Building peace in the minds of men and women

Project 698 - NextMine

Project Updates - 2021

Together with UNESCO and Cardiff University, this IGCP project launched a short professional development course on Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques to equip Southern African geoscientists for generating a sustainability atlas that started on 1 November 2021. This course responds to the call for the adoption of sustainable mining practices to ensure the sustainable development of the communities surrounding mining areas.

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Brief outline of the project

Mining is essential to facilitate the transition to the green economy and to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, mining is also the globally largest contributor of waste in the economic cycle. Thus, the industry needs to find ways to make mining more sustainable. A key problem is the generally weak social licence. One reason for this is the information imbalance between industry, government, mining communities and global consumers. Bringing mining communities and consumers on board to support sustainable mining requires that they have a similar level of understanding of the economic, environmental and societal benefits and costs of mining. Another reason is the scarcity of data, from exploration through mining, beneficiation, and waste treatment, to environmental and societal pressures, to measure progress towards the SDGs. These data need to be made available to mining communities, industry, government planners, and global consumers. We will produce a sustainability atlas for two mining-intensive regions in southern Africa, the Bushveld Complex of South Africa and the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe. The atlas will serve as a framework for decision support providing information on relative sustainability performance and development consequences of mining for a variety of geological, environmental and socio-economic scenarios.

Related Information

  • Duration: 2020-2024
  • IGCP Theme: Earth Resources


  • Dr Wolfgang Maier (UK)
    Address: School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University (UK)