UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

From social risk to shared purpose : reframing mining’s approach to corporate social responsibility Fraser, Jocelynn


From transportation to infrastructure, from energy to information technology, mining makes a significant contribution to society. It also impacts the lives of millions of people living in regions where mining occurs. Today, an increasing number of individuals and groups have earned a legitimate right to be considered as stakeholders in projects affecting their communities. This has given rise to mining-community conflict and is forcing companies to reconsider the approach to earning and retaining social approval. Global mining leaders have been working to implement policies and practices aligned with corporate social responsibility (CSR) tenets yet conflict between mining companies and the communities that host extractive operations appears to be growing. This research seeks to quantify incidents of mining-community conflict and test a theory that reframing CSR to create shared value could deliver financial returns to mining operations while advancing economic and social conditions in associated communities. It is suggested that the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a context for reframing CSR as a strategic business imperative. A new model of engagement is proposed that places the SDGs at the centre of mining-community engagement to align mining with the values of society and rebuild the sector’s current trust deficit. A multi-method research approach is used. The quantitative portion analyzes mining community conflicts from 2012 – 2015 as reported in the international media. Media coverage was hand-coded using a system adapted from conflict literature, and a document analysis of a sub-set of the conflict situations was employed to explore the results. A qualitative, theory-building case study investigates collaboration between personnel at the Cerro Verde Mine and regional stakeholders to address regional water supply issues and develop a strategy with parallel goals: improving operational performance while delivering tangible social benefits. The research seeks to contributes to CSR as a management strategy. The findings confirm there is both monetary and reputational value to investing in core social needs that intersect with business interests. A new model to build trust in mining and advance progress on the SDGs is proposed, and a concept presented that places CSR approaches within life-of-mine stages.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International