Some countries just do not get it. Zimbabwe is the most egregious example affecting honest mining. But on a much lesser scale, take a look at the Education News Site in India. Here is how they describe mining engineering:
Mining Engineers are responsible for locating natural reserves of minerals, petroleum and other useful natural substances, and then to lay out plans, devices shafts, inclines or quarries for the safe extraction of these resources, whether they be coal, petroleum, metallic or non-metallic minerals, from under the earth. The safety measures needed to be taken have to be carefully chalked out, keeping in mind the workers health, welfare and safety.” A degree in mining engineering and a certificate from the Director General of Mines and Safety, Dhanbad, is a must.
Most jobs for mining engineers are with the government and public sector organizations such as the Indian Bureau of Mines, Geological Survey of India, and mining companies such as CIL (Coal India Ltd.), IPCL, HCL, Neyvelli Lignite Corporation, etc. Mining engineers can also find work with some private sector mining companies, or in teaching and research.
Leaving aside the wonky language—some of the best writers of clear English prose I know are from India—I am amazed and distressed by the Job Opportunities. India will not pose much of a threat as long as they view jobs with the government as the first and best opportunity even for mining engineers.
Of course they have the brain drain problem to deal with. Examples include the writer of clear prose I admire and now Lakshmi Mittal from India and based in London is contemplating getting involved in the BHP takeover of Rio TInto.
This takeover battle seems to be generating more journalism than financial or takeover action. This battle is like a second-rate dance: the main partners are incompatible and only potential suitors, from China and India, seem willing to dance. Or one of those operas where we delight in watching the stupidity of the gods destroy the world.
I ate lunch last week with a friend from Arizona who told me of the prevailing opinion of a mine development there: pity Rio TInto seems to have handed the reins to BHP; pity for Rio seems to do things right; but BHP, well it makes you wonder. Of course he said other things, but blog civility has its uses. So we refrain from full opinion about Zimbabwe, large takeovers, and other things that simply reintroduce us to the workweek but do not elucidate or inform.
And we encourage Indian mining engineers to avoid the obvious and set out to reform mining in there own country and elsewhere; they have good examples.