Global Sustainability in Mining Challenge

Unearthed and the Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance (MEfDA) are collaborating to open up the mining and resource industry’s biggest social impact and sustainability challenges.

Today’s mining and resources industry is facing constant questions around sustainability, impact and local community engagement. How do we prepare ourselves for the future by addressing current challenges?

The Global Sustainability in Mining Challenge is an initiative to take the mining and resources industry’s challenges online. By opening challenges to the power of crowdsourced innovation we are inviting innovation from all corners of the world to positively impact industry.

Potential challenge themes

Local Content

Industry is failing to sufficiently engage with the local economy to drive local economic growth.

Artisanal and small scale mining

An uneducated workforce that is prone to potentially life threatening health and safety issues.

Energy Supply & Water

Challenges facing usage of local energy sources, water supply and water management.

Environmental Impact

Pollution and impact on the local natural environment continues to be a major challenge to address.

Crowdsourced Innovation

The challenges that face our global mining and resources industry are already on our doorstep. How can we solve these massive issues? The answer will always be to innovate and think outside the box. That is why challenges featured here will seek solutions from the brightest innovators from every corner of the world.

The Global Sustainability in Mining Challenge asks mining and resources companies to enter and acknowledge their most pressing sustainability and social responsibility challenges. By working with universities, governments, financial institutions and NGO’s we will strive to create and connect solutions to challenges and increase industry collaboration.

Industry needs to change

The social issues in mining are still the same. Innovation is always focused on the technical side, we have thus pushed aside the social challenges. The GSiMC is about opening the mining industry’s social challenges to new perspectives. Young technology professionals are not entering the mining industry, this is a massive problem we want to alleviate through the GSiMC.

Before entering your challenge

I have a challenge

Think you have a pressing challenge where your company is falling short? E.G: Our minesite rehabilitation plan has become unfeasible or our operators have not considered the effect on the natural environment which has led to many after-effects such as pollution and resettlement. Consider defining the challenge and gathering the various touch points.

I represent our challenge

Owning your challenge is critically important. Without ownership your organisation will not actively pursue the intended outcome, thus leading to a failed experience. Challenge owners will define their challenge and play an active role in the process. Challenges will go through a critical analysis and feedback process.

Potential themes

To assist organisations in defining their challenges, the following themes are suggested: occupational health and safety, community and social impact, environment and sustainability, governance and law, leadership and management, economic development and linkages. Challenges will go through a definition process.

From which industry will challenges be entered?

Mining, energy and resources stakeholders. Challenge owners from these industries will have specific sustainability and social impact challenges.

Challenge entry form

Global Sustainability in Mining Challenge Entry Form



“To prepare for the future, the industry needs to do more than just analyse what is in front of us now. We need to predict the future trends, understand and see the change that’s coming. Or even better, create the change.”Dr. Vanessa Guthrie, Former CEO, Toro Energy & Chair, Minerals Council of Australia
The Global Sustainability in Mining Challenge is directed by MeFDA and Unearthed