Second slide


The objective of our work on social licensing is to help improve the relations between the mining industry and broader society by enhancing participation of civil society from the start of mineral exploration and throughout the production cycle.

Based on in-depth interviews and surveys with stakeholders in selected localities where new technology is tested, we will generate new knowledge about local actors‘ understanding of and attitudes toward new technologies. We also explore local actors‘ experiences of, and expectations on, interaction with mining companies.

Based on the results, a practical NEXT toolkit is designed to assist exploration companies to improve their relations with local communities.

Some of the key questions being answered are:

  • What are the key factors influencing social licensing at the exploration stage and beyond?
  • What is the importance of new sensitive technologies and early contacts with local communities for obtaining and maintaining a SLO?
  • What tools can be used to assess risks associated with mineral exploration and promote best practices?

What is in a Social License to Operate?


SLO is a term coined by Jim Cooney, Placer Dome, in 1997, as a metaphor for community "approval". It exists alongside the formal regulatory framework and can be seen as an indicator of the quality of the relationship between a company and a local community. It is an informal arrangement but may fill important gaps between the rules and market driven processes and needs.


Local acceptance is no guarantee that a project is sustainable. But it is almost impossible to develop a socially sustainable project without local acceptance and support.


Good relations with local communities and broader society may have a market value. However, the value of a SLO depends on how well it reflects local needs and expectations.