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Online Course

Minerals and Mining in a Sustainable World

University of Queensland via edX

Overview

What is the role of mining in a sustainable world? What challenges lie ahead, and how is the mining industry responding to meet our demand for minerals as well as our expectations of a sustainable future?

This course explores the risks, challenges and opportunities facing the mining industry in the 21st century. You will learn some of the history of the role of minerals in society, and the tension between increasing demand for minerals and a continually evolving global context. This is driving the industry to look beyond the technical challenges of extracting ore, and to consider its broader role in contributing to sustainable development.

We follow the sustainability journey of the mining industry, from an historical perspective to the emergence of the Global Mining Initiative, and discuss the roles and responses of industry, government and civil society. The course also highlights the sustainable development aspects of mineral production in both the day to day operation of a mine, as well as more complex longer-term challenges. We explore the future demand for minerals, and the role of policy and governance on the future direction of the mining industry including the impacts of responsible investors and supply chains.

You will learn about scenario planning and how to use this approach as a strategic tool to consider a range of possible futures for the minerals sector, against the backdrop of uncertain future environments.

This interactive course incorporates videos, expert insights, simulations, discussions and scenarios to deepen your current understanding of the sector, and to encourage you to develop you own ideas about possible future directions.

Syllabus

  • Getting started
  • Mineral resources in modern society
  • Breaking new ground
  • Sustainable development at the site level
  • Strategic challenges
  • Resourcing the future
  • An agenda for change
  • Future scenarios (assessment)

Taught by

Elaine Wightman

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