SOCIAL EVENTS DURING MINERAL EXPLORATION – A RELATIONSHIP MODEL

CIM Vancouver 2016
Dr Dominic M.deR. Channer (Vice President, External Affairs, Americas - Kinross Gold Corporation), Dr Johannes A.Boon (President - Facilitech International)
An analysis of nine case studies (eight in Latin America and one in Quebec) showed that similar relationship processes played a role in all, which made it possible to develop a general model for understanding the social events surrounding mineral exploration projects and for designing appropriate approaches. The model is based on the sociological theory of symbolic interactionism that uses the key concepts: meanings given to things and people; interpretation of situations; decision making influenced by reference communities; change processes; and the role of relationships and interactions. Building relationships is strongly influenced by meeting a series of specific needs of the parties. A qualitative relationship characterization tool was developed that uses the indicators trust; respect; communication; mutual understanding; conflict resolution; goal compatibility; balance of power; focus; frequency; stability; and productivity. The above concepts form the basis of the model that consists of the stages: (i) arrival of the company; (ii) initial meanings and actions; (iii) creating dialogue space; (iv) building relationships; (v) change processes; (vi) establishment of relationship patterns and new social structures; and (vii) outcomes: the course of social events and perceived benefits and harms. There is continuous iteration through stages (iii) => (iv) => (v) => (iii) while the outputs of this loop keep feeding into stages (vi) and (vii). Additional factors that feed into the overall process are community and company characteristics, time, and contextual factors such as geography, politics, history, and culture.
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