The Risk Mitigation Benefits of a Social License


Ms Sabrina Dias (President - Sabrina Dias Consulting)

The social license to operate (or ‘SLO’) is a pragmatic, political risk management tool. Unlike other permits such as environmental, the SLO is a paperless commitment between the mining company and the external stakeholder to maintain a relationship in which the benefits and risks of the operations are shared and managed strategically. Done well, the security of an SLO helps to ensure zero disruptions to operations, optimization of profits, and local communities who support the operation thereby protecting their own interests.There are three major markers of the SLO. 1) Ongoing, structured process of consultation between the mining company and local communities, together with their supporters and others with vested interests. 2) A precautionary approach to dealing with low probability but high-impact environmental disasters. And, 3) a mutually agreed upon plan to optimize the economic benefits from the mine to the communities with a long-term vision of the future.I will present a project example to demonstrate these key markers of securing an SLO and the resulting risk mitigation benefits.