The University of Western Australia will be the administrative home of a new International Mining for Development Centre, funded to the tune of $31 million by the Federal Government through AusAID.

Launched by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the joint venture between UWA and the University of Queensland is aimed at facilitating greater prosperity for developing nations.

It is part of a $125 million aid initiative top assist developing countries to develop sustainable mining and petr industries

The IM4DC will provide practical advisory, education and training services to developing nations, most notably African, across mining-related issues.

The centre’s interim director is Ian Satchwell, who recently quit as GHD economics and policy manager. That role followed a stint as a trade and investment advisor to the government of Indonesia. Mr Satchwell, who was a director of ACIL Tasman prior to working in Indonesia, also sits on the board of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia and is president of the Australia Indonesia Business Council. 

Mr Satchwell has 25 years’ experience in economics and industry policy at domestic and international levels. He has been involved in policy formulation by industry and government on international trade and investment, environmental policy and regulation, competition policy and microeconomic reform, and climate change policy.

Based at UWA in Perth, the centre is being established to support developing nations to establish and maintain sustainable mining sectors, improve governance and accountability in developing nations and strengthen economic outcomes through better industry governance, education and capacity building in developing nations.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson and UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield said the new centre would broaden and deepen the existing collaborations in mining and energy education and research between the two leading national universities.

Professor Robson said: “The University of Queensland and The University of Western Australia are committed to delivering high quality education, training and research to developing nations.

“We believe this initiative can contribute to lifting the quality of life in developing nations through more sustainable utilisation of minerals and energy resources.”

Professor Greenfield said: “This is a far-sighted strategic investment of Australian aid and development funds. It is in our national interest and in the interests of people of resource-rich developing regions.”

The first-class expertise on offer at both of these universities will mean this new centre will be a valuable resource for developing countries around the globe.

A statement from the Prime Minister's office said that through this centre Australia will provide up to $31 million for practical advisory, education and training services to developing countries.

"We expect this to include 1,870 training places in Australia and in developing countries and 24 research fellowships," the statement said.

The centre is part of a broader mining for development initiative launched during CHOGM which will include:

* New funding of up to $29 million for short-course undergraduate and post graduate Australian Mining Awards scholarships.

* $20 million over four years to see Federal and State Government agencies to work more closely with their counterparts in developing countries to improve public sector capacity in mining regulation and administration.

* $22 million to support select NGO's already active in social and environmentally sustainable activities in mining.