The lecture will showcase the latest developments in Exeter’s world-leading research.

'Global Conversation' takes key issue of the future of mining to Vancouver

Solutions to the challenges facing the global mining sector will be shared by a leading expert from the University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines at a special event in Vancouver, Canada.

Mining supplies most of the raw materials that underpin our way of life but centuries of production has seen the quality and quantity of mineral deposits deplete while economies of scale used to make mines viable, result in mines getting larger, ore-grades deteriorating and more waste being produced. Mining projects are becoming too big to fail, too big to finance, and too big to build as the necessary scale of future projects is seen as environmentally unacceptable. In ‘Mining – is bigger always better?’ Professor Kip Jeffrey, Head of the Camborne School of Mines at the University of Exeter, will discuss the future of the industry in response to an ever-increasing global demand and the need to protect the environment.

The high-profile event on 20 October at the Vancouver Lookout is the latest in a series of worldwide lectures organised by the University of Exeter, called Global Conversations, which showcase some of the latest developments in Exeter’s research.

Speaking ahead of the event, Professor Jeffrey said, “The mining industry is facing unprecedented engineering, technical, training and political challenges – challenges which the Camborne School of Mines is addressing through its research and teaching. We are on the cusp of a new era where smarter and more intelligent mining will be developed; where bigger is not necessarily better; where smaller higher-grade deposits are exploited in lower impact mines.”

Professor Jeffrey will be joined by Garth Kirkham, Immediate Past President of the Canadian Institute of Mining to debate the implications of this approach in a Q&A session.

Dr Tony Batchelor, Chairman of the Camborne School of Mines Trust, said “The challenges of the extraction and processing of all forms of natural resources will face our young engineers and geologists as the global demands grow for greater production with enhanced recycling and less and less environmental impact. The Camborne School of Mines is developing exciting pathways to support the future of the natural resource industries.”

Alumnus Dave Middleditch, VP Operations, Blue Coast Group said “As a city, Vancouver plays a huge role in our industry, with arguably the greatest concentration of mining companies, experts and mining related service providers anywhere in the world – and we’re proud of it. Vancouver has a strong connection with the Camborne School of Mines and an active network of alumni. It is with great anticipation that we look forward to the upcoming “Global Conversation” event and the opportunity for many of us to reconnect with the school that gave us our start in our mining careers.”

Introduced last year in Hong Kong, the Global Conversation series explores how the University of Exeter, working in collaboration with its partners across the world, is having an impact on many of the shared global challenges we face. Events in the series focus on common issues and problems, from tackling dementia to climate change to cybersecurity, and encourage conversation between experts in their fields, guests and a wider public audience.

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, Professor Sir Steve Smith, said: “This latest Global Conversation on the future of mining considers the combined challenge of economic growth and environmental sustainability – an international issue which affects us all. By stimulating conversation between our faculty and other leading experts in their fields, we can make a positive contribution to our collective understanding of issues of international importance.”

Date: 19 October 2016

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