2017 Mitsubishi Lecture - "Social License Today and Tomorrow"
This year's Mitsubishi Minerals Sustainability lecture, delivered by Associate Professor Michael Hitch, addressed the challenging and thought provoking issue of social license in the mining industry. A/Professor Hitch, who is also the Director of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Mining Practices (ACSMP) based at the School of Mining Engineering at UNSW, presented his lecture 'Social license - today and tomorrow' to current students, alumni and industry members on Thursday 4th May, 2017.
Dr. Hitch's research considers operational efficiencies through the lens of sustainability and appropriate extraction that seeks to provide a platform for local prosperity and sustainable livelihoods for all. "We recognise Social License is not an 'award for good behaviour' or a 'participation medal' but a living, breathing relationship, built on trust, requiring nurturing, and costly to lose".
Hitch raises the issue of social license and the disconnection in the value chain of our minerals and metals, posing the question of whether this disconnect occurs when we stop paying by weight and start paying for the function of the component. Citing the example of our relationship with the mobile phone and the fact that only 10% of mobile phones are recycled, A/Professor Hitch says "1 tonne of iphones would deliver 300 times more gold than a tonne of gold ore".
The Mitsubishi Minerals Sustainability Lecture is the first of two annual lectures held by the School of Mining Engineering. The next lecture will be the 20th Kenneth Finlay Memorial Lecture which will be held on Tuesday 19th September, 2017. The lecture will be delivered by Rob Mueller from the NASA Kennedy Space Center. The lecture will be followed by the annual Alumni and Industry Dinner, which will comprise a special 'Q&A' style panel event during the evening.
View all the photos from the evening here.