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February and March 2015

Message from the Director – Activity and impact as IM4DC moves towards wind-down

As IM4DC enters its final four months of activity, the months of March and April will be the most intense of our short history. No less than 10 short courses, study tours and workshops will be presented, plus the IM4DC Alumni Forum and Mining for Development Conference on 29 and 30 April. The following article, What’s on in March and April, summarises current activities.

By the time IM4DC concludes its program at the end of its funding agreement after three years and eight months, well over 2,500 participants will have attended more than 100 short courses and workshops in topics across the mining and development spectrum. Action Research, Institutional Linkages and IM4DC Fellowships will have added much to knowledge and capability in resource-rich developing countries. 

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Photo: Ian Satchwell, Director, IM4DC.

What’s on in March and April

IM4DC is busy in its final few months. Here's what's happening in March and April:

Environmental management in mining short course, Brisbane, Australia: 2-27 March

Regional development and mining short course, Manila, Philippines: 3-13 March

Minerals negotiation skills training program, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: 9-13 March

AAPF gender and mining study tour (IM4DC delivering one day workshop): 16 March

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IM4DC Alumni Day in Ghana

The value of Australian-sponsored capacity-building in mining governance was highlighted in Accra, Ghana in February by the presence of the Hon Nii Osah Mills, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources at the IM4DC Alumni Day.

This was the third national alumni day in a row organised by IM4DC to be attended by a Minister or Vice Minister of the host country.

More than 80 Ghanaians who have previously participated in Australian-funded training and capacity building programs, including IM4DC, the Australia-Africa Partnerships Facility (AAPF) and the Australia Awards for Africa (AAA) program met on 3 February to exchange ideas on new initiatives and best practice in Ghana’s mining sector. 
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Photo: Participants at the IM4DC Alumni Day in Ghana.

UWA and UQ Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance

The Energy and Minerals Institute (EMI) at The University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) at The University of Queensland (UQ) have formed the Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance to build on the success of IM4DC.

Consistent with IM4DC’s mission, the Alliance will focus on assisting emerging resource economies to grow their mining and energy sectors in a way that enables inclusive and sustainable economic growth and social development.

The Alliance has been established by these two leading universities to support partnerships and co-investment with donor agencies and foundations, particularly those that are active in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. 

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Action Research highlight: A community’s ‘right to know’ – Adding practical support to the idea of prior consultation

An IM4DC-sponsored action research project acknowledges the vital importance of systematic community capacity building prior to the commencement of mining activities.

Stakeholder capacity to understand and take positive action around mining and sustainable development is a well-recognised challenge. The primary response to this challenge has been to build industry capacity to manage impacts and maximise benefits. More recently, the focus has broadened to include governments and civil society groups in developing countries.

This reflects an acknowledgement that in-country leadership and national/sub-national frameworks are pivotal to achieving development outcomes from mining investment. Efforts to build community capacity have been less systematic than for government, and largely undertaken on a case-by-case basis. Where it does occur, community capacity tends to become a focus after mining activities have commenced, rather than as a preparatory step. 

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Photo: CSRM researchers Dr Deanna Kemp and Dr John Owen in the field at Ramu Nickel site PNG, doing research for IM4DC.

African Mining Indaba – a platform for capacity-building as well as investment

IM4DC had a strong presence and involvement in this year’s African Mining Indaba, held in Cape Town in early February. 

As well as holding discussions with a number of its collaboration partners in Africa, IM4DC personnel participated in events organised by the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC), the World Bank, the African Development Bank, Australia’s SkillsDMC, Austrade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the South African Institute for International Affairs, and the International Council on Mining and Metals.

Emerging Leaders in African Mining Program 2015

During February, IM4DC together with the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) proudly presented the second Emerging Leaders in African Mining (ELAM) program.

The program was aimed at young professionals working in government, university, civil society, community organisations and the private sector in Africa who deal with mining and development issues and have been identified as emerging leaders in their areas of expertise. 

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Photo: Professor David Brereton from UQ (Centre) with participants from the ELAM 2015 Program. 

Skills and education: the key to unlocking development from mining

The journal of Australia’s mining professional association, AusIMM Bulletin, this month features an article on the importance of education and training to achieving sustainable mining development. It can be found at:  

Written by IM4DC Deputy Director Education and Australian Capability, Robin Evans, the article draws on three years of experience with IM4DC to identify critical success factors for effective capacity-building:
  • Integrated and ongoing engagement of stakeholders
  • Institutional linkages
  • Opportunities for exchanging experiences and practices
  • Engagement of industry.
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University of Ghana short course on mining law

During the first week of March, the University of Ghana’s Law School delivered the third iteration of a short course on Mining Law and Policy for Sustainable Development at the UG Legon campus in Accra.

This followed the development and successful delivery of the course twice during 2014, underwritten by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of a project designed to develop and promote local capacity in this field. The project is a partnership between the Law Faculties at The University of Western Australia and University of Ghana. 

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Photo: Staff from UWA and UG Law Schools at UG Legon Campus in Accra.

Conference on human development indicators and extractive industries in PNG

A three-day conference on human development indicators and extractive industries in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has attracted more than 100 participants. The conference was organised by IM4DC and ANUedge in association with the PNG Institute of National Affairs (INA) and held 17 to 19 March in Port Moresby.

The conference examined what is already known about the social impacts of major resource projects in PNG and the problems encountered with the measurement and reporting of social development indicators by both private and public sector agencies. 

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Upcoming events

This section highlights events presented by IM4DC and other organisations that may be of interest to mining for development practitioners.

Mining for Development Conference 2015

What - The Mining for Development Conference hosted by IM4DC will empower, engage and celebrate participants, their goals and achievements. It will explore strategies and approaches to empower women, grass-roots and organisations and community members to achieve change and realise the benefits from mining development. A highlight of the Conference will be the coming together of government ministers, mining executives, international agencies and leaders of mining and development policy across the developing world to share their knowledge and experiences. It will provide a forum to engage with key influencers and world leaders to address the theme of the 2015 Mining for Development Conference: Shared goals - realising benefits. 

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International Mining for Development Centre
WA Trustees Building, Level 2, 133 St Georges Terrace
Perth, Western Australia
Australia 6000
Tel: +61 8 9263 9811

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