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Stakeholder Engagement – Who Are You, What Do You Stand for and Why?

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Author M D Goodz and R M Lonsdale

Description

With an ever-increasing dynamic business environment, successful stakeholder
engagement is becoming more fundamental to achieving desired outcomes in today’s
mineral resource industries.
It is imperative to be proactive in correctly
identifying all stakeholders and initiating early contact. This builds trust
relationships, which are essential to ensure future decision-making processes
are streamlined.
Often neglected is a company’s obligation to select the
correct team to represent its values and mission. The company requires
representation that demonstrates an understanding and commitment to its
operations and people, the safety and health of the community and environment,
and most importantly, represents the decision makers. Stakeholders need to
believe that the engagement process is genuine and that the company
representatives are aligned towards targeted outcomes that will benefit all
stakeholders in some way.
Among others, stakeholders include shareholders,
staff, families, community, service and supply providers, regulators, land
managers and the political/financial framework. Depending upon the mineral
product, stakeholders may include ports, international offtake clients and those
along the route. New stakeholders continually evolve during mine life, and the
engagement process requires an investor–community–public relations (IR/CR/PR)
team to anticipate change and actively scan perception and
chatter.
Successful communication is more than delivering a message; it is
about engaging stakeholders and confirming the feedback loop to ensure the
correct message is communicated and the relationship is strengthened.
The
nature of the mining company’s branding and the public’s perception of company
intentions will dictate whether there is willingness to allow the company to
follow its desired path. This in turn controls the company’s most scarce
resource – time. Timing is fundamental to achieving targeted outcomes with
minimal cost and delays, marketing in a peak cycle and acquiring critical
capital for development and growth.
Branding and stakeholder engagement
effectively controls and extends to the company its social licence to
operate.


CITATION:
Goodz, M D and Lonsdale, R M, 2016. Stakeholder engagement – who
are you, what do you stand for and why? In Proceedings International Mine
Management Conference, pp 239-248 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and
Metallurgy: Melbourne).