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Reflections on engagement from a community liaison committee for a zinc mine in rural South Australia

Mitchell, AC; Styan, CA; (2019) Reflections on engagement from a community liaison committee for a zinc mine in rural South Australia. The Extractive Industries and Society , 6 (2) pp. 504-509. 10.1016/j.exis.2019.03.005. Green open access

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Abstract

Conflicts between mining operators and local communities often stem from the latter feeling excluded from decision-making processes. Consequently, regulators sometimes commission a representative consultative group to facilitate interactions among the wider community, miners and regulators. The realised effectiveness of this sort of representative group, however, has rarely been assessed from the perspectives of community participants. We interviewed members of a long running consultative committee for a zinc mine in rural South Australia. Initially, the town’s inexperience with mining meant many held negative views about potential environmental impacts of mining. Those fears were allayed as the mine developed and the committee felt they better understood and could question the mine’s technical operations. Over time, the committee felt their input led to significant changes in a range of mine operations and, while perceiving their committee’s role differently, all thought it effective and strengthened their relationship with the mine operator and regulators. Nonetheless, some negative interactions from the initial stages of engagement have lingered. We conclude that if community trust is gained by operators and efforts are made to help communities understand mining, then consultative committees can play a central role in ensuring that people do not feel disenfranchised by mining operations.

Type: Article
Title: Reflections on engagement from a community liaison committee for a zinc mine in rural South Australia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.exis.2019.03.005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2019.03.005
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Stakeholder engagement; Social Licence to Operate (SLO); Community Consultative Committee; Mine closure; Corporate Social Responsibility
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Engineering Science Faculty Office
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072167
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