EMA voices support for Mining Schools Act

The Essential Minerals Association (EMA) said it is leading a coalition of 18 universities and 28 associations in supporting the Mining Schools Act of 2023 – a bipartisan bill that will increase opportunities for mining and geological programs at universities nationwide.

Cosponsored by Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the Mining Schools Act recently passed markup in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with a unanimous vote. It will now move on to the House Committee on Natural Resources for a vote.

“Right now, the minerals and mining industry is facing a lack of college graduates sufficiently skilled in geological and engineering disciplines impacts our ability to provide the minerals that are vital to every aspect of our lives – and even cause us to be reliant on foreign sources for these materials,” said EMA President Chris Greissing. 

“The funding provided in the Mining Schools Act would strengthen our domestic schools that offer degree programs that are vital to upstream mineral development and production, as well as recruit students that represent the next generation of the industry.”

Photo: Missouri S&T

Currently, only 14 American universities maintain accredited mining and mineral development programs. The number of geological engineering programs has dwindled to only 13, and metallurgical engineering stands at just eight. Additionally, the number of mining engineering students has decreased by 45% since 2015, according to the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration.

The Mining Schools Act will help to bridge this gap by revitalizing university-level mining programs by establishing a grant program for mining schools in order to recruit students and carry out studies, research projects, and demonstration projects related to the production of minerals. It would also establish the Mining Professional Development Advisory Board to evaluate applications and recommend recipients to the Secretary of Energy, as well as conduct oversight to ensure that grant funds are appropriately used.

Source: Essential Minerals Association

Related posts