The MEfDA University partnership is able to facilitate access to expertise across all resource sector-related disciplines both from their own staff as well as other Australian universities, service providers, industry and partners in overseas countries.

Some examples of our capabilities are provided below.

Occupational Health and Safety

Australia is considered a global leader for its progressive and effective approach to mine safety standards, and the promotion of occupational health in the extractives sector. Based in the two biggest resource states in the country, The University of Queensland and The University of Western Australia are home to the two leading centres in Australia focussed on these issues, in the form of UQ’s SMI Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre and UWA’s Centre for Safety. Both have strong research and education links to government agencies and resource companies, and a strong track record of applying this expertise in emerging resource economies. The OHS Leadership IM4DC flagship program was delivered three times to 55 participants from 20 developing countries, while customised in-country workshops on risk management and incident investigation have been delivered in many countries around the world.

Community and Social Impact

The improvement of engagement processes between government, community and industry stakeholders is a key focus for achieving inclusive benefits for men, women and children as well as mitigating negative outcomes for vulnerable groups. The Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at The University of Queensland and the Centre for Social Impact at The University of Western Australia have in-depth knowledge and experience built from years of practical experience working with governments and civil society to create beneficial social impact. These multidisciplinary centres working with companies, governments, and communities improve social performance, build community capacity, generate social innovation and respond to the emerging challenges of social investment and sustainability. The Universities through the IM4DC program delivered training focussed on community and social impacts to over 780 participants from 41 countries.

Environment and Sustainability

Australia is well recognised for research and practice in environmental management and sustainability across the full spectrum of resource commodities. The internationally renowned Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation at The University of Queensland works with many of the world’s leading mining and mineral processing companies in Australia and overseas translating research into practice that continually improves environmental management, mine rehabilitation outcomes and sustainability. Over 3400 training days across 20 activities focussing on environmental management were delivered by IM4DC including courses on Geotechnical & Environmental Management of Large Volume Waste and Water, Water and Mining, Life of Mine and Mine Closure and the flagship Environmental Management in Mining. The combination of interactive classroom lectures, field trips and site visits enabled participants to acquire new skills and knowledge about leading practices in environmental management in mining and built their capacity to oversee development of minerals and energy resources in an environmentally responsible manner.

Geoscience and Exploration

The University partners through their centres, The Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET) and WH Bryan Mining & Geology Research Centre, are global leaders in research excellence, innovation, education, and training in mineral exploration, and mine development. These institutions combine pure science and applied research to address the practical problems of mineral exploration and extractive industries. They deliver significant world class training that offers integrated thinking across the mining value chain with expertise in geoscience, mass mining, blasting fundamentals, geotechnical engineering, orebody and numerical modelling, and geostatistics. The University partnership has run courses and programs focusing on geoscience and exploration involving over 260 participants from 32 countries across Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

Governance, Economics and Law

Effective stewardship of mineral resources that achieves inclusive benefits for men, women and children requires good governance, strong policy and regulatory frameworks and transparent and accountable economic systems. The University partners draw on a diversity of knowledge and experience across University centres and development partners to deliver a multidisciplinary approach to build capacity of emerging communities and nations understanding of the principles informing minerals policy and economics and the necessary skill-sets to manage policy and economics in the many contexts that arise in the mining and resources industries. Over 23 courses focussing on economics, governance and law were delivered by IM4DC. This included the flagship Mineral Policy and Economics course that provided participants with an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of minerals policy that informs regulatory frameworks and economics in the resource sector. In response to demand, tailor made courses on taxation and negotiation have also been designed and delivered in Africa.

Leadership and Management

MEfDA recognises that creating change in complex environments requires investment in leaders as change agents. The University partners draw on thought leaders whom are experts in leadership, organisational change and innovation to design and deliver programs that equip participants with skills needed to initiate, manage and sustain change effectively. The Flagship Emerging Leaders in African Mining program has empowered 80 young African leaders from 22 countries to exercise influence in their local context and to work collaboratively to develop solutions to shared challenges.

Regional Development

Australia has a long history of building sustainable communities in regional and remote areas alongside extractive industries. The work of UWA’s Centre for Regional Development has been instrumental in understanding and resolving some of the major economic, social and environmental challenges facing Australia’s regions and urban centres. The flagship Regional Development course provided participants with a comprehensive grounding in the theory and practice of development planning and management practices in the mining sector within a range of international and national contexts. This flagship course and the Infrastructure study tours have been delivered to 140 participants from 27 countries across Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

The University of Queensland Australia Sustainable Minerals Institute The University of Western Australia Energy and Minerals Institute