Community Relations: Strategy
Engage with and support the development of our communities
Strategic focus: Engaging effectively
We strongly believe our communities are strategic partners. Having their trust requires effectively engaging them and being accountable for our impacts. We recognise that building trust is the only way to obtain and preserve our social license to operate. Our corporate strategy covers all phases of the mining cycle.
As part of the communities where we operate, success has to be mutual to be sustainable and must extend from the earliest stages of land acquisition and exploration to beyond the operating life of a mine. Engagement efforts support reputation, which is intrinsic to our social license to operate.
Advancing our knowledge
Building good community relations relies on a solid understanding of the community. We aim to understand the socioeconomic challenges of our communities as well as their competences, the potential or realised impacts of our operations, and their perception of our Company. Advancing our knowledge of the community is fundamental in guiding our engagement efforts and setting favourable conditions to develop with the communities.
We build our knowledge of communities by identifying stakeholders and understanding their positions on relevant issues. With the support of the Borealis Information System we track our stakeholder registry, informal and formal meetings, incident and commitment registries and grievances. Continuous engagement and comprehensive social analyses help us gain further understanding of the risks and opportunities in the communities where we operate.
Effective engagement improves our understanding of the community and builds mutually beneficial relationships. We aim to engage early to manage community expectations and develop trust through the mining lifecycle. Building a reservoir of stakeholder capital is key to resilience when challenges arise. The focus of our engagement efforts changes over the lifecycle of operations, as follows:
Our exploration teams are the first to establish contact with the community. Our stakeholders are identified and the engagement efforts focus on obtaining temporary land access to explore and assessing social risks.
The identification and relation with our stakeholders deepens in this phase of the cycle. Local hiring, contracts and social investment are part of our efforts to build trust. We conduct social risk assessments in our advanced feasibility and development projects. These studies facilitate the identification of the issues that matter to the community.
We engage the communities regularly with formal and informal meetings to manage their expectations and detect risks and opportunities. Comprehensive perception studies help to monitor the perception of the benefits and the assessment of the issues that matter to the community.
Developing with the community
Our operations are located in communities that are socioeconomically diverse, ranging from low to high levels of social marginalisation. Water, infrastructure, insecurity (violence), unemployment, and lack of access to public services are among the challenges faced by our communities, according to our bi-annual perception surveys. These challenges, combined with the insights gained from engaging our stakeholders, guide our community activities and our social investment programmes. Our efforts target certain development levers such as education, social welfare (public health, social interaction and sports), environmental awareness, community capacity building and infrastructure.