Ethics Course

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Evolving Professional Ethics and Sustainable Mining

David M. Abbott, Jr., CPG
Consulting Mining Geologist & Geoscience Ethics Columnist
Denver, Colorado

PDH Credit: 1

Geoethics was born in 2012 and expanded the scope of geoscience professional ethics to include the social and cultural implications of geoscience practice. However, the 9th Fundamental Geoethics Value that addresses sustainability fails to transparently and forthrightly acknowledge the depletability of natural resource deposits thus inhibiting a fully integral and transparent discussion of this geoethics value statement’s goal of providing a sustainable supply of natural resources and requires revision. The depletability of natural resources is a fact of nature. Extraction of natural resources necessarily has negative environmental impacts that must be balanced with maximizing resource recovery. Who decides what the balance will be? The increasing focus on ESG-based investing is and will impact the mining industry. Finding new deposits to replace depleted ones requires new approaches and new technologies. The post-mining use of mined land provides a variety of beneficial opportunities.

About the Speaker

  • Geologist with the US Securities and Exchange Commission 1975-1996, helped registrants comply with disclosure rules and investigated mining and oil and gas fraud among other duties.
  • Consultant since 1996 specializing in the due diligence review of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates, in the review of disclosures about natural resources disclosures, and the review of mineral exploration and development programs for precious and base metals, and industrial minerals.
  • American Institute of Professional Geologists Ethics Committee Chairman Emeritus since 2017 following over 20 years as Chairman
  • Compiler of The Professional Ethics & Practices column in AIPG’s The Professional Geologist since 1995; 174 columns published so far
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists Distinguished Lecturer for Ethics 2018-19.
  • Author of over 50 papers on geoscience ethics since 1989
  • Member Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s Ethics Committee
  • A.B. in earth sciences from Dartmouth College
  • M.S. in geology from the Colorado School of Mines.
  • Honorary Member of AIPG and Certified Professional Geologist-4570
  • Fellow of AusIMM, GSA, GSL, SEG
  • Member of MMSA, SME


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