World Mining Congress
This paper aims to increase our understanding about existing capacity-building approaches and their implications for obtaining a social license to operate in the mining industry. The notion of ‘capacity building’ is gaining increasing currency in the mining sector in developing countries due to a rapid rise in the globalisation of mining operations. Capacity-building is conceived here as a process that lasts after the mine-cycle, intended to provide local mining communities with tangible skills and knowledge to gain meaningful employment in mining or other industries relevant for the local economy. Building community capacity to understand and effectively respond to these transformations is vital for obtaining a social license to operate, as it promotes sustainable and locally relevant development. Accountability mechanisms such as global norms and international standards increasingly highlight the need to build capacity among stakeholders, particularly among local communities adjacent to mining operations. International frameworks and mining companies have embraced the notion of capacity-building as a driver to assist corporate social and operational performance. However, this narrow understanding of capacity-building through the prism of corporate social responsibility and ‘best practice’ is preventing the industry from meaningfully impacting communities and maintaining a social license to operate. This latter notion is being widely embedded across multiple industry sectors, as a social and economic reward from mining companies to compensate communities for natural resource extraction and gain social acceptance.
Keywords: mining; Developments; Development; Education; Government; Governments; Process; Processes; social responsibility;
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