The main objective of this series of conferences is to assist the global minerals industries in their transition to sustainable development. The first conference, SDIMI 2003, was very successfully held in the island of Milos, Greece and attracted 200 international attendees. On that occasion, the “Milos Declaration” was adopted, a statement of contribution to a sustainable future through the use of scientific, technical, educational, and research skills and knowledge in minerals extraction and utilization that was endorsed by the leading global professional and scientific organizations and institutes representing the minerals professional.

The second conference in this series, SDIMI 2005, was held in Aachen, Germany, and was again a successful forum in convening the minerals community engaged in sustainable development, with particular emphasis on sustainability indicators, data evaluation and reporting and life-cycle assessment and product stewardship.

SDIMI 2007 returned to Milos, Greece. The focus of the meeting was on issues of benchmarking, SD value creation, operationalization of SD, creation of knowledge hubs, modeling and fiscal issues and best practices and tools. The meeting provided opportunities for presentations and panel discussions. The Conference was organized in three tracks representing a variety of stakeholders, which can provide guidance and direction to the minerals community on the path to sustainable development.

SDIMI 2009 was held in Brisbane, Australia, 6-8 July. Themes included: Frameworks and tools for integrating sustainable development considerations into mine and plant design, Innovative methodologies for measuring sustainable development performance at the operational, corporate and industry level, Mining and minerals processing in a carbon-constrained world: reducing the GHG footprint, Sustainable development challenges in emerging mining countries, Community impacts and benefits of mineral resource developments, Stewardship and the management of products and wastes, Cumulative impacts of intensive resource development, Advances in life cycle and sustainability assessment, Industrial and regional synergies, Overcoming the barriers to the uptake of sustainability innovations, Integration of sustainability thinking into professional education.

SDIMI 2011 was held again in Aachen, Germany, in the framework of the AIMS conference. Organization was very successful and delegates from many countries attended the event. A young professionals event attracted a lot of attention.

SDIMI 2013 returned to Milos, Greece, once more. The focus was on issues of Best practices and sustainable mining practices, Life cycle assessment, Sustainable land use and raw materials supply issues, Mineral resources policy, Social contributions and environmental performance, Sustainability in Minerals Education, Certification, Evaluation and Auditing, Emerging economies, Nature conservation and climate change, Risk management, Health and safety, Sustainability reporting, Sustainability in oil and gas development, Technological developments, Local communities and good governance, Capacity building & human resources. More than 100 presentations were completed in three parallel sessions over two and a half days.

SDIMI 2015 was held in Vancouver, Canada, from July 12 to July 15, 2015, at the University of British Columbia. The theme of the conference was Integrating Economics, Community, Environment and Governance. Topics included: Best practices & Sustainable mining practices, Technological developments, Sustainable land use & Raw materials supply issues, Life cycle assessment, Social contributions & Environmental performance, Mineral resources policy, Sustainability in oil and gas development, Certification, evaluation & auditing, Nature conservation & Climate change, Emerging economies, Health & Safety, Risk management, Capacity building & Human resources Local communities & Good governance, Sustainability in Minerals Education, Sustainability reporting. The program included two parallel sessions several plenary sessions and three panel discussions.

SDIMI 2017 was held in Beijing, China, from June 25 to June 29, 2017. The theme of the conference is Adapting Mineral Exploitation to Sustainability for Safety, Health, Environment and Community. The topics included (a) Mineral extraction and sustainability (b) Mine land stewardship and geohazard prevention (c) Safety, health, environment and community (d) Risk management and life cycle assessment (e) Best practices and sustainable mining practices (f) Social responsibility and accountability (g) Sustainable land use and raw materials supply (h) Inspection, certification and auditing (i) Fossil fuels and new energy for sustainability (j) Mineral and energy resources policy (k) Unconventional resources for sustainability (l) Resources, energy and emerging economies (m) Mine communities and good governance (n) Technology, education and capacity building.

SDIMI 2019 was held in Sydney, Australia, from May 27 to May 29, 2019. The theme of the conference was “Embedding Social License: Perspectives and Promises”. The conference topics included (a) Connecting (critical) raw materials with future societal demands (b) Integrating social license into the overall value chain (c) Intersection of social license and its contribution to sustainability and sustainable mining practices (i.e. worldview, policy, ethics etc.) (d) Understanding social license complexities (e) Sustainable mining through Indigenous collaboration (f) Utilizing minerals economics to deliver sustainable outcomes (g) The role of corporate social responsibility in sustainable mining practices (h) The role of technology in enhancing sustainability outcomes (i) Effective conflict resolution techniques and strategies (k) Social License in action; Australian and international case studies

SDIMI 2022 was held in Windhoek, Namibia, from Sept 15 to Sept 17, 2022. This was a hybrid conference entailing a real-time, face-to-face component as well as a virtual component. The 10th International Conference on Sustainable development in the Minerals Industry defined a key milestone for the African continent, demonstrating the accumulation of several years of consultation, hard work, and commitment. It represented a significant milestone as SDIMI came not only to Namibia but to Africa for the first time since these conferences were founded with the Milos Declaration in 2003. The theme of the conference was Making Economies Great through Sustainable Minerals Development. This year’s theme revolved around harnessing the immense potential inherent in mineral resources to build our economies sustainably. Indeed, this has been a very complex issue requiring collective input from nations of the world, fairly and equitably. The theme could not be better timed, mainly as the world slowly climbs out of the debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which left a trail of buttered economies whose restoration may cost years, if not decades. The topics addressed represented a wide range of interests. Making Economies Great through Sustainable Minerals Development requires institutions of higher learning, governments, civil society, industry, and community to build platforms for honest discussions on how all parties can complement each other and find a balance of interests. SDIMI 2022, became a platform that enhanced the quality of conversations and resolutions on these very critical matters that will shape the future of humanity. This will be critical for the global economy as we address the challenges of the 21st century. 

SDIMI 2024 will be held in Torino, Italy. See Future SDIMI Conferences for more details.