Summary of the Massive Online Return to Work/Alumni Impact Event

Thank you to alumni and faculty that participated in the Massive Online Return to Work/Alumni Impact Impact Event on July 22nd. One hundred and seventeen comments were posted from 23 countries, alumni reported on 38 projects, 10 course deliverers provided feedback and 16 alumni emailed case studies. 

Below is a summary of the commentary that represents a diversity of Return to Work projects, fellowships, research projects, events, and collaborations across a range of Australian and internationally funded programs that illustrate the ongoing work and impact of the global Mining for Development alumni.

Alumni from Fiji, Nigeria and the Philippines that attended Environmental management courses reported on Return to Work projects on mining rehabilitation. At the University of Southeastern Philippines, mining rehabilitation topics are being included in the Master of Science and Resource Management. In the Compostela Valley, Philippines, mining host communities are requesting Mined Land Rehabilitation Models whilst at a national level the mining industry is increasingly supportive of responsible mining.  A group of alumni from the Caraga State University, Philippines shared photos of the Mindanao Stakeholders Forum on “Responsible mining is possible, if we care enough (CARE - Commit Adapt Respond and Engage).” 

In Nigeria, with the support of the World Bank, a rehabilitation and reclamation project of 704 abandoned mine sites is underway. An update was also provided on an Australian government funded research project to determine what regulation, policy and securities systems exist for managing mine closure and minimising mine abandonment risks of enduring harm in seven selected sub-Saharan African Countries. From this the research team are developing a consolidated framework that can be adapted for any country. In Fiji, the Mining Division is developing mined land rehabilitation monitoring techniques for a bauxite mine.


Staying in Fiji, to minimise grievances and negative mindsets, the Mining Division is conducting consultation involving landowners and communities to change their perceptions about mining. Dialogue, community consultation and Indigenous agreement making was also the subject of a report from Peru that was part of the Transferring knowledge workshop at the San Marcos University building capacities to achieve social consent in Peru.

As a follow on from participation in a Resource Governance Masterclass, a joint study is underway between the Centre for Social Responsibility and Mining (CSRM), at The University of Queensland and Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis on Extractives, Conflicts and Political Settlements. Another joint research project is underway between the Directorate General of Mineral and Coal, The Republic of Indonesia and Sustainable Mineral Institute on Public Partnership in Community Development and Empowerment (CDE). This study aims to create a draft Minister regulation on Technical CDE so that communities can benefit from sustainable development during mining operations and after mine closure.

How to enhance community benefits from mining was a recurring theme alumni reported on. In Gumas District, Indonesia – a Return to Work project on corporate social responsibility particularly in terms of developing local content regulation aims to bring community, local government, industry and civil society together to enhance community benefits from mining. Another CSR Return to Work Project is being implemented in East Java, Indonesia on a CSR model for the regional government and a mining community. Whilst in Kenya a study on benefit sharing is in its advanced stages.

There is increasing action on gender and extractives in Africa as illustrated by a working group on ASM at the Women in Parliament Annual Global Summit 2015, forthcoming publications on Gender and mining in Africa and a compendium of good practices on the economic empowerment of women in ASM in Africa and a Regional Sharefair on Gender and Extractives in Kenya in October. As well as a World Bank project in Papua New Guinea on women's economic empowerment through the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

A number of alumni reported on ASM projects – in Uganda four workshops have been conducted sensitising mining communities and miners on safe and responsible mining. Further to this with the support of Action Aid a group of miners (including eight women) visited Tanzania where they learnt best practices on mining methods. Staying in Tanzania, a workshop was conducted to raise the awareness of the health and environmental effects of mercury. ASM was also reported as a big challenge in Sudan and Cameroon. In Madagascar, alumni from Community Aspects of Resource Development have trained three women from Karazambato Women’s Association in costume jewellery and gemstone quality assessment.  

Sequence of settling ponds to trap sedminents, water is recycled. Rwanda ASM Sudan ASM Cameroon 

Projects on environmental management of mine waste were reported by alumni in Rwanda and Zambia who attended courses on Large Volume Waste. In Rwanda, the Land of Thousand Hills, the relief poses challenges to waste management, the Ministry of Natural Resources of Rwanda has trained mine operators on waste management and also monitors settling ponds.  Whilst in Zambia, academics, government and industry are conducting a research project on “Best Practices or Best Available Techniques in Management of Large Volume Waste in Zambia”. The National Service of Environmental Certification for Sustainable Investments (SENACE) in Peru is developing a handbook on Environmental Impact Assessments to help evaluators assess mining projects.

A field trip to Karlgoorlie and Esperence, Western Australia and a visit to the 'Economic Development Corridor' as part of the Regional Development course, inspired an alumnus to organise a local mining study tour to assess royalty inflow in Nigeria. The tour involved major stakeholders including federal and local government and has led to strengthened linkages among stakeholders. Ideas are being leveraged from the Minerals Policy and Economics course and the Mining for Development Conference 2015 for a “Solid Minerals Seminar” in Nigeria involving local and international stakeholders.

Capacity building of parliamentarians to effectively monitor and assess royalty and tax regime laws are projects being pursued by alumni in Sierra Leone EITI and Zambia Mining for Development Alumni (ZAM4D).

Involvement in Occupational Health and Safety Courses have led to development of policies on OHS in Delta State Nigeria with plans to take OHS, awareness of solid minerals and environmental issues to primary and secondary schools.  Through collaboration with the Centre of Safety at UWA, alumni are pursuing projects benchmarking safety in eight countries with a specific project looking at beliefs related to healthy safety in mining companies in Peru and Argentina.

Thanks again to alumni that contributed to this forum and faculty that provided feedback. The discussion forum is still open if you would like to add new comments or respond to feedback.

We wish you continued success in realising the goal of inclusive sustainable social and economic development from mineral resources! 



31st August 2015

the massive online forum for return to work/alumni impact was indeed a success... congratulations IM4DC!!!

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