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What is the Responsible Mining Initiative?

In November 2013, the University of Wisconsin System awarded UW-Eau Claire a $451,000 Economic Development Incentive Grant to create a Responsible Mining Initiative (RMI). This grant was awarded to prepare highly qualified graduates for work in the mining industry, the environmental consulting industry, and in regulatory agencies such as the DNR. The “Responsibility” aspect of the RMI is largely built on the foundation of hydrogeology. In addition, students are conducting student-faculty research on many applied research topics in geology, hydrogeology, and environmental science. 

RMI outcomes at a glance

  • Annual scholarships & grants up to $41k from $2500
  • Paid internships up from 1-2 per year to 11 paid interns in 2015
  • Overall internships up as well, with 16 internships among the 2016 spring graduates

Partner perspective

"Unimin is glad to be part of UWEC's Responsible Mining Initiative because it emphasizes mining in an environmentally responsible manner. This is exactly the kind of program we want to support." Chris Axness, plant manager, Unimin Corp.

RMI partners

  • Badger Mining Corporation
  • Barr Engineering
  • Big Rock Exploration
  • Chippewa Sands
  • Fairmount Santrol
  • Hoffman Construction
  • Maptek
  • Petroleum Connection
  • Short, Elliot, & Hendrickson (SEH) Inc.
  • Smart Sand Inc.
  • Teck Resources
  • Unimin Corporation
  • Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association [WISA]

Pros agree, Blugold geologists are top of the field

On May 3, industry professionals from the mining, environmental and regulatory industries visited campus and were highly impressed with the geology departmtent, Blugold student researchers and The Responsible Mining Initiative.

Advisory Board Visit

UW-Eau Claire Geology discussion of Sand Mines in Wisconsin

Dr. Kent Syverson discusses the geological and political impacts of the frac sand mining boom in Wisconsin.

Watch the lecture

Grads making a mark in sand mining industry

A new technology means new business in Wisconsin. And new UW-Eau Claire graduates are filling a valuable need.

Defining an industry
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