School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Social Performance Management in the Extractive Industries

Collage of Community relations


Course Code/Course Title

MINE 800: Mining Systems and Processes

MINE 801: Community Aspects of Mineral Resource Development

MINE 803: Community Engagement and Mining

MINE 804: Mining Projects and Indigenous Peoples

Program Contact

Tina McKenna
Program Coordinator
The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining,
Goodwin Hall, Room 354,
Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada, K7L 3N6,

Phone: 613.533.6000, ext 79312

Program Overview

Whether from industry, communities, or government, this new program is designed to equip professionals and decision makers with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage the social risks associated with mineral resource projects (from exploration to extraction and processing through to transport).

In a context where industry constraints and obligations must be balanced against evolving societal expectations, an uncertain global economy and competing visions of development, managing the social risk associated with the extractive industries is increasingly challenging. 

The SPMEI program has been developed in consultation with community relations and sustainability experts from industry, Aboriginal advisors, as well as leading thinkers and practitioners.  The program structure emphasizes the balance that must be sought between community development aspirations and business constraints.   Casting a critical lens on the sometimes contentious relationship between the goals and methods of government-industry and those of communities, whose ways of life are most affected by large scale industrial projects, the program’s curriculum supports students in developing insight into the role of culture as it shapes values, perceptions of risk, and receptiveness to extractive projects.

Participants will develop in-depth knowledge and appreciation of the values that underpin the diverse perspectives that meet when a project is proposed, and, as importantly, to develop the skills needed to bridge understanding gaps and build the trust that is the foundation of resilient and mutually beneficial relationships across cultures.  The program equips graduates to design community relations and benefit sharing strategies that improve a community’s quality of life and contribute to its sustainability, while delivering value to shareholders and the Canadian economy.

The SPMEI Graduate Diploma consists of four courses, delivered in an online and asynchronous format.  The program may be completed over two or four 12 week terms, and courses may be applied to an M.Eng. or M.A.Sc.*


The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University has established a credentialed pathway for learning and skills development in this difficult and challenging area of work. Industry managers and field practitioners, government representatives and community and civil society advocates will be introduced and sensitized to the complexities associated with building, maintaining and managing these relationships. The course draws on examples of both positive and conflicted company community-government encounters and uses group exercises to explore critical community issues and the competencies required for engaging in responsible mineral resource exploration and development.

Career paths – employment opportunities

The program will be of interest to people working in the field, at project sites, in affected communities - for exploration and mining companies, for government, and for community based organizations. 

For more details of the program, take a look at the Grad Map!