The public perception of mining is an issue many different organisations are wrestling with at the moment…
Public perceptions of the mining industry are the subject of an increasing number of industry and academia-led initiatives, all aiming to address the general lack of awareness of the positive role mining will need to play in the “green revolution” during the 21st Century. A panel of industry and academic professionals here discuss various aspects of addressing the public perception of mining, including how to attract high calibre (environmentally-conscious) students to the sector; how perceptions of the industry might vary between nationalities and demographic groups; and how best to coordinate efforts to raise the public profile of the mining industry. At a time when “perception is reality” in the mass media, and responsible sourcing of some commodities is at the forefront of public consciousness, addressing these perceptions will have profound implications for the mining industry’s ability to adapt and grow over the coming decades.
Dr Mike Armitage
Corporate Consultant (Resource Geology)
SRK Consulting (UK)
Dr Mike Armitage is a resource geologist with SRK Consulting and has over 30 years’ experience in the industry. Prior to joining SRK he worked on gold mines in South Africa and Zimbabwe and also completed a PhD assessing alternative methods of reserve estimation at Renco Gold Mine in Zimbabwe. At SRK he is responsible for managing feasibility studies and stock exchange Competent Persons Reports on behalf of mining and exploration companies and also audits and due diligence studies on behalf of investment institutions or in support of mergers and acquisitions. He has a significant amount of resource estimation experience, encompassing a number of copper projects, has written several papers on resource and reserve estimation methodology and spent several years as joint course co-ordinator of an MSc in Mineral Resources at Cardiff University, and then as external examiner for the MSc in Metals and Energy Finance at Imperial College, University of London. During his time with SRK, Mike has been Managing Director and Chairman of the UK practice and SRK Group Chairman.
Professor Iain Stewart
Professor of Geoscience Communication
Director, Sustainable Earth Institute
School of Geography, Earth, & Environmental Sciences
University of Plymouth
Iain Stewart is professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth and Director of its Sustainable Earth Institute. His long-standing research interests are in geological hazards, geo-energy and Earth science for sustainable development.
His geo-communication expertise has been built on a 15 year partnership with BBC television presenting major natural history documentary series, such as ‘Earth: The Power of the Planet’; ‘Earth: The Climate wars’; ‘How Earth Made Us’, ‘How To Grow A Planet’, ‘Rise of the Continents’ and ‘Planet Oil’.
He is actively involved in public engagement, not least through his current roles as President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Patron of the English Riviera UNESCO Global GeoPark. That public service to geographical and geo-environmental education has been recognised with an MBE, awards from numerous international geoscience organisations, and his designation as a UNESCO Chair in Geoscience and Society. He leads the UNESCO international geoscience programme (IGCP) project on ‘Geology for Sustainable Development’.
He is currently a Visiting Professor of Earth Science at Ashoka University.
Professor Mike Searle
Geologist with the Department of Earth Sciences
Oxford University, UK
Professor Mike Searle is a Geologist with the Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford University, UK. He specialises in Structure, Tectonics and Metamorphism with the aim of understanding orogenic processes. He has worked worked on mountain belts across the World, mainly in the Himalaya-Tibet-Karakoram region, and the Oman Mountains of Eastern Arabia. He has worked extensively in the Caledonides of Northern Scotland, Cyclades islands, Greece, Syria, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Andaman Islands, Taiwan etc. He has published over 220 peer-reviewed papers, authored 3 books, edited 5 volumes of Special Publications of the Geological Society, London. He was awarded the Murchison medal in 2008, and is a member of Academia Europia. He has supervised over 25 D.Phil PhD and Master students and has taught geology in Oxford since 1990.
Samphire & Associates
Mark Steeves has 40 years’ of varied business experience. He has worked in a number of industries including offshore oilfield supply ships; tanker moorings and operations; procurement; and from 2002 to 2010, in energy insurance, working for HSBC. In 2010 he established Samphire & Associates Ltd, consulting mainly to Africa related businesses; offering advisory services based on his knowledge of multinational management, SMEs and company start-ups; and acquiring experience as an investor, and as a non-executive director of a range of diverse companies: agriculture; micro finance; a credit bureau; investment banking; entertainment; and business associations. Currently, he is the independent non-executive chairman of London based investment bank, VSA Capital; is a member of the Advisory Board of Moshe Capital in Johannesburg; and sits on the Development Committee and on the steering group for the Geological Society Business Forum (GSBF) at The Geological Society of London.
Consultant (Resource Geology)
SRK Consulting (UK)
James Davey (MESci, PhD, FGS) is a Consultant (Resource Geology) with academic and industry-focused experience of a range of deposit styles including sediment-hosted Cu-Co-(Ag-Pb-Zn), layered ultramafic PGE, orogenic Au and industrial minerals. James has five years of postgraduate experience, working on exploration projects and mine sites in South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and the USA. James is a competent user of Leapfrog Geo and has completed Mineral Resource estimations and due diligence studies for a range of commodities and deposit styles including gold, iron, phosphate and other industrial minerals.
In his PhD research, James focused on hydrothermal fluid chemistry and fertility indicators in a range of sediment-hosted copper districts, including the Central African and Kalahari Copperbelts. He has expertise in field geology, geochemistry and basin fertility analysis and has presented at academic conferences in Europe and the USA. James has also taught economic geology field courses in the UK and Spain.
Alice Davies has over 8 years’ experience as an environmental, social and governance (ESG) consultant in the mining industry. She is currently on secondment at the International Council for Mining and Metals (ICMM) as the Mine Closure Programme Lead. Her current role is focussed on improving collaboration across the industry on integrated closure planning and identifying post mine closure land uses. Prior to her secondment, Alice was a senior ESG consultant at SRK Consulting, managing numerous impact assessment studies for mine projects located across Africa.
- ICMM – Mining with Principles
- What’s in a smartphone (University of Plymouth)
- Climate Smart Mining (World Bank)
- Lithium Mining and the green revolution (Cornish Lithium)
- Innovative non-invasive & fully acceptable exploration technologies (EU-funded InFact Project)
- Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems (EU-funded SIMS Project)