Rio Tinto employees will now be able to use services offered by the professional association, which has 14,000 members worldwide. This includes technical content and training, and peer-to-peer networking opportunities with industry members.
Rio Tinto will also aim to play an active role across the SME network, with a focus on promoting best practices in health and safety and developing the next generation of mining professionals.
For instance, the miner will sponsor a competition open to SME's 77 university-based student chapters, which challenges participants to find a solution to a real-life situation.
Rio Tinto Growth and Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh said: "Attracting and developing the best people is essential to support Rio Tinto's goal of achieving excellent safety and operational performance, both now and as we continue to grow."
The three-year agreement will provide SME memberships to 150 employees across Rio Tinto. All employees will have access to webinars and a digital library, including papers, articles and presentations on topics ranging from safety to geotechnical models.