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Project team

Dr Emilka Skrzypek

Email: [email protected]


LinkedIn:  Emilka Skrzypek | LinkedIn

Emilka is a social anthropologist with a background in sustainable development and interdisciplinary interest in corporate social responsibility. She is a lecturer in social anthropology and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Energy Ethics at the University of St Andrews.

She has over a decade of experience in conducting social science research extractive contexts. Her work to date has largely focused on Papua New Guinea, where she investigates issues related to broadly conceived resource relations and interdependencies. She is particularly interested in stakeholder engagement and social impacts at undeveloped complex orebodies.

Emilka is the author of Revealing the Invisible Mine: Social Complexities of an Undeveloped Mining Project (Berghahn, 2020) and editor (with Nick Bainton) of The Absent Presence of the State in Large-Scale Resource Extraction Projects (ANU Press 2021).

Assoc Prof Nick Bainton

Email: [email protected]


LinkedIn:  Nick Bainton | LinkedIn

Nick is an anthropologist who specialises in the social aspects of large-scale resource extraction. He is an is an Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the University of Queensland.

Nick’s research career spans academic and applied research at the interface between extractive companies, communities, civil society and government. His work is guided by a concern with the inequalities inherent to extractive capitalism.

He has written widely on the social and political effects of extractive capitalism in Melanesia and is the author of The Lihir Destiny: Cultural Responses to Mining in Melanesia (2010) and editor (with McDougall, Alexeyeff and Cox) of Unequal Lives: Gender, Race and Class in the Western Pacific (2021) and (with Emilka Skrzypek) of The Absent Presence of the State in Large-Scale Resource Extraction Projects (2021) – all published by ANU Press.

Dr John Burton

Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn: John Burton | LinkedIn

John is a Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the University of Queensland.

He has 30 years of research experience on the social impacts of resource extraction, including a cumulative four and a half years of consultancy fieldwork at extractive industry sites in PNG, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and West Papua, as a private consultant, as a research fellow at the Australian National University, and in his last position at Divine Word University in PNG, on sites operated by BHP, Rio Tinto, Newcrest and Freeport McMoRan, among others. His other interests include Native Title connection in North Queensland and history and identities in Torres Strait.

John published widely on different aspects of resource extraction in the Pacific Islands region, with particular focus on landowner identification, social impacts of mining, and governance risks in mining awards.

Dr Eléonore Lèbre

Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn: Eléonore Lèbre | LinkedIn

Eléonore is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the University of Queensland.

She specialises in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks in the mining industry. She connects her work with topical issues such as tailings dam failures, renewable energy transition and critical metals. During her work at the CSRM Eleonore also developed expertise in mining-induced displacement resettlement, sustainability reporting, social incident investigation and mine closure.

Eleonore currently works within the Complex Orebodies Programme. Her research centres on using global data on mining projects and ESG metrics to assess the risks associated with operating mines and new discoveries. Over the past three years, she has been involved in industry research consortiums as well as projects with industry partners including Rio Tinto, Newcrest, MMG and OceanaGold.

She has published on topics such as disruptions to the mine life cycle, social complexities of extracting energy transition metals, and source risks in future metal supply.

Pacific Advisory Group

Akuila Tawake

Akuila Tawake currently holds the position of Deputy Director – Georesources and Energy Programme at the Pacific Community (SPC).

A Geologist by training with a total of more than 24 years of professional experience largely in the mining industry, Akuila has served many Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in the last 18 years. He held the position of Interim Director of the Geoscience Division of SPC for 7 months in 2017.

Between 2011 and 2017, Akuila managed the EU funded Pacific Regional Deep Sea Minerals Project and was subsequently appointed the Head of the Geo-surveys and Geo-resources Sector during this period. Prior to joining SPC, he held the positions of Senior Adviser – Aggregates Geology at the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) for more than 7 years. Earlier in his career, Akuila held the positions of Exploration / Mine / Project Geologist in 3 mining projects in Fiji for a total of 7 years. He graduated with a MSc in Geology from the University of Wollongong, Australia, and is a member of the International Marine Minerals Society (IMMS).

Martyn Namorong

Martyn Namorong is currently the Country Risk Advisor to the global information services firm IHS MARKIT.

He has vast experience working in PNG’s extractive sector, government and civil society. He most recently served as Research Officer to the Minister for Treasury and the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs. Prior to those roles he facilitated PNG’s civil society participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative as the National Coordinator of the PNG Resource Governance Coalition.

Martyn has worked in the mining industry as a Public Relations Officer engaged by Ok Tedi Mining Ltd to assist during the 2012/2013 compensation negotiations with Fly River communities that have been impacted by riverine tailings displacement. He also served as a communications advisor to PNG’s biggest mine closure funds, the PNG Sustainable Development Program.

Dr Pierre-Yves Le Meur

Pierre-Yves Le Meur is an anthropologist, senior scientist (directeur de recherche) at IRD.

He has been based in New Caledonia since May 2021, after a first long term stay of eight years from 2008 to 2015. He completed a PhD in agricultural science and development studies at the French National Institute of Agronomy (INA-PG, 1992) and a Habilitation to Direct Researches (HDR) in anthropology at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS, 2006) on “The anthropology of governance. Resource politics, development apparatuses and actors’ logics”.

After his PhD in the Italian Alps, we worked in West Africa, mainly Benin, in political and development anthropology and then moved to the South Pacific where he developed research on the land and mining issues in New Caledonia and progressively extended his research scope to the Pacific Ocean as a frontier. He coordinated a multidisciplinary expert panel on deep-sea mineral resources in French Polynesia (2014-16) with an extension to Wallis-and-Futuna (2018). He currently coordinates the GDRI-South (scientific network) PACSEN Pacific Centre for Social Responsibility in Natural Resources (IRD, SPC/Pacific Community, USP/University of the South Pacific), Massey U (NZ), Queensland U (Australia), Divine Word U (PNG), IAC/New Caledonia Agronomic Institute) and is Scientific Committee Member of CNRT ‘Nickel and its Environment’, New Caledonia.