansion and maintenance, Sibanye also appreciates that a portion of the investment will be aimed at improving the lives of students via bursaries. Sibanye's core purpose is that its mining improves lives."

This investment will be used to set up mining emulation infrastructure at the University's Doornfontein Campus in their Department of Mining Engineering and Mine Surveying.

The emulation, combined with the virtual and real-life communication, will enable students to have an immersive learning experience and also bring togther multiple disciplines to advance teaching and research in the sector.

UJ's Vice-Chancellor Designate, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala stated that the emulation could for example explore the use of power-line communication (PLC) to integrate LED's that could be used for communication, virtualisation, and determining where and when accidents could occur by using techniques such pattern recognition or artificial intelligence.

He said that this component brings "real-life" into the cyber world and allows students to directly and practically integrate with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and said that Sibanye's contribution is an investment in the future of mining.

"The mine emulation will enable us to develop engineering education strategies to enhance undergraduate exposure and employ-ability in mining specific areas. Only through partners like Sibanye can we adopt and adapt the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the mining sector and ensure our students will be work-ready and equipped when they transition from UJ into the world of work," said Prof Marwala.

This investment by the mining house, follows a previous investment by them of R12.5 million paid over three years, towards UJ's Doornfontein campus redevelopment project from September 2014 - 2016.