Australia, and particularly the States of Western Australia and Queensland, host substantial minerals and petroleum industries with exploration, extraction, processing and logistics operations in a range of commodities including gold, nickel, iron ore, minerals sands, copper, zinc, lead, thermal and metallurgical coal, rare earths, uranium, oil and natural gas. Supporting the resources industry is a robust and diverse mining equipment, technology and services sector, which provides technical and knowledge-intensive inputs.
Australia has sound and effective policy and regulatory frameworks, addressing economic and social factors, regional development, environmental management and mining industry operation at local, state and federal government levels. Australian governments and industry have extensive experience in international standards and agreements and foreign direct investment regimes relating to minerals and petroleum projects that operate in their jurisdictions.
The University of Western Australia and The University of Queensland, in partnership with community organisations, industry and government, have expertise that can be used to assist developing nations in devising:
- A competent and transparent system of industry governance and regulation
- Mechanisms for community and environmental sustainability
- Expertise and technology that facilitates operational effectiveness.
The Australian Government has long recognised the opportunity to utilise Australia’s industry, government and higher education expertise in the minerals and petroleum industries to deliver economic development programs designed around its core aid themes. The main focus of this activity has been the Australian Mining Awards program, under which scholarships are provided to students in developing nations to study mining related fields at Australian universities. In 2011, this was expanded to provide more comprehensive development assistance to help resource-rich developing nations build their minerals and energy sectors in ways that underpin sustainable economic development and social progress.
The IM4DC was established as a joint venture between The University of Western Australia and The University of Queensland in October 2011, and was funded by the Australian Government through an Australian Aid initiative administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Extractives Sector Development Assistance Initiative
IM4DC was a key element of Australia’s Extractives Sector Development Assistance initiative, initiated in 2014. The Australian Government works with multilateral organisations, other government agencies, non-government organisations, universities and the private sector to assist partner governments to maximise the development potential of their extractives sectors. The activities focus on strengthening the capacity of governments in resource-rich developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
More information on Extractives Sector Development Assistance can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website here