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Sustainable Mining Fundamentals
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Sustainable Mining Fundamentals

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Key Learning Objectives

  • Analyse the environmental/social risks in planning, construction, operation and closure of a mining project
  • Identify interactions between mining and the environment
  • Examine the real meaning and impacts behind key terms such as:
    • Sustainability, bio-diversity, acid rock drainage, ground water management, EIS, stakeholder involvement and community development as they relate to the mining industry
  • Identify and review significant environmental issues – in Australia and elsewhere
  • Understand the requirements of the Equator Principles and how these influence projects in developing countries
  • Examine key differences in the project approvals process in Australia and neighbouring countries
  • Environmental management; the current situation – what is being achieved and what are the remaining challenges

About the Course

Many environmental issues such as the Sustainability Concept and the Equator Principles are poorly understood by those responsible for making key project decisions. This course aims to remedy this situation.

The course commences with a review of case histories which illustrate environmental risks that are encountered, particularly for ‘Greenfield” projects in areas with little experience of mining.

The main environmental issues are identified and discussed, with particular reference to the relative importance of each issue in different geographic and political situations. Currently popular ‘buzzwords, catch cries and mantras’ such as sustainability, ground water management, acide rock drainage, bio-diversity and stakeholder involvement, are demystified, with explanations of how these terms are used by different groups, including opponents of mining.

The Equator Principles (EP) and Performance Standards are described and discussed, showing how they can affect a new mine development and how difficult it may be to meet EP objectives.

A brief overview of the environmental approvals process in Australia and neighbouring countries highlights some of the cultural and political influences that prevail – again illustrated with case studies based on genuine project experience.

The topic of environmental management is addressed in terms of the issues that can be managed routinely (without risk), those that require critical attention and those which may prove intractable.

Who Will Benefit

  • Senior mining company executives
  • Directors of mining companies
  • Financial industry executives responsible for evaluating mining projects


Environmental & social risks Examining why projects outcomes may be significantly damaged

  • Failure to understand the host environment
  • Inadequate assessment of impacts
  • Insufficient or inadequate environmental management
  • Lack of cultural awareness
  • Unrealistic community expectations
  • Insufficient funding to achieve environmental and social goals

Identifying & evaluating environmental impacts

  • Stakeholder input to scoping
  • Activity/component matrix
  • Source/pathway/receptor analysis
  • Uses and abuses of mathematical models
  • The value of local knowledge

Key environmental terms & concepts

  • Baseline
  • Sustainability
  • Biodiversity
  • Environmental offsets
  • Community involvement
  • Community development

Key environmental & ground water issues

  • Delivering benefits throughout the host communities
  • Public safety and security – short term and long term
  • Land acquisition and resettlement
  • Acid mine/rock drainage
  • Water management, aquifers, the water table
  • Maintenance of biodiversity
  • Dealing with nuisance effects – dust, noise, visual intrusion
  • After mining – what?

Equator principles

  • How, why and where these are important
  • Project categorisation
  • Overview of EPs
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) performance standards

The regulatory situation

  • Influence of local culture and past mining history on regulatory standards and processes
  • Understanding and adapting to different regulatory systems
  • Reconciling local and international requirements
  • Problems of capacity among regulators

Environmental management

  • Overview of management practices
  • The role of environmental monitoring
  • The importance of environmental auditing
  • Responding to changing circumstances

Future environmental trends

  • More ‘elephants’ in developing countries
  • Increased focus on delivering better outcomes for host communities
  • More, better coordinated opposition

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.


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