Mintek offers bursaries to students wishing to pursue a career in the broader South African minerals and metallurgy sector.
Mintek’s history can be dated back to the 1930s, when it was originally established as a minerals research laboratory under the operation of the South African government. In cooperation with the University of the Witwatersrand, the government’s aim in establishing Mintek was to create a research centre that could assist the country’s mining industry in the development of new technologies while also helping it to operate on a more profitable and efficient level.
The organisation that would come to be known as Mintek, originally called the Minerals Research Laboratory (MRL) was established at the Department of Metallurgy and Assaying at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1934. Its first major project, and its longest-running investigation undertaken to date, was an Andalusite benefication project, launched in 1935. In the same year, the first MRL scholarships were also awarded. 1936 saw the organisation produce its first published papers.
In 1944, the organisation’s name was changed to the Government Metallurgical Laboratory, and again in 1965 to the National Institute for Metallurgy. 1976 saw a move to Mintek’s current premises in Randburg. In 1981, the Council for Mineral Technology, also known as Mintek, was formally established. Today, while Mintek has been largely privatised, it still receives funding for the government for its numerous research and development projects. It’s current mandate, as laid out in consultation with the government, is to “promote mineral technology and to foster the establishment and expansion of industries in the field of minerals and products derived from them”.
Mintek Bursary Program Overview
Mintek bursaries are aimed at students who show significant promise and talent in fields relating to both the theoretical and technical aspects of the mineral and metallurgy sector. The bursaries are available at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and offer the possibility of employment at Mintek following the successful completion of the candidate’s studies. This provides bursary recipients with not only financial assistance, enabling them to pursue their chosen careers and achieve their educational goals, but also the opportunity for gainful employment, further skills training, and much needed experience in a professional realm at the cutting edge of their field of study.
As part of most undergraduate bursaries offered by Mintek, bursary recipients are required to engage in vacation work at Mintek at the end of their first, second, and third years of study. This period of work generally amounts to an 8-week stint each year, and offers Mintek the opportunity to interact directly with bursary recipients as well as provide them with practical experience during the course of their studies. In the process, bursary recipients are also evaluated as potential future employees. During this vacation work, each bursary recipient is directly involved with a relevant Mintek project within a technical division relevant to their field of study.
Prospective candidates should fulfil several criteria in order to be considered for a Mintek bursary. These include South African citizenship, matric exemption, acceptance at a recognized tertiary institution for full-time study, a minimum of level 5 in matric mathematics, physical science, and English. Those already enrolled in a tertiary qualification may also apply provided they demonstrate acceptable academic performance.
Mintek bursaries provide a considerable package of benefits to their recipients. These include full coverage of all tuition fees, as well as any registration fees or other administrative costs, such as exam fees. Housing, as provided by a university hostel or residence is also subsidized, including meals provided by the institution at whicht the candidate is enrolled.
An allowance is also made for books, stationery, and other equipment needed for the completion of the student’s qualification. Finally, a stipend is provided to cover a range of day-to-day living expenses. Altogether, this bursary package is one of the most comprehensive available within South Africa, eliminating the vast majority of the financial burden of tertiary education.
Mintek provides undergraduate bursaries for undergraduate degrees, honours degrees, and technical diplomas in a wide range of relevant fields.
Some of these include physics, metallurgy, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mining, chemistry, and geology. At a postgraduate level, bursaries are offered for both masters and doctoral degrees in fields such as catalysis, engineering, chemistry, metallurgy, fuel cells, geology, minerals processing, nanoscience and nanotechnology, physics, and others.
Prospective applicants for Mintek bursaries can follow a simple application process to be considered for the program. Unlike many other programs, Mintek does not support online application, but the necessary forms can be downloaded from the Mintek website.
Once these have been filled in to completion, they should be sent, along with all relevant documents such as ID copies, matric results, and university transcripts (where applicable) to the Mintek Bursary Office, Private Bag X3015, Randburg, 2125. For undergraduate programs, the closing date for applications is the end of July annually. Postgraduate applications have no official closing date.