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Santiago, Chile


Dec 11 - 12 2023



8th Annual IIES Science & Policy Workshop

Critical Minerals, Communities and Environment

This year’s Annual Science and Policy Workshop will be hosted by SMI-ICE-Chile which is based in Santiago, Chile, and affiliated to University of Queensland, Australia. The Workshop will run from December 11-12, 2023 and participants will gain insight into current critical mineral mining issues in relation to research and industrial challenges, government policy, environmental regulation, impacts upon indigenous communities and the environment. Participants will have the opportunity to meet colleagues from our partner institutions as well as external industry, government and universities that have been invited to the Workshop. Participants are also encouraged to present and discuss environmental issues relating to the wider workshop themes. If your research topic is not listed, you can still present your work under the IIES Pillars theme.

For students, this is a chance to share your research and build potential collaborative relationships at an international level. The IIES Graduate Student Forum will be held in Puerto Montt following the Workshop. Participants interested in attending both the Workshop and Forum must register for the Graduate Forum separately on the IIES website.

Annual Workshop

Venue: TBD
Location: Santiago, Chile
Date: December 11-12, 2023

Graduate Student Forum

Venue: TBD
Location: Puerto Montt, Chile
Date: December 13-15, 2023

Plenary Speakers


Professor Craig Sheridan
University of Witwitersrand, South Africa

Professor Craig Sheridan is a chemical engineer, based in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of Witwitersrand, South Africa. He is the Director and Founder of the Centre in Water Research and Development and a known advocate for water research. 

Professor Sheridan is currently the principal investigator on a Joint Programme Initiative (Water JPI) project, funded by the European Union. The project involves constructing and monitoring two small-scale community-usage grey-water treatment wetlands in Setswetla, near Alexandra. It is a powerful demonstration of the power of enmeshed (interdisciplinary) research in an applied context to provide solutions to an acute problem – the treatment of greywater in an urban, mega-city informal settlement. He also conducts research on the treatment of acid mine drainage and has developed a research philosophy entitled “Blue is the new black” – the idea that wastewater from all processes should be clean.

Workshop Themes

Critical Minerals/Sustainable Mining
  • Mining wastes and critical element recovery
  • Water quality and use
  • Understanding behaviour and impacts of contaminant mixtures
Microplastics/Other Emerging Contaminants
  • Sources and exposure routes
  • Effects on human health
  • Research challenges
Circular/Blue Economies
  • “Net zero” transition-critical elements for renewable energy infrastructure
  • Circular economy approaches and opportunities for critical mineral mining
  • Role of blue economy for our sustainable future
Indigenous Studies
  • Historical and current land/water issues
  • Mining industry and indigenous communities: future engagement strategies
  • Sustainable empowered development
IIES Pillars

The above listed workshop themes are not inclusive and other topics are welcome. You may fall under one of the following topics:

  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Processes
  • Green & Novel Technology

Important Information for Participants

PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS: Participants may choose to present a poster presentation or a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation. Please submit an abstract for both talks and posters and indicate your preference and theme you will be presenting in. (Graduate Forum participants are not obliged to present at the workshop but if interested can choose either a 15-min talk or present a poster).

REGISTRATION: As with all IIES events, the cost for IIES members is FREE. Those joining from non-member institutions must pay the registration fee and cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Non-members may also register on the IIES Website. Registration fees include event meals.

TRAVEL SUPPORT: IIES travel grants will be available to some students from participating IIES institutions. Preference will be given to students who have not participated in past IIES activities. Opportunities are limited, register early. Grants will be issued on a first-come-first-serve basis to students from IIES member institutions. Recipients of IIES travel grants must attend both the Graduate Student Forum and the Annual Science & Policy Workshop. Please register separately for these events.

MEALS: Lunches, coffee/tea breaks, and gala dinner will be covered for participants during the Workshop.

ACCOMMODATIONS: More information about hotel accommodations will be provided soon.

For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline: October 18, 2023
Notification of Abstract Acceptance: November 1, 2023
Science & Policy Workshop: December 11-12, 2023
Graduate Student Forum: December 13-15, 2023

The health and safety of our participants are important to us. Currently, there are no Covid-19 restrictions for travel to Chile. Visas are required for citizens of some countries. Be sure to check the requirements for entry to the country before booking.

Department of Foreign Affairs »
Travel from Canada »

If you have any questions or require any further information please contact:

Raquel Scott, Operations Coordinator, International Institute for Environmental Studies

Book Event

By booking this event you can attend all occurrences. Some of them are listed below but there might be more.
2023-12-11 - 2023-12-12
Free for IIES Members
Available Tickets: Unlimited

If you are a student or faculty member from an IIES member institutions, there is no cost to register for this event.

The "Free for IIES Members" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Registration Fee for Non-IIES Members
Available Tickets: Unlimited

If you are joining us from an institution/company that is not a member of the IIES than you must pay the registration fee to attend the event. You are responsible for all associated costs for your travel and accomodations.

The "Registration Fee for Non-IIES Members" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Guest of an Attendee
Available Tickets: Unlimited

If you are accompanying an attendee and plan to join the banquet dinner, please register.

The "Guest of an Attendee" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
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