Story of a Mining University Graduate from Mozambique

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Remo Celso Cipriano hails from Mozambique, one of Africa’s poorest countries. However, he credits his degree from St. Petersburg Mining University for giving him an opportunity to head the branch of an international mining enterprise in his homeland.

“Our country’s economy has gone through the worst following the Mozambican Civil War of 1977-1992. The situation is a lot better now, despite still being challenging. Anyway, the country is no longer as poor as outsiders tend to think. Life is changing for the better, all because of the mineral wealth,” admits Remo Celso Cipriano.

The mining industry is currently the most promising in Mozambique. There is, however, a problem – universities are not offering educational programs in oil & gas engineering. Besides, the quality of education obtained from abroad is considerably higher than what local universities provide. Clearly, something should be done about it, considering the country’s rich reserves of coal, graphite, rare earth metals, ilmenite, bauxite. Otherwise, the locals’ role will be forever limited to working at entry-level positions.

“I was born in Beira, which is among the largest cities of Mozambique. I was a schoolboy when I found myself interested in geology. Years went by, and my interest in mining just kept growing. The mineral resources sector provides excellent career opportunities, and the future outlook is even more promising if taking into account the recent discovery of gas reserves in the country. So after graduating from school, I decided to apply to a mining engineering program.

Russia is one of the global leaders in oil production. Hence the country has acquired over the years extensive experience in processing raw materials and adapting industry-specific technologies. Many of our skilled specialists in Mozambique actually graduated from either Soviet or Russian universities. Therefore I did not hesitate much when choosing a country to leave for. Rossotrudnichestvo, an organization responsible for promoting Russian education services abroad and distributing quotas to international students, helped me fulfill this plan,” says Remo.

The Mining University’s graduate returned to his homeland after earning the degree, but, regardless, retains the pleasant memories of his university life and the alma mater. He points out that it was the university that made him understand what academic and scientific achievements a student should reach to pursue a successful career.

“St. Petersburg Mining University is the oldest engineering university in Russia. I am happy to have studied there since it provided me with remarkable knowledge and practical skills. We spent a great deal of time working in the labs and research centers. For instance, we learned how to administer projects in offshore hydrocarbon production via modern simulator complexes.

I returned home in 2018 and, thanks to the qualification I had obtained, soon found a well-paid job. Notwithstanding I studied oil & gas engineering, I switched to the mining industry. I do not think it was a problem at all! At Mining University, I was taught to advance and work on my own: that is, monitor scientific papers, carry out my own research, and analyze the market trends,” explains Remu.

The Mozambican graduate, as of now, holds simultaneously two positions – Head of Production and Engineer – at Tazetta Resources.

“Locals are usually blue-collar workers. When I first joined Tazetta Resources, I was employed as a marine engineer. Later I was promoted up the career ladder. High task performance, deep understanding of the mining industry, the ability to learn quickly, and leadership skills – this is what helped me to become the head of the department. Certainly, the fact that I studied at Mining University – Russian education is of high value in Mozambique – also helped me through. So here I am today: leading the team of 220 employees. It takes time indeed to keep up with the schedule, but such a workload is more than beneficial in terms of the pay-off,” claims Remo.