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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Boost to University’s standing in South America

University of Leicester

Chile Prosperity Fund awarded to University of Leicester’s Department of Geology

A GEOLOGIST from the University of Leicester has been awarded a ‘Chile Prosperity Fund’ from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), aimed at developing and delivering continuing professional development (CPD) short courses for the Chilean mining industry.

Toby White from the University of Leicester Department of Geology, with support from Dr Maggy Heintz and colleagues from the University’s Research and Enterprise Division, is the project manager responsible for the delivery of a postgraduate certificate programme in Quarry Management and Operations, which is run as a one-year blended-learning programme in collaboration with LafargeHolcim.

The Chile Prosperity Fund project aims to contribute to improvements in the design and operation of mines and quarries in Chile by developing competency and promoting good practice through knowledge transfer and the establishment of accessible CPD opportunities, leading to improved health and safety performance, reduced environmental impact and increased efficiency.

This will be achieved by way of professional development of existing managers (and educators, standard-setters and regulators) through the development and delivery of easily accessible distance-learning short courses and face-to-face seminars. These will help to disseminate existing and emerging good practice from around the world, which can then be passed on to others in the workforce.

The content will draw on University of Leicester research and teaching, together with output from projects funded through the UK’s Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, which have addressed many operational and environmental aspects of surface mining.

Preparation of this project proposal has already facilitated discussions between researchers at the University of Leicester and a Chilean mining delegation organized by UKTI (Chile).

Toby White said: ‘This project will strengthen the reputation of the University’s Department of Geology within the South American mining sector, which will hopefully lead to further collaborative projects and potential student recruitment.

‘It will also help portray the UK as a partner of choice to the Chilean/South American mining sector for training and development, and encourage membership of UK-based professional bodies such as the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining; the Geological Society of London; and the Institute of Quarrying.’

As a first step towards engaging the Latin American mining industry, Mr White and Dr Gawen Jenkin will be representing the University of Leicester at EXPOMIN 2016, the mining exhibition and congress for Latin America which takes place in Santiago, Chile, from 25–29 April 2016.

Starting mid-April 2016, the project aims to be completed by the end of the year.

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