Discussion of Sustainable Mining Practices at SODOGEO 2017

I was in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, March 15-17, 2017, at the 1st International Congress of Applied Geology at the invitation of the Dominican Society of Geology (SODOGEO). SODOGEO had asked me to speak about “Sustainable Mining Practices.” I added a subtitle to this to make the full title of my talk “Sustainable mining practices: The role of professional societies and researchers.” I thought it is important to make the message relevant to those of us in the room.

My goal, in this talk, was to:

  1. Establish what we mean by sustainable mining;
  2. Discuss my views on the role professional societies like SODOGEO can play in promoting sustainable mining practices; and
  3. Discuss the role researchers can play in our march towards more sustainable mining practices.

[slideshare id=73634868&doc=sodogeo2017presentationfinal-170325153510]

The talk was well received even though most of my audience do not speak English as their native language. There was a lively discussion after my talk. One issue that I stressed in the Q&A session was the fact that community engagement around a mineral project should start with the first exploration geologist who shows up at the site. So it was interesting that the next speaker after me, Marco Perez of CTECAM, presented a model for responsible exploration. Marco, who I now consider a friend, is an exploration geologist/mining engineer who has successfully applied his model to conduct exploration in the Dominican Republic with some multi-national companies.

Overall, the conference was a success and I enjoyed my first visit to the Dominican Republic. (And I figured out all the ways one can use the Google Translate Androd App.) I think SODOGEO has started something meaningful in their region and I hope this conference grows to attract the attention it deserves.