11/23/2012 12:23 EST | Updated 01/23/2013 05:12 EST

Two B.C. universities to spearhead institute promoting sustainable global mining

VANCOUVER - Two British Columbia universities have been selected to operate a newly created institute fostering global sustainable mining practices.

Minister of International Co-operation Julian Fantino has announced the University of B.C. and Simon Fraser University will operate the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development.

The institute was established last October, funded by a $25-million grant from the Canadian International Development Agency, but the overseeing universities were announced this morning.

A release from UBC says its research and education in the extractive sector spans nearly a century, and it has spent the last decade emphasizing sustainable development and corporate social responsibility through its Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering.

SFU’s Beedie School of Business offers executive MBA programs in sustainable mining, and houses the Responsible Minerals Sector Initiative, promoting global dialogue within the industry.

According to UBC, exports of oil and minerals from Africa, Asia, and Central America reached $1-trillion in 2008, and the institute will offer best practice knowledge in mining technology, public policy and other issues to help governments and mining companies reduce poverty while protecting the environment.