Project to strengthen University of Leicester reputation with South American mining sector

Posted by ap507 at Apr 19, 2016 12:01 PM |
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Prosperity Fund awarded to the Department of Geology

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 19 April 2016

A geologist from the University of Leicester has been awarded a ‘Chile Prosperity Fund’ from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 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 project manager responsible for the delivery of a PostGraduate Certificate programme in Quarry Management and Operations.

It is run as a one-year blended-learning programme in collaboration with a major international construction materials company, LafargeHolcim (who own Aggregate Industries in the UK).

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 establishment of accessible CPD opportunities, leading to improved H&S performance, reduced environmental impact and increased efficiency. 

This will be achieved through the professional development of existing managers (and educators, standard setters and regulators) through the development and delivery of easily accessible Distance-Learning (DL) 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 addressed many operational and environmental aspects of surface mining.

The preparation of this project proposal has already facilitated discussions between researchers at the University and a Chilean mining delegation organised 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, Toby White and Dr Gawen Jenkin will be attending and representing the University of Leicester at EXPOMIN 2016, 25-29 April 2016, the world mining exhibition and congress for Latin America.

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


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Toby White on or Dr Maggy Heintz on


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