An introduction to the Mineral Policy Institute

The Mineral Policy Institute [MPI] was constituted in 1995 in response to a recognised lack of capacity and expertise for communities and civil society to respond to and engage in mining issues.  Particularly where Australian companies were involved in mining overseas without adequate legislation, regulation and monitoring.  Since that time MPI has worked on mining issues in the Pacific, Europe, Africa, Asia and also in Australia. MPI has been effective in responding to and reducing negative mining impacts, but much remains to be done.

As mining continues to expand, the number and scale of the negative impacts from mining on people and place are also increasing.  So too does corporate influence and dominance over local, national and global priorities. Unfortunately, while much of the enormous wealth from mining continues to be concentrated in the hands of a few people in developed countries, the negative impacts from mining are disproportionately felt by indigenous peoples and the disadvantaged in both developed and developing countries.

With the help of its members, funders and supporters, MPI will continue its to work to protect the environment and assist those impacted by mining.

MPI in Brief

The Mineral Policy Institute [MPI] is an international civil society organisation with a volunteer board representing members from across the world. Operating from Australia we focus on assisting communities affected by specific mining projects and on achieving industry reform through improvements to policy, law and practice.

With a strong emphasis on free prior and informed consent, MPI undertakes a supportive and background role to assist mining affected communities. Our aim, and our role is to support communities to more effectively protect their rights and respond to mining issues that impact on them.

While mining disproportionately impacts the developing world, however, the decisions that govern these projects are made and need to be influenced in the developed world. MPI has the expertise, the experience and the networks to assist communities and to access the many mining companies based in Australia [also US, UK, South Africa and Canada] and their investors from around world.

We are guided by a vision of a just and sustainable mineral cycle where human rights are protected, impacts dramatically reduced and mineral/fuel efficiency and reuse is paramount. While we believe that minerals/fuel are central to the quality of human life today, the benefits of the current minerals systems are greatly skewed to a relatively small global elite. MPI plays a key role in addressing this paradox… to increase the equitable distribution of the benefits while decreasing the social injustices and environmental impacts of the mineral/fuel system.

As an industry watchdog, we rely on community funding to ensure our independence from industry. Seeking to improve and influence an industry that plans in decades, we require funding to progress and achieve long-term strategic goals and to assist communities who are impacted by mining today, tomorrow and in the future.

MPI Program – major projects 

Papua New Guinea – MPI has been working in PNG since our inception, over that time we have worked on many of the mines in PNG. Our main focus is on supporting communities and the reform of mining industry practices. We are currently most active in the Morobe Province of PNG, though we assist other affected communities throughout PNG.

Deep Sea Mining in the Pacific – DSM mining has been approved in PNG and is planned to commence during 2014-2017.  There is also significant activity and attention on the potential for DSM in the Pacific, with support from the European Union.  MPI work’s to inform PNG and other Pacific Island Countries and the international community about the potential impacts on our already stressed oceans.

Mining Legacies – Focused on Australia’s 50,000 mining legacies, our aim is to achieve reform through joint action of industry, government and community. Our initial approach is to educate community, government and industry through research and documenting mining legacies which are impacting on environment and communities throughout Australia.

MPI Program – ongoing work 

Mined Your Own Waste – Reducing mine waste and pollution of water bodies, especially through the use of submarine and riverine tailings disposal and from legacy mine sites.

Mining and Human Rights – identifying issues and educating the developed world and consumers about the human cost of mining, especially vulnerable sectors and communities.

The Future of the Mineral Cycle – Identifying opportunities to change practices, to reduce the consumption of minerals and to increase the reuse and recycling of metals. MPI is part of the Boomerang Alliance.

Responsible Mining – Assessing mining impacts and practices, increasing transparency, assisting [pressuring] corporates, governments and communities to reduce mining impacts.

Mining Response and Organisational Capacity – This ensures we a sustained ability and capacity to respond to requests for assistance from mining affected communities, today.

Funding MPI

The Mineral Policy Institute relies on donations and grants to fund our activities. Donations to MPI of more than $2.00 are tax-deductible. You can make a donation online through Our Communites, a free and secure online donation facility.

Traditionally our funding comes from small donors and charitable trusts. Our donors understand both the imbalance of power between mining affected communities, and often, the combined might of government and multinational mining companies; and the link between unrestrained mining and significant environmental impacts, with direct and indirect human rights violations.

MPI is an Australian Income Tax Exempt Charity and is exempt from Income Tax under section 50-5 of the Income Assessment Tax Act 1997. MPI is authorised to fundraise for charitable purposes under the Charitable Fundraising Act, 1991). MPI is entered on the Register of Environmental Organisations and is eligible to receive tax-deductible donations under Item 6.1. of Table 6 in Sub-section 78(4) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

2015/6 MPI Board of Management

Dr Gavin Mudd (Chair)

Ms Mia Pepper (Deputy Chair)

Mr Adam Blakester (Secretary)

Mr Richard Maquire (Treasurer; Public Officer)

Charles Roche (Executive Director)