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Extractives Sector Development Assistance

Supporting reform in Myanmar's mining sector

Australia is engaged in extractives sector activities in several countries in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa.

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2013/14 estimated outcome

$35.8 million

2014/15 budget estimate

$41.5 million


New development policy

Australia’s development priorities are set out in a new development policy for the aid program and a new performance framework to improve aid program performance, value for money and results.

More about the development policy

Population growth, rapid urbanisation and industrialisation have fuelled global demand for metals, minerals, oil and gas, creating rapid growth in investment. The extractives sector drives trade, economic growth and development in the Indo-Pacific region by creating jobs and boosting government revenues. Yet investment in developing countries’ extractives sectors comes with many challenges.

Through engagement in the extractives sector we can assist resource rich developing countries to strengthen relationships with the private sector, improve governance, revenue management and build technical skills. Continued support in this area is also important for businesses wanting to trade with, and invest in, stable and predictable overseas environments.

Multilateral approaches have proven effective to reduce corruption and improve the transparency, accountability and management of extractives related payments, benefitting both host countries and investors. Australia provides funding to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the Extractive Industries Technical Advisory Facility, and the International Monetary Fund’s work on managing natural resource wealth. Australia is a government member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights Initiative, practical human rights guidelines to support extractives sector operations. As a major diamond producer, Australia is also active in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a joint government, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds.

Important examples of Australia’s results to date include:

  • The establishment of the International Mining for Development Centre, in partnership with the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland. To date, the IM4DC has trained more than 1,400 people from over 40 developing countries through 50 short courses, workshops and study tours.
    Read the Mid-Term Review of the International Mining for Development Centre
  • Australian mining awards, which build an engaged and influential network of leaders, advocates and change-makers. In 2012, we provided scholarships to 132 students to undertake mining-related courses in Australian universities.
  • The Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry which has developed fifteen handbooks to address key issues related to sustainable development of the extractives sector. These handbooks have been translated into six languages.

Australia is engaged in extractives sector activities in several countries in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa. These activities form a critical part of the economic development portfolio of each country or region:

  • In Papua New Guinea (PNG) we are assisting to progress PNG’s EITI candidacy and assisting the Autonomous Government of Bougainville to conduct transparent and consultative preparations ahead of expected negotiations to reopen Panguna mine.
  • In Indonesia we are supporting an Indonesian think tank to address extractives sector transparency; supporting Indonesian EITI implementation through the World Bank; and promoting linkages between Australian universities (ANU and Charles Darwin) and local Indonesian Governments to monitor environmental and social risks of artisanal and small-scale mining in SE Sulawesi and NTT provinces.
  • In Burma, Australia and the UK are co-funding the Revenue Watch Institute to support local civil society organisations to improve extractives governance and engage in Burma’s EITI process.
  • In Mongolia we are commencing the delivery of the Australia-Mongolia Extractives Program to increase the benefits for the Mongolian people of the development of the resources sector in Mongolia.
  • In Africa we continue to support the African Minerals Development Centre, as well as skills development and governance reform in a number of countries including Mozambique and Zambia.

DFAT’s future extractives support in the region will build on work undertaken to date. There will be a continued emphasis on improving extractives governance, revenue management and benefit sharing. We will seek to collaborate more closely with the private sector, including through sharing infrastructure and services. We will also work with other bilateral donors to ensure our support helps developing countries maximise returns from their largest economic assets to drive their own economic growth and development.


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The extractives sector has considerable potential to help reduce poverty, but comes with many challenges. In fact, many resource-rich developing countries perform worse than less-endowed countries on human development indicators.

Australia aims to support developing countries to maximise sustainable benefits from their natural resources while helping them overcome the challenges.


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We work with multilateral organisations, other government agencies, non-government organisations, universities and the private sector to assist partner governments to maximise the development potential of their extractives sectors. Our activities focus on strengthening the capacity of governments in the Indo-Pacific region


Last reviewed: 18 June, 2014