Mining is an international business and vital contributor to national and global economies. It depends on the trust and confidence of investors and stakeholders for its financial and operational well-being (Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO), 2016). The Social Licence to Operate (SLTO) is an increasingly multifaceted and multistakeholder risk that can impact investment decisions. Community challenges to broader political and economic decisions have given rise to protest delaying or stopping projects or closing mines and has led to loss of life (Ernst and Young, 2016). Some governments are now giving greater powers to stakeholders to make the final decision on approving mining and metals activities (EY, 2016). With billions of dollars in project investment at stake, ongoing engagement, collaboration and effective communication with stakeholders is crucial and mutually beneficial solutions are increasingly expected (EY, 2016). It is therefore essential that the industry communicates the risks (and opportunities) associated with investment effectively and transparently in order to earn the necessary level of trust with investors and stakeholders to underpin its activities (CRIRSCO, 2016). Despite this need, investor and stakeholder trust in the sector has eroded in recent years.
Maddocks, G A, Corder, G D, Heyes, J and Stewart, R J, 2016. The social licence to operate and drivers for change – resource reporting and mine material characterisation, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2016 Conference, pp 183–187 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).