Launch of Australian Mining Initiative
TUE 25 OCTOBER 2011
Prime Minister Julia Gillard today launched the Australian Government’s Mining for Development Initiative to help developing countries use their natural resources to improve their economies in a sustainable manner.
Australia is an expert in developing mineral commodities using environmentally responsible practices.
This initiative will draw on expertise from across government, industry and academia in Australia to help more than 30 developing countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America address mining-related challenges.
We want to make sure resource-rich developing countries use opportunities generated by mining to create much needed education and job opportunities for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Well-governed mining, gas and petroleum sectors can not only help reduce poverty but also reduce a developing country’s dependency on aid.
The centrepiece of the initiative is the International Mining for Development Centre which will be based in the University of Western Australia’s Energy and Mineral Institute. It will operate in partnership with the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute.
Speaking at the University of Western Australia, the Prime Minister said there was no better place for such a centre.
The first-class expertise on offer at both of these universities will mean this new centre will be a valuable resource for developing countries around the globe.
Through this centre Australia will provide up to $31 million for practical advisory, education and training services to developing countries.
We expect this to include 1,870 training places in Australia and in developing countries and 24 research fellowships.
The centre is part of a broader mining for development initiative launched during CHOGM which will include:
· New funding of up to $29 million for short-course undergraduate and post graduate Australian Mining Awards scholarships.
· $20 million over four years to see Federal and State Government agencies to work more closely with their counterparts in developing countries to improve public sector capacity in mining regulation and administration.
· $22 million to support select NGO's already active in social and environmentally sustainable activities in mining.
Further elements of the package will be announced in coming days.