What Finnish mining industry could learn from the Australian mining industry? Social license to operate perspective

Nina Wessberg, Helena Wessman-Jääskeläinen, Johanna Kohl

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

    Abstract

    This publication provides an overview of what the Finnish mining industry could learn from the Australian mining practices. The analysis is part of Tekes' Green Mining program SAM project (Sustainable and Acceptable Mining). A number of interviews were made in Australia with researchers and representatives of mining activities. The interviews were conducted in collaboration with the Australian CSIRO research institute. The interviewees were asked about how the Australian mining industry handle issues related to social acceptability and what kind of good practices exist. Concrete examples of good practice were however rare. Two the most significant were: 1) to hire to the mine planning process always an experienced independent mining expert, whose task is to guide the process and ensure that everything necessary will be taken into account, as well as 2), underlining the strong position of the mining industry trade association in directing and acting in the mining industry and the future development. Based on interviews, it can be said that the challenges of the Finnish and Australian mining social acceptability of the field do not differ from each other significantly. Australia's largest mining challenges from the perspective of social acceptability are satisfactory completion of closing the mines and the creation of trust between the authorities and other stakeholders; the concern is that the authorities favor the mining industry in the interests of the rest of society, sacrificing, and on the other hand, the communication processes do not reach or touch different people. In Australia the mines are often located in the real wilderness. Employees fly to work in the mine, are working at a certain period, and then fly back home. Regional economic significance of the mines remain so low and the environmental impact of mines is to a large extent affecting specifically indigenous people. It was also made clear that consideration of the social impact in the mining processes and the achievement of social acceptability are often more feasible in larger companies than smaller companies. Also the Wallaby case, where communication process was thorough and successful, as well as the written guidelines are worth mentioning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8439-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Technology
    Number264
    ISSN2242-1211

    Keywords

    • mining industry
    • Australia
    • social licence to operate

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  • Cite this

    Wessberg, N., Wessman-Jääskeläinen, H., & Kohl, J. (2016). What Finnish mining industry could learn from the Australian mining industry? Social license to operate perspective. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Technology, No. 264 http://www.vtt.fi/inf/pdf/technology/2016/T264.pdf