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Community Engagement Toolkit for Mining Companies

Want to reduce the social risk of your operations? Build relationships not transactions.

A Getting Started Toolkit for Exploration and Development Companies

Want to reduce the social risk of your operations? Build relationships not transactions.

Misconceptions about community engagement abound: it is too costly at early stages. It only adds complications. It’s too time consuming.

These concerns can deter smaller firms from engaging at all. Yet, it’s possible to start simply. Effective community engagement doesn’t require large upfront investments – and, frequently, effective community engagement lowers long-term costs. It’s also not only about adding activities to the firm’s to-do list; it’s often about adapting existing activities and showing that you are listening.

This toolkit is one of two mining guides written to help Canadian exploration, development and small producing companies start off on the right foot with community engagement and sustainability.

Extractives firms find themselves under increasing pressure to perform in a more socially responsible manner. This toolkit prepares managers and mining professionals for engagement and provides in-field engagement support from the very start of the mining cycle. Worksheets help you to assess relevant local factors (including operating context, material issues and risk), so that you can undertake and document community engagement effectively. All of the worksheets are also available to be downloaded individually.

This community engagement guide includes:

  • Questionnaires to evaluate your local context,

  • A material issues checklist,

  • A template to track engagement,

  • Sample maps to help assess your area of influence (AOI),

  • A risk assessment tool, and

  • A checklist and feedback form to supplement your stakeholder analysis.

Is there a legacy of mining conflicts in the region? Could your operations exacerbate existing disputes? Have you identified your areas of influence?

Use the guide to ask the right questions and demonstrate your efforts to build relationships instead of transactions.


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  • Stephanie Bertels
    Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University
    PhD in Business Strategy and Sustainable Development, University of Calgary

    View all posts
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