This project aims to address the technical solutions and the role of corporate social responsibility for protecting coastal zones from heavy metal pollution from the mining industries.
The project is industry-relevant and has significant value for Australia and other countries with extensive mining and oil extraction activities. A novelty of the project is the integrated approach combining technical solutions with the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Heavy metals are a major anthropogenic contaminant of estuarine and coastal ecosystems in Australia. This research proposes an integrated approach to minimisation of the impact of the heavy metals on public health and ecosystems, improving quality of life. The project will employ a number of advanced scientific and technical tools to understand the mechanisms of the removal of heavy metals, establishing unique links between fundamental and applied research. Furthermore, the inclusion of CSR analysis in our research framework means that our findings will be relevant to be integrated into broader management practices in the mining industries on a national and international level.
- A/Prof Faisal Hai (EIS), (team leader), Director - Strategic Water Infrastructure Laboratory, has significant research experience in adsorption processes, membrane technology, removal of recalcitrant pollutants such as heavy metals, and ecotoxicity analysis for assessment of pollution level and effectiveness of pollution remediation technologies. Thus he will lead the development of the combined adsorption – membrane filtration process for heavy metal removal from mining discharge.
- Prof Will Price (AIIM), Executive Dean, has a wealth of experience in analytical chemistry and will lead the high precision analysis of heavy metals in water and soil samples. Prof Price has a longstanding collaboration with CI Hai, with a recently completed ARC-DP grant and over 80 journal articles co-authored since 2011.
- A/Prof Ting Ren (EIS), Director (Mining) - Centre for Infrastructure Protection and Mining Safety, and a leading green mining expert with extensive links with the mining industries, will assist CI Hai in assessing the applicability of the proposed treatment process and also formulate pathways to CSR application for protection of coastal zones from heavy metal pollution.
- Dr Flevy Lasrado (BAL) (UOWD), Senior Lecturer (ECR), is a business quality management expert and ISO systems auditor. As a CSR expert, Dr Lasrado is well-placed to review, assess and formulate proposals to streamline current CSR practices in the mining industry.
- A/Prof Sheikh Solaiman (BAL), a corporate law expert, will examine the legal underpinnings of CSR and how it is shaped by law (e.g., business law, environmental regulation and human rights) as well as voluntary business codes in the context of mining industry.
- Muhammad Bilal Asif (EIS), (HDR), will conduct laboratory experiments and heavy metal and eco-toxicity analysis of mining impacted and treated water. He will participate in the CSR workshops/forums, and will also present the findings of our work at a domestic conference.
This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals: