DULUTH (AP) - The University of Minnesota-Duluth is creating a new program to turn out more graduates who can work in the mining field.
UMD geology professor Jim Miller says the goal of the Mineral Resources Center is to graduate people with a full understanding of the mining cycle, even if they specialize in certain areas.
Students will be trained in exploration, processing, reclamation and other core mining disciplines.
Miller says UMD has been planning the new center for five years and will open it in the next year or two.
One challenge has been a shortage of trained faculty in mining disciplines, 70 percent of whom are expected to retire nationwide by 2020.
Proposed taconite and copper-nickel mines in northern Minnesota could create hundreds, perhaps thousands of new jobs in coming years.