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Understanding the social and political stakeholder environment of contemporary and future mining: delivering tools for navigating multiple perspectives

Aim and objectives

Mining operations are undertaken in complex and dynamic social and political environments. Multiple stakeholder groups—e.g. financiers, environmental activists, local and Indigenous communities, regulators, peak bodies and mining companies—populate and shape this often-volatile environment. The multiple views and expectations of these diverse groups inform social licence to operate (SLO) conferrals, withdrawals and debates.

This research aimed to identify and map the complex drivers and interactions of multiple stakeholders operating in the Australian mining sector’s social and political environment. It achieved this through examining the contemporary case study of the Carmichael Coal Mine, using in-depth stakeholder interviews to better understand and negotiate perspectives and behaviours of diverse stakeholders.

This project had three linked primary objectives:

  • identify and map the drivers, views, and patterns of engagement of multiple stakeholder groups in conferring and contesting the SLO;

  • gain an understanding of stakeholder perceptions and expectations around good mining; and

  • arising from the research, develop tools of use to all mining stakeholder groups for understanding the broader contexts of debate.

Ethics clearance

This study was approved by the QUT Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number 2000000218).

QUT is committed to research integrity and the ethical conduct of research projects.  If you wish to discuss the study with someone not directly involved, particularly in relation to matters concerning policies, information or complaints about the conduct of the study or your rights as a participant, you may contact the QUT Research Ethics Advisory Team on +61 7 3138 5123 or email


Image by Amelia Hine

Project outcomes

In consultation with stakeholder participants, this project developed a series of tools to enable an informed navigation of the social and political stakeholder environment.

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Section of the Black-Throated Finch ANT Map: visit for whole map


This resource would not have been possible without the financial support from CRC ORE. CRC ORE is part of the Australian Government’s CRC Program, which is made possible through the investment and ongoing support of the Australian Government. The CRC Program supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community. CRC ORE is not affiliated in any way with Adani.


While this project has received funding from CRC ORE, the research team works independently from CRC ORE and we are also not affiliated in any way with Adani.

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