The federal government will fund a new research institute at a Canadian university to promote sustainable practices for the mineral and oil and gas sectors in developing countries.

The funding was announced Thursday as Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in Perth, Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

A backgrounder released by the prime minister's office said the institute would be based at a Canadian university that has yet to be chosen.

The new "Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development" is set to benefit as-yet unspecified countries by helping them to build local capacity to better manage and exploit their natural resources.

No dollar value was given for the federal government's contribution, but the goal is to create jobs while sharing the best sustainable development practices of Canadian resource industries across the developing world.

The newly funded policy research will provide advice and technical assistance in partnership with Canada's federal government as well as private sector and civil-society participants.

The Canadian government has a "Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy" for companies who develop natural resources internationally. Under this program, the government has funded $26.7 million worth of pilot projects in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ghana, and Burkina Faso, designed to reduce poverty by developing extractive industries such as mining or oil and gas drilling.

The university that will host the new institute will be picked through a competitive process, but the government's release suggests "knowledge of the extractive sector and of mining in particular" will be important for the chosen institution, which will also "be expected to make an in-kind contribution to the creation and operation" of the future institute.