Sustainability expert leads pursuit for improved social responsibility in global mining sector

24 Apr 2012

International expert Dr Saleem Ali has been appointed the Director of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), at The University of Queensland (UQ).

Named "Young Global Leader" at the World Economic Forum 2011, Dr Ali is recognised for his extensive research and consulting experience in environmental health and social issues.

"Dr Ali’s arrival will enhance our ability to introduce change across the global mining sector and enriches our focus on industry leadership and collaboration," the Director of UQ's Sustainable Minerals Institute, Professor Chris Moran said.

The CSRM is one of seven research centres within the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) at UQ.

It has contributed significantly to the building of social competency in the mining industry through research, teaching and consulting since 2001.

Dr Ali said: “I look forward to joining the CSRM team in spearheading high quality, independent research that helps the mineral sector contribute towards sustainable development and positive community engagement.

"As new resource-rich markets are fast emerging and under increased pressure to meet global demands for minerals, there is both a need and opportunity for industry players to put social responsibility at the core of their business.”

Set to take up the position in late 2012, Dr Ali previously served as the Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.

He was also the Director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at the University of Vermont's James Jeffords Centre for Policy Research.

He will focus on enhancing CSRM’s community relations in growing extractive markets such as Mongolia and China and developing a diversified funding base building on synergies between industry, governments and international organisations.

Dr Ali will also be responsible for establishing new collaborations inside SMI’s research and study units such as the Rotary Centre for International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Dr Ali will replace Professor David Brereton, CSRM founding Director, who will become SMI’s Deputy Director – Research Integration, with a focus on leading the development and implementation of SMI’s research, collaboration and education in the minerals industry.

In his new role, Professor Brereton will oversee the development of NextMine™ and NextWorkforce™, two industry-changing initiatives aimed at advancing industry standards and skills in sustainable mining.

“I’d like to thank David for his seminal influence in establishing CSRM and placing the centre in a world-leading position for the incoming Director,” Professor Moran said.

Dr Ali and Professor Brereton will move into their roles in mid-2012.