Created in 2017, the African Center of Excellence in Mining and the Mining Environment at the Institut National Polytechnique Félix HOUPHOUET BOIGNY, is a World Bank center that aims to provide Côte d'Ivoire and West Africa with high-quality human resources in the mining sector. The overall aim is to bring a new philosophy to the mining business, one that will enable us to develop all possible mineral resources, from the ground to the protore. Within INP-HB, this project brings together three (03) schools, namely the Ecole Supérieure des Mines et de Géologie (ESMG), the Ecole Supérieure des Travaux Publics (ESTP) and the Ecole Doctorale Polytechnique(EDP). The main metals mined are gold, manganese and nickel.
The project currently offers three Master's/engineer-level training programs, with around 150 students enrolled:
- Mines and Quarries ;
- Water exploitation and treatment ;
- Hydraulics and the environment.
Improving these training courses involves modernizing and adapting teaching and scientific equipment. To this end, the acquisition of the first teaching materials began in June 2018, accompanied by the rehabilitation of infrastructure and technical facilities (laboratories, classrooms, student residence). Some fifty teacher-researchers in all disciplines support the training and supervision of students. One of the objectives is to attract experienced non-national lecturers and researchers to improve the quality of training and research, and thus raise the level of CEA-MEM's lecturer-researchers.
CEA MEM currently attracts Master's and PhD students of 14 nationalities, from Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Central African Republic, Comoros, Mauritania, Benin, Cameroon, DRC, Tunisia, Senegal and Togo. The project aims to attract English-speaking students, particularly from Liberia and Ghana.
Research is CEA MEM's second most important activity. Laboratory equipment to support this activity has been received since June 2018. Some twenty theses are in progress on topics related to geology, exploration, mining, the mining environment and the water sector. Some fifteen scientific publications have been produced. CEA MEM is committed to participating in the International Mixed Laboratories program (LMI-MINERWA) supported by IRD. The aim of this program is to pool research equipment and resources in order to carry out research activities, particularly in the fields of geological and mining prospecting, the environment and remote sensing. The CEA MEM moreover recorded participation in the second Colloquium of the International Geosciences Program (IGCP638) on the theme: "Geodynamics and mineralizations of Paleoproterozoic formations for sustainable development", held in Casablanca from November 06 to 12, 2017. On the occasion of its first Steering Committee held on December 6, 2017, CEA MEM jointly organized a workshop with the AMEDEE (Mining Activities, Environment, Economic Development and Ethics) network coordinated by IRD and its partners, from December 5 to 8, 2017. 30 project leaders from 15 countries attended. Other networks such as GHEODE and SGA are among CEA-MEM's targets for extending its scientific cooperation framework.
In terms of sub-regional mobility and inter-university partnership, four teaching missions in 2016 to the Mauritanian Ecole des Mines and a half-semester mobility of 9 students from ESP Nouakchott to INP-HB in May-June 2017 were carried out. A CEA MEM lecturer took part in a mission to Senegal as rapporteur for a thesis defense at UCAD in Dakar. There is an excellent collaboration with the UFR Sciences de la Terre of the University of Abidjan in terms of training (vacations), research (partnership within the framework of the MINERWA program), which translates into the supervision of theses, and the organization of international seminars.
The center is working to expand the number of its national and regional partners. Good collaboration is underway with UFHB's UFR Sciences de la Terre, notably through a three-way partnership with IRD.
The current regional academic partners are :
- Cheikh Anta Diop University of Senegal;
- Takoradi Technical University;
- Abdou Moumouni University in Niger;
- Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique de Nouakchott ;
- Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Ingénieur de Fada N'gourma - University of Fada, Burkina Faso;
- Institut Supérieur des Mines et de la Géologie de Boké in Guinea.
The current industrial partners are :
- Société pour le Développement Minier de la Côte d'Ivoire (SODEMI);
- Société Ivoiro-Suisse Abidjanaise de Granit (SISAG);
- Afrique GOLD ;
- PERSEUS MINING ;
- Tongon mines ;
- Endeavour Ity ;
- COMPAGNIE MINIERE DU LITTORAL.
Good contacts have been established with SAMA Nickel and Chilo Manganese.
Current university partners outside Africa are
- Goodman School of Mines, Laurentian University - CANADA ;
- Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Géologie de l'Université de Lorraine - France