Canadian Mining Journal

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Communities and Social Performance in the Extractive Sector: A New Paradigm

August 6, 2019 - August 8, 2019

Communities and Social Performance in the Extractive Sector: A New Paradigm is a three-day intensive workshop that will provide a comprehensive picture of where mining and oil and gas sit in terms of engagement with the external world, particularly with local communities. The course will argue strongly that achieving a social license to operate is a business imperative and that companies risk not only costs and delays but their very survival in not doing so. It can be done well! The course is designed to be practical with immediate application to participants’ day-to-day work.

One widely held traditional view of business is that, by and large, only customers and shareholders matter. Measurements around success with these involve numbers of customers, short-term profit margins, and share price. The advent of the notion of ‘stakeholder’ heralds a new, much more black and white metric: know who your stakeholders are and manage them well or your business will not survive much less thrive. This message of focusing on longer-term business considerations, stakeholder relations, license to operate and sustainability is increasingly permeating corporate boardrooms and even the investor community. These issues are particularly acute in the natural resource sector where mineral deposits cannot be moved; if there are people — for instance, communities — living on top of these resources, permits are necessary (legal license) but wholly insufficient for establishing and maintaining a social license to operate. Hence, the concept of ‘social performance’ is critical: how well does a business engage ‘outside the fence’ with communities and other external stakeholders, and the business implications of this. These shifts in business thinking along with a corresponding proliferation of standards and best practices necessitate new competencies to deliver on both corporate and stakeholder value expectations.

Days one and three of the course will comprise classroom and workshop presentation and participation; half of day two is a field trip to the Edgar Experimental underground mine in nearby Idaho Springs (facilitated by Colorado School of Mines). The tour is optional (but most exciting!) and we very much encourage you to take advantage of this activity as it is a chance to get to know each other and to discuss pertinent issues from the course in a real-life setting.

Methodology of presentation for the course will include active participation tools such as scenario planning, case study analysis, role play and facilitated small group discussions as well as presentations.


August 6, 2019
August 8, 2019
Event Category:


Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO United States


Colorado School of Mines