Partners: Continental Gold mining company, AngloGold Ashanti, Seafields Resources Canadian Exploration Company, Local and State governments of Antioquia and Risaralda, Ministry of Mines of Colombia, AngloAmerican Chile, The University of Queensland and civil society organizations.
Impact: This project aimed to increase our understanding about existing community capacity-building approaches and their implications for obtaining a social license to operate in the mining industry. The notion of ‘capacity building’ is gaining increasing currency in the mining sector in developing countries, due to the rapidly increasing globalized nature of mining operations. Building a community’s capacity to understand and effectively respond to these transformations is vital for obtaining a social license to operate, as it promotes sustainable and locally relevant development. Accountability mechanisms, such as global norms and international standards, increasingly point to the need to build capacity among stakeholders, particularly among local communities adjacent to mining operations. International frameworks and mining companies have embraced the notion of community capacity-building as a driver to assist corporate social and operational performance. However, this narrow understanding of capacity-building through the prism of corporate social responsibility and ‘best practices’ is preventing the industry from impacting communities meaningfully, and from forging sustainable communities in the regions where it operates. The idea of a social license to operate is being widely embedded across multiple industry sectors, as a social and economic reward from mining companies to compensate communities for natural resource extraction and gain social acceptance