FORT BRANCH, Ind. - Vincennes University officials Thursday will host a grand opening ceremony for the school's Underground Mining Simulation Center in Gibson County. The $2 million facility in Fort Branch, which began training exercises early last month, is patterned after a facility at West Virginia University.

The mock mine is the only one of its kind in the state and is part of the VU Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort Branch, which opened earlier this year. Since launching its mining program 12 years ago, Vincennes says it has trained some 4,600 miners.

Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch is slated to be the featured speaker at the Thursday afternoon event.