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The paths to social licence to operate: An integrative model explaining community acceptance of mining

Kieren Moffat and Airong Zhang

Resources Policy, 2014, vol. 39, issue C, 61-70

Abstract: We propose that to understand how a social licence to operate in mining is granted and maintained, we need to take account of the processes mining companies use to engage with local communities. The present research measured and modelled the critical elements of social licence by conducting a longitudinal study in an Australian mining region. The results of path analyses showed that building trust with local communities was crucial for mining companies to obtain and maintain a social licence to operate. The mining operation's negative impacts on social infrastructure, community members' perceived contact quality and procedural fairness in dealing with company personnel significantly affected the community's acceptance of the mining operation through inferred trustworthiness of the company. Our results highlight the importance of fair treatment and high-quality engagement of mining companies with communities, alongside mitigation of operational impacts, in securing and holding a social licence to operate.

Keywords: Social licence to operate; Mining; Intergroup relations; Trust; Community acceptance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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