Principles and Practice of Ethics Illustrated with Examples from Mining

Principles and Practice of Ethics Illustrated with Examples from Mining

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Areas of Study: Mining | Geotechnics | Exploration and Geology | Management | Environment and Community | Mineral Processing

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This course provides a firm understanding and basis for engineers, geologists, managers, and operators in exploration and mining to behave ethically.

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Course Summary

Introduction

Ethics and morals are principles of behavior that are derived from ancient times. Today's complex world inserts ambiguities into a professional's desire to behave ethically. This course provides a firm understanding and basis for engineers, geologists, managers, and operators in exploration and mining to behave ethically. The course begins with definitions of ethics and an explanation of the importance of ethical behavior, including a discussion of written codes of ethical behavior; gives a historical basis; then moves to a discussion of ambiguities in ethics along with systems that enhance compliance; discusses whistle-blowing and its consequences; and, finally, presents some well-known mine failure examples in terms of their ethical lapses. Examples of ethical and regulatory codes and real-world failures are drawn from multiple jurisdictions. Note: This course focuses on codes used by professional organizations and societies in the United States and Canada. The ethics principles covered in the course are universal.

This course is targeted to professionals who work in mineral exploration, in particular: licensed professional engineers, geologists, program designers, and operational managers. Upon completing this course, diligent learners will be able to perform their job in an ethical manner. This implies the learner has the knowledge base to perform the job, take responsibility for their performance, and knowingly avoid doing harm to others. Successful completion of the course means the learner will know of the ethical and regulatory codes appropriate to their position.

Course Content

The course comprises 12 viewing sessions of 30–45 minutes each with supporting figures, case studies, appendices, and multiple choice course reviews. Course duration is equivalent to approximately 6 hours of viewing content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Define ethical behavior.
  • Discuss the history of ethical codes.
  • Identify relevant ethical and regulatory codes relevant to job performance, and relevant ethical dilemmas in mining.
  • Describe conditions for whistle-blowing and its consequences.

Recommended Background

  • Post-high school education; experience in exploration or mining.

Lee W. Saperstein

Dr. Saperstein has a B. S. in Mining Engineering from the Montana School of Mines and a D. Phil. in engineering science from Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He has been a mining engineering faculty member at The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Missouri-Rolla. He was Dean of the School of Mines and Metallurgy at UMR for 11 years. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and is an expert in the environmental impacts of mining. He has also served ABET, Inc, the recognized accreditor for engineering, as its President. He is a Distinguished Member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. (SME), a Fellow of ABET and holder of its Grinter Award, and recognized as a Distinguished Alumni by Montana Tech.