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Consultation towards a social license

The prospect of resource development can promise economic benefits to a community. However, that same development may also raise concerns, particularly about potential negative impacts to environmental or traditional considerations of value. Securing a ‘social license’ through community consultation has become as significant as securing regulatory licenses in most mining jurisdictions.  

Recognising the importance of effective discussion of community issues and concerns in relation to mining activities, SRK has developed many tools to facilitate informed dialogue with communities potentially impacted by developments. Success using these tools is based on fundamental principles that guide community consultations.

• Communicate activities clearly, in plain language
• Encourage informed discussion of issues
• Establish realistic timetables for submissions
• Be sensitive to resource limitations of stakeholder groups; provide logistical support to encourage involvement
• Respond to requests fully and quickly
• Consult in local languages, using local translators as needed
• Provide feedback addressing key recommendations
• Stimulate constructive exchange of views; genuinely try to address the major issues without prejudice
• Evaluate your consultation program at each stage of the project
• Share the consultation responsibility with the community

One tool SRK has employed for securing a social license is Stakeholder Mapping. Stakeholder maps are developed to chart socio-economic and environmental themes. The support or level of concern of stakeholder groups is tracked on the maps throughout the project life. Regularly updating the maps identifies project support and highlights what messages need to be addressed during future consultations.

Don Hovdebo:
Mark Liskowich:  

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