Energy Resource Governance Initiative (ERGI) Academy to facilitate global governance of energy resource minerals

Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering will bring delegates from around the world for hands-on trainings in energy resource minerals governance related topics.

Mackay Mines building on campus.

Energy Resource Governance Initiative (ERGI) Academy to facilitate global governance of energy resource minerals

Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering will bring delegates from around the world for hands-on trainings in energy resource minerals governance related topics.

Mackay Mines building on campus.

Facing a worldwide demand for minerals and metals used for new energy production, an Energy Resource Governance Initiative Academy has been established at the University of Nevada, Reno with funding from U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy. The program will bring experts from many countries around the world to collaborate on best mining operations and practices.

"The new paradigm shift from fossil-fuel based energy to renewables and electric batteries has created a huge demand for critical energy resource minerals and metals, including lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, copper, lead, zinc, manganese, silver, molybdenum, titanium, among others," Manoj Mohanty, Professor, Department Chair of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering and director of the program, said.

The program, based at the University's Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, is part of a nationwide effort to manage responsible governance of these energy resource minerals and metals, known as ERMs. It will invite government delegates from partnering countries and train them to build their capacity in effectively governing the ERM mining in their countries. 

“We believe these trainings would sufficiently enlighten the visiting delegates to help strengthen their country’s institutional capacities in best-in-class mining sector operations, management, regulations, and enforcement,” Mohanty said. “In addition to the knowledge sharing, the academy will most certainly build a strong connection between the program team members and the delegates visiting from the ERM-rich countries. Therefore, it is believed that the proposed effort may lead to many collaborative efforts between the foreign delegates and the U.S. experts much beyond the program duration in relation to the ERM governance and supply-chain management.”

Fifteen experts from the Mackay School and a number of industries in the western U.S. have joined hands to form this academy. As a part of this academy, foreign delegates will be given short courses in ten key topical areas and field tours to various mine sites of interest. 

The U.S. is in significant short supply of most of these new energy mineral resources. The State Department's Bureau of Energy has formed a strategic alliance with many ERM-rich countries from all over the world to ensure a resilient supply of ERMs in the future. The primary focus of the University's ERGI Academy is to promote responsible energy resource mineral and metals governance worldwide, support the development of resilient supply chains, and help to meet the expected ERM demand for clean energy technologies of the future.

The ERGI has helped to initiate strategic partnerships among the U.S. and a number of ERM-rich countries, including Canada, Australia, Peru, Botswana, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Congo, Namibia, Philippines and others. Mackay School’s ERGI Academy aims to help facilitate this world-wide collaboration. 

The Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering received funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy to establish the Energy Resource Governance Initiative Academy at University of Nevada Reno. In a nationwide competitive process, this is the only Academy funded by the State Department in 2020, to be implemented beginning in 2021 and running through 2023.

Delegates from around the world will be invited to participate in hands-on workshops covering a range of ERM related topics taught by world-renowned experts from the mining and ERM industries, members of the Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering’s professional advisory board, as well as, several faculty members from the Mackay School. As a part of this training, in-class teaching will be supplemented by field tours to mine sites in Nevada and nearby states.

Ten topic areas are:

  • Overview of Mining of Energy Resource Minerals
  • Data Acquisition and Management
  • Mine Reclamation and Environmental Management
  • Workforce Development
  • Fiscal Terms and Contracts
  • Mineral Licensing and Leasing & International Standards for Resource Reporting
  • Regulatory Enforcement
  • Health and Safety Standards
  • Social License to Operate
  • Geographic Information System 

Others in the Mackay School working with Mohanty on the project are Professors Behrooz Abbasi, Javad Sattarvand, John Muntean, Scott Bassett, Pengbo Chu and Matt Harlaux. Industry experts from SRK Consulting, Remote Energy Solutions, Cementation Americas, Nevada Copper, GeoGlobal, Ledcor will form a vital part of this ERGI Academy program effort. These experts include Jeff Parshley, Ann Carpenter, Tim Dyhr, Bill Warfield, Abani Samal, Mike Ianacchione, John Gates and Jenessa Haarala Rahn, the last three being the alumni of Mackay School.

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