How can the industry overcome barriers to obtaining a social license to operate?

Earlier this year, an Ernst and Young survey of mining executives found that obtaining a social license to operate is the largest business risk facing the industry.

How can the industry build public awareness around the importance of mining and overcome the challenge of shifting past perceptions of the industry?

Share your thoughts below!

Here’s an interesting article about the study!

Hi Bryan,
I believe the only way to change the general bad perception of the mining industry is changing dramaticaly the new projects and operations to attend some important concepts for the people, like:

  • dramatical reduction in fresh water consumtion
  • important reduction in power consumtion
  • no SO2 in the air through a non smelter industry
  • dust and tailing spill removal
  • elimination of tailing dams and waste dumps
  • important reduction in operation logistic issues
  • Other like productivity, safety, …

All the above could be get through a non waste mining technology

I recently spent a few days with 3 social scientists and members of a community, understanding attitudes to mining and the potential development of a nearby mine. I was presenting on the technical aspects of the work and the social scientists were understanding themes around any concerns for the proposed development. Engaging with the community, understanding concerns so that these can be addressed, and developing trust is as important as getting the technical components right. Engagement needs to be done early on and in parallel with technical development.

@FER and @lkuhar thank you both for sharing your insights! I agree that achieving a zero-waste technology in concert with deep community and consumer engagement could alleviate some of these barriers.

While addressing the problems in mining, it might also be good to actively educate on the reality that the electrification of society and the switching from fossil fuel to largely renewable energy grid is only possible by the expansion of mining metals and minerals.