Social licence to operate: understanding the evolving stakeholder landscape of contemporary and future mining

Social licence to operate

Project dates: 01/11/2019 - 30/06/2021

Funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE), this research examines the dynamic SLO stakeholder environment within which the mining industry operates and within which diverse actors seek to shape mining activity.

Project title:

“Understanding the social and political stakeholder environment of contemporary and future mining: delivering tools for navigating multiple perspectives”

Aim and objectives

Mining operations are undertaken in complex and dynamic social and political environments. Multiple stakeholder groups—e.g. financiers, environmental activists, local and Indigenous communities, regulators, peak bodies and mining companies—populate and shape this often-volatile environment. The multiple views and expectations of these diverse groups inform social licence to operate (SLO) conferrals, withdrawals and debates. In both 2018 and 2019 Ernst and Young identify SLO as the number one risk for mining and metals, noting an evolving stakeholder landscape along with increasing stakeholder capacities and influence.

This research aims to identify and map the complex drivers and interactions of multiple stakeholders operating in the Australian mining sector’s social and political environment. It will achieve this though two contemporary case studies and in-depth stakeholder interviews.

As a means to better understand and negotiate perspectives and behaviours of diverse stakeholders, this research will help to shape ‘good mining’ through development of a multi-perspectival approach and tools is linked to improving the ability of mining stakeholders to adapt in complex environments and achieve mining innovation along with social and community development objectives.

Project outcomes

In consultation with stakeholder participants, this project will develop a series of tools to enable an informed navigation of the social and political stakeholder environment. These tools will be available on a dedicated website which will also house other research outputs as part of a stakeholder information hub. Tools will identify lead indicators and may include digital recordings, frameworks, and network and driver mapping and delineation aids.

Contact us

If you would like to know more about this project, please contact us:

Phone: +61 7 3138 1010

GPO Box 2434
Brisbane, QLD 4001

Level 7, Z Block, Gardens Point Campus
2 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000

Chief Investigators

Associate Professor Robyn Mayes
Dr Bree Hurst

Funding / Grants

  • CRC ORE (2019 - 2021)