AN Australian mining exploration firm is offering an “Education to Employment” opportunity to residents of the mineral-rich province of Nueva Vizcaya in the form of scholarships and grants.
The opportunity is offered by the OceanaGold Philippines Exploration Corporation (OGPEC) through a Masteral Degree Scholarship and a Research Grant to deserving students in the field of geology.
Chito Gozar, OceanaGold communications and external affairs senior vice president, said geology courses are uncommon to incoming freshman students in the Philippines, which is ranked as the fifth in the world in terms of total mineral reserves.
“Many geology graduates and professionals tend to look for jobs overseas due to limited or no opportunities and career growth in the country making the profession more unattractive to incoming university students,” Gozar said.
However, Gozar said OGPEC is offering the opportunity to deserving students in collaboration with the National Institute of Geological Sciences.
“Our commitment to promote education and academic excellence started way back in 2007. It covers financial assistance for high school and full scholarship to university students of families living in Didipio, Kasibu town and neighboring communities where our mine site is located,” Gozar said.
He said the scholarship has already produced a topnotcher during the 2012 Geologist Licensure Examination. On that year, Merari Benjamin Rosaroso, the first recipient of OceanaGold’s Graduate Scholarship Program, topped the exams.
For the school year 2014 to 2015, the new scholarship offer is part of the Development of Mining Technologies and Geosciences Program of the company where nine university students were qualified.
“Our country needs more opportunities and the mining industry can help in providing this kind of breaks, education to employment. These kinds of partnership further remove barriers to college and career success for students all throughout the country,” Gozar said.
OceanaGold is a significant multinational gold and copper producer with over 24 years of operating sustainably in New Zealand and more recently the Philippines. Its flagship operation is the Didipio Mine located in the northern Philippines which commenced commercial production on April 1, 2013 and has a current mine life to 2030.