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IGCP 722 Stone for Development Work-integrated learning and action research program.

Project Updates - 2021

Between November 2021 and February 2022, the project implemented a global online training programme in Development Minerals intended to give practical experience in construction materials, industrial and agricultural minerals, dimension stone, and artisanal and small-scale mining.  These are low-priced minerals, but often of high value for local development.

Developed by Prof. Daniel Franks and Dr. Gary Flomenhoft at the University of Queensland, Australia the training program was tailored for International early career geoscientists and upper-level undergraduate and post-graduate students (Masters and PhD), African, Caribbean and Pacific, and South Asia.

This training programme received over 300 applicants and will start on the 23 November with 67 participants (25 females & 42 males) from 21 countries nearly all from developing countries in accord with the IGCP demographic goals.

Brief outline of the project

‘Development Minerals’ are minerals and materials that are mined, processed, manufactured and used domestically in industries such as construction, manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture. Eight of the top ten produced mineral commodities in the world are Development Minerals, which total 84% of global mineral production. While they may be relatively low value to international commodity markets, the value of Development Minerals is in their domestic use. Development Minerals provide crucial inputs for domestic economic development and have the potential to be high value in terms of broad-based national development. In comparison to the metals sector, Development Minerals have closer links with the local economy, and have the potential to generate more local jobs, with a greater impact on poverty reduction. This is partly because the sector is dominated by small and medium scale domestic businesses.
At present few undergraduate or post-graduate education and research programmes are focussed on Development Minerals related topics despite the fact working opportunities for geoscientists in this field being wide and the potential for sustainable development impact high. This project will engage tertiary and post-graduate students in work-integrated learning and action research. Through the participation of early career scientists, the project will contribute to knowledge generation and transfer, and enhance the cooperation of academic institutions, government agencies, and the private sector.  

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