Agreement steps it up for UA’s Consolidated Alaska Mining Initiative

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014

The University of Alaska and Yukon College have signed a memorandum of agreement that allows UA to train 20 First Nations students utilizing Delta Mine Training Center in Interior Alaska.

A mix of First Nations students and Yukon Territory resident students are currently in training as part of the agreement, using curriculum developed by UA’s Mining and Petroleum Training Service (MAPTS) and Yukon College. The students have the benefit of one of the state’s premier underground mine training centers in Delta as part of this agreement, a partnership UA hopes to build upon in the future and a key step in UA’s Consolidated Alaska Mining Initiative. That initiative is aimed at meeting the skilled workforce needs of the mining industry.

“Since 1979, MAPTS has provided quality entry level underground miner training, safety training and a solid mining curriculum,” said Bill Bieber, MAPTS executive director. “Through this partnership with Yukon College, we’re expanding into an area that holds great promise.”

The Delta Mine Training Center features an underground mine, rock and gravel quarries, 100 acres of training area, and equipment and machinery necessary for modern mining and construction training. UA’s MAPTS program has one underground mining simulator located in Juneau and facilities in Soldotna, Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks. Bieber said nothing beats actual hands on operational experience in an underground and surface mine setting.

The first group of underground mining students are expected to graduate from the program March 9. The program will include employability skills, safety and environmental compliance, underground utilities, underground rock bolting, jackleg drilling, and underground load, haul and dump truck operation, known as LHD.

Students who successfully complete the program and meet competency benchmarks will be job ready for several mining companies operating in the Yukon Territory. Graduating students will have over 30 actual operating hours in a mine setting by the time the course is completed.  

This partnership has provided MAPTS the ability to jointly develop and test the curriculum, establish a lease of the Delta facility and build capacity to provide long-term Alaska-based training.  In addition, Yukon College has agreed to allow MAPTS the continued use of their two large capacity simulators that will remain located at the Delta facility when the Yukon College program is not utilizing them. This program was completely funded by the Yukon College and their governing council.

MAPTS is currently planning to conduct the same training course for Juneau-based students in April, utilizing the resources, curriculum and experience gained from this agreement.


Fred Villa, 907.450.8008 or fvilla@alaska.edu

Mining and Petroleum Training Service:  http://www.alaska.net/~mapts/

Delta Mine Training Center: http://www.dmtcalaska.org

Yukon College: http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/