Development Minerals

Development Minerals refer to minerals and materials that are mined, processed and used domestically. They are crucial inputs for infrastructure, housing, road building, manufacturing and agriculture and support the livelihoods of millions of people working in domestic artisanal, small and medium sized businesses.

The Development Minerals Strategic Program undertakes research, education, technical assistance and capacity building on the local materials most important for local development. 

The Program works with a wide range of international development partners to improve sustainability and human development outcomes and to help realise the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Its strategy is to build capability, resources, research and education activities on Development Minerals both within the program and through collaboration across the Sustainable Minerals Institute the University more broadly.

Program Leader

Professor Daniel Franks

Professor Daniel Franks

Program Leader
Development Minerals, Sustainable Minerals Institute


The Development Minerals research team is working with a number of organisations on a range of initiatives:

  • UNEP to implement the United Nations Mineral Resource Governance Resolution, and we involved more than 1200 people from 123 countries in a series of global consultations in 2020.
  • Advising the United Nations Development Programme on the implementation of the OACPS-EU Development Minerals Programme across 41 countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
  • Developing the ‘Stone for Development Work-Integrated Learning Program,’ to provide placements for students from UQ and the Pacific region and advance their practical knowledge of sustainable development. The program is a collaboration between UQ’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, the Faculty of Science (SCIE3050), and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences supported by UNESCO’s International Geoscience Program, UNDP and the Fiji Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources.
  • Supporting the Fiji Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources to develop and undertake ‘Construction Materials Damage and Capacity Assessments’ to assist in the recovery following Tropical Cyclone Yasa.
  • Partnering with UQ International Development to provide strategic advice to ASEAN to strengthen minerals cooperation across member states.