Kinross Fort Knox and Sumitomo Pogo Mine, both international mining companies with gold mining operations near Fairbanks, Alaska, have given generously to the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Fairbanks community— inspiring each other through their shared commitment to philanthropy. They jointly and individually support the UAF College of Engineering and Mines’ Mining Engineering Research Endowment and the UAF Community and Technical College.
Both Kinross Fort Knox and Sumitomo Pogo Mine have contributed to the community where they live and work — with particular investments in helping to grow Alaska’s workforce. Through partnerships with UAF, both mines have dedicated time and resources to the education of Alaska’s future engineers, mechanics, and innovators. In 2011, Kinross Fort Knox helped to establish the UAF College of Engineering and Mines’ Mining Engineering Research Endowment with a gift of $25,000. Lauren Roberts, then regional vice president of North America for Kinross Gold (currently regional vice president of South America), noted that, “UAF is conducting research and making gains in important areas that will pay dividends for the industry, Alaska, and Fort Knox.” Later in the same year, Kinross Fort Knox pledged $990,000 toward the endowment.
In September 2011, with encouragement from Kinross, Sumitomo Pogo Mine also generously gave $1,059,000 to the Mining Engineering Research Endowment. The endowment at UAF supports graduate student research at the UAF College of Engineering and Mines, giving students hands-on experience to prepare them to enter the workforce. “The timing of this gift is notable, because the mining industry in Alaska is poised for significant growth,” says Rajive Ganguli, UAF department chair, Department of Mining and Geological Engineering. “The endowment will allow UAF to be ready to respond to that growth by training engineers with the advanced skills needed to be successful in Alaska’s complex mining environment.” Sumitomo has since renewed their support with a 1 million dollar pledge to the endowment in August of 2013, re-emphasizing their commitment to education in Alaska.
In 1917, the Mining and Engineering Program was established at UAF (then called the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines). This program has a long history of training mining engineers not only for Alaska, but for companies throughout the world. The Silver Fox Mine, which is run by UAF students and provides hands-on experience for future miners and engineers, has been generously supported by both Sumitomo and Kinross. Students and faculty regularly collaborate with the Kinross Fort Knox mine on research projects, and mining engineering graduates have found work in their chosen field close to home. Fort Knox employees have served on UAF advisory boards frequently since the mine was established in 1995.
Kinross and Sumitomo both individually value philanthropy and have a true interest in taking an active role in the Fairbanks community. Both have gone above and beyond to combine their efforts and impact, encouraging and supporting each-other’s philanthropic efforts in Fairbanks. Their continued investment is preparing our workforce to meet the growing needs of Alaska’s natural resource industry and strengthening the Fairbanks community.
Story courtesy of UAF