Inaugural Mining for Development Roundtable hailed a success

Left to right: Professor Paul Johnson (Vice-Chancellor UWA) and Dr Mamphela A Ramphele (Chairperson of Gold Fields and Founder of Letsema Circle Trust and The Citizens Movement for Social Change).

The first international Mining for Development Roundtable was recently held at The University Club in Perth, Western Australia.

Hosted by the IM4DC, as part of its commitment to building international relationships and exchanging best practice mining approaches and technologies, the one day invite-only Roundtable was designed to review the performance of mining in generating economic benefits and facilitating social progress in developing countries, and to identify the themes and principles required to guide future policy and practice.

The event held a unique place on the international mining calendar and provided a forum for developing countries, industry, civil society and the international donor community to talk frankly about the challenges and opportunities that the mining sector poses to developing countries.

With an audience of over 100 people, the Roundtable provided a valuable opportunity for participants to strengthen network and share knowledge and experience of both shortcomings of and leading practice in mining for development, and how mining can help to achieve broad based economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries.

Bringing together high profile international participants from around the world, including South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Niger, Myanmar, Canada and the United States, the Roundtable program stimulated discussion and thinking about mining for development. In particular, through facilitated workshop sessions, participants were able to gain a stronger understanding of opportunities and challenges in relation to:

  • Assessing the outcomes of mining for development to date, its successes and shortcomings
  • Identifying leading approaches to mining for development, focusing on infrastructure and local economic development
  • Building a consensus on some of the key steps needed to build success in mining for development

The Roundtable offered an exciting mix of presentations delivered by both national and international speakers. A range of topics were presented and each speaker presented their perspective on development and the role of mining in the thematic areas of the Roundtable program.

Contributing presenters included international keynote speaker Dr Mamphela A Ramphele, Chairperson of Gold Fields and Founder of Letsema Circle Trust and The Citizens Movement for Social Change, Michael Stanley, Lead Mining Specialist from The World Bank, Andrew Hewett, Executive Director of Oxfam Australia and Professor Fabien Knot, Senior Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister, Republic of Cameroon to name a few.

All presentations were very well received by the audience and feedback from participants involved was most positive.

The opportunity to share experiences in this manner was appreciated by all who were present, and made the Roundtable very effective and worthwhile for all involved.

Australian particpants involved in the Roundtable included key stakeholders from industry, with some of the major players in the mining and service sector attending, including Rio Tinto, Sundance Resources Limited, Paladin Energy and Lycopodium Minerals, as well as other government and acadmic organisations.

A Gala Dinner was held following the Roundtable. Set in the picturesque Kings Park, Western Australia, the Gala Dinner was held in the State Reception Centre overlooking the Swan River and the City of Perth. The dinner provided a wonderful opportunity for guests to hear from keynote speaker Tim Costello, Chief Executive of World Vision Australia and listen to his views on social justice issues.

A summary of the Roundtable outcomes and recording of proceedings will be made available on the IM4DC website shortly.