The development of mining in our region has a rich and long history that dates back hundreds of years. This field has played a crucial role in the economy and development of the region. As far back as the Middle Ages, our country was known for its rich deposits of metals such as copper, iron, lead, and zinc.
The true flourishing of mining in Bosnia and Herzegovina occurred during the industrial revolution, when the demand for metals and coal significantly increased.
Today, mining still plays an important role in our country’s economy, although the sector has been further shaped by economic challenges, political dynamics, and changes in the global market. Our country continues to possess significant reserves of metals, minerals, and coal, but challenges related to sustainable development, environmental protection, and efficient resource management remain key issues that need to be addressed to ensure a prosperous future for this industry in the country.
Collaboration between the Industry and Educational Institutions
Last July, Lykos Balkan Metals Company and the Faculty of Mining in Prijedor, University of Banja Luka, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, committing to jointly contribute to strengthening academic values and advancing the scientific-research and educational level of future experts in this field.
As a result of this collaboration, the company, in addition to donating computer equipment, initiated a scholarship program for students of this faculty, focusing on the study programs of mining and geology. Since last year, these scholarships have been awarded to Anes Žerić, a geology student, and Mirjana Komosar, a mining student.
According to Mirjana, scholarships for studies in this field are offered by several companies and ministries within the Government of the Republika Srpska, but what sets Lykos’ scholarship program apart is the continuity of financial support, which lasts until the end of the studies and doesn’t stop upon entering the graduate year. Additionally, students are given the opportunity to undergo practical training and internships within the company.
Growing Distrust in the Science
We are witnessing an increase of distrust toward the geological and mining profession, undoubtedly influenced by highlighting alleged negative impacts of the industry’s activities on the environment. On one hand, it’s good to know that there are people genuinely concerned about preserving the natural habitats and ecosystems of our region, but presenting such views without scientific and professional explanations contributes to the building of distrust in the geological and mining profession itself.
According to the dean, Prof. Dr. Svjetlana Sredić, it’s crucial to emphasize the fact that without the mining industry and geological research, we wouldn’t have the technology, pharmaceuticals, and medicine in the same form as today.
The mining industry has enabled the extraction of metals such as iron, copper, aluminum, and others, which are essential for the production of various goods, including tools, machinery, electronics, and vehicles. Metals are the foundation of modern technologies, and without them, we wouldn’t have mobile phones, computers, electric cars, and other devices. The medical industry also utilizes many minerals and metals extracted by the mining industry for producing medical devices, implants, medications, and diagnostic tools.
The exploitation of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas has enabled the development and expansion of industries, transportation, and energy systems. These fuels are the basis for electricity production, vehicle propulsion, and many other activities that support modern living.
Minerals and rocks extracted from mines allow scientists to study the geological processes that shaped our planet’s history, deepening our understanding and aiding in solving problems such as climate change and environmental protection.
Shortage of Mining and Geology Engineers in the Labor Market
During the discussion, Prof. Dr. Svjetlana Sredić also highlighted that engineers in the fields of geology and mining are highly sought after in the labor market, which is one of the reasons why young people should consider studying in these fields.
Our country holds significant potential in terms of mineral resources, as evidenced by the increasing presence of foreign companies conducting geological explorations. This also requires a large number of experts and indicates that the demand for this profession will continue to grow in the future. She also pointed out that graduates have no trouble finding jobs after studies, and quickly position themselves in the labor market.
Mining and geology represent an essential foundation of modern society and technology.
Through collaborative partnerships, education, and consistent promotion of the true contributions of these professions, we can overcome skeptical views and build a prosperous future for our industry, economy, and environment.