Digging deep for mining education ethics: Canadian higher education in the global arena of resource extraction
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The purpose of this paper is to assess the state of ethics training in mining engineering education in Canada. The paper takes into account the context in which mining engineers operate, especially international projects located in the Global South and Latin America. Increased training could prepare mining engineers with a better grasp and response to the ethical debates that plague mining operations in Canada and abroad. Since 65% of mining companies in the world are based in Canada, changes in the way Canadian universities train future mining high-level employees could have a worldwide impact. As this system is neither neutral nor ahistorical, links are made between Canada's current mining educational practices and issues of colonial education using a critical lens. Mining engineering education is thus contextualized through the lens of colonialism. The paper looks at present-day engineering education in Canada and the state of ethics training within this curriculum, with a short analysis of two universities’ mining engineering programs. It will conclude with a set of recommendations that could provide Canadian-trained engineers more tools to navigate ethical issues in mining operations. The paper will have an International Education outlook, where the education of one’s nation affects living conditions in another nation. The case for stronger ethics training in mining engineering education has strong potential value for the Comparative Educational field. Currently there appears to be a lack of information about this topic and potentially this paper will fill this gap.