For many years a social contract included your employees and foreign shareholders with little to no concern about the native population. Over the last 15 years, this has changed dramatically. It is now an imperative that a mining company uses its asset to not only benefits its profit margins but also bring prosperity to the local region “ an island of prosperity surrounded by a sea of poverty, this must end” Tom Butler CEO ICMM.
His company has begun to implement changes to help improve the regions they operate in by focusing on three key points:
1) Transparency and Accountability. This doesn’t just mean dumping data files and tax returns into the laps of village chiefs. It means engaging with the community to let them know what challenges toy face and how they can be solved with the help of everyone. For example, In South American Fremont needed water for expansion to get this they helped build a water treatment plant for the local city. They were allowed the extra water they required and helped the local community as well.
2) Engagement and partnership. Connecting to the local government and population is a key way of ensuring a smooth operation. A water monitoring scheme set up with the local population to encourage them to participate for example.
3) Value and Purpose. Building the trust between mining cooperation and people shouldn’t be something mandated by law it should be a personal pleasure to uses our vast operations to help bring the poorest people out of poverty and it cost only a fraction of per cent to do. Once a population is engaged and have a valued interest in seeing the mine prosper then you have gained a strong ally.