What makes good mining in the eyes of stakeholders? It largely depends on the values held by each stakeholder, and the influence those values have on their perceptions of the mining industry or a specific mine site or company.
Good mining to someone interested in finding skilled employment or growing their town might look very different to someone concerned about rising carbon levels in the atmosphere or about the occupational health and safety issues with having workers on site.
This project approached the idea of good mining as a question with many answers that can be catalogued to create a broad database of important considerations for companies seeking to operate sensitively and for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Overall, this research found that good mining as perceived across the spectrum of stakeholders interviewed, encompasses an interconnected and dynamic set of best practices involving both industry and government centred on:
increased transparency and trust;
accessible information; and
independent processes and forums to facilitate conversations among stakeholders who may not recognise shared values.
Central to good mining, in the view of almost all community and civil society research participants, is the need for high quality independent reviewers and representatives to oversee all aspects of the approvals process and to thus build trust in the information given and decisions made.
Correspondingly, there was a perception from those same categories of participant that mining organisations: (a) are selective in their provision of information to external parties; (b) do not consistently conduct adequate research into areas of importance to a range of stakeholders; and (c) that the independence of external consultants that are currently contracted by companies to conduct additional research and analysis is inherently compromised by their financial attachment to the company.