Responsible Mining : Key Principles for Industry Integrity book cover
1st Edition

Responsible Mining
Key Principles for Industry Integrity

ISBN 9781138788275
Published June 22, 2016 by Routledge
202 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Mining can have negative environmental and social impacts, but can also be responsible. However corporations have little impetus to act responsibly without being held to account by an informed and active public, and by strong institutions and governments which not only create but also enforce legislation. Yet what does such practice look like? 

This book shows how the concept of responsible mining is based on five key principles or pillars: holistic assessment; ethical relationships; community-based agreements; appropriate boundaries and good governance. Together, these pillars circumscribe global best practice and innovative ideas to catalyse new and improved approaches to a sustainable mining industry. The author argues that these practices are critical to the future viability and social acceptability of the global mining industry and draws on a range of case studies, including from Australia, Canada, Central Asia, Papua New Guinea and west Africa. 

The role of informed communities, governments and civil societies in holding the industry to account to achieve responsible mining is assessed. The book explains how companies judge what effects they may have on communities and investigates ways to improve the prediction and prevention of such impacts and to provide clearer, more meaningful public communication. It offers alternatives to common ‘corporate social responsibility’ practices in which mining companies adopt roles which are usually the remit of government. Ultimately, it looks to the future, exploring the essential pathways towards responsible mining.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction 
  2. A Lunchroom Model of Corporate Social Responsibility 
  3. The Great Adoption: Mining Companies tell their CSR Story 
  4. Holistic Assessment and Community-based Agreement-making 
  5. Ethical Decision-making: Weighing Dilemmas, Intuition and Rational Choice 
  6. Appropriate Boundaries and Good Governance 
  7. Theoretical Propositions to Support Future Research 
  8. Hope for the Future

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Sara Bice is Director, Research Translation, Melbourne School of Government, the University of Melbourne, Australia.


This is a timely and perceptive book. It comes at a time of anxious self-reflection in the extractive sector, with many bloated assets revealed stranded in the mudflats of a declining financial tide. Social ledgers are equally discriminating. In this context, Sara Bice has produced a contemporary and erudite analysis of the social dimensions of mining. Her work rejects debate based on ideology and polemic, it simply asks "is it possible for miners to be socially responsible and acceptable?". The answer is "yes", and Sara proceeds to explain why, revealing the new professional discipline of 'social performance'. This is a discipline that turns its back on out-dated stratagems such as philanthropy, advocacy and brokerage, and instead adopts a cold-nosed methodological approach. As many mining businesses flounder in the glare of social scrutiny, others quietly succeed. This book helps you understand why." Bruce Harvey, Director, Resolution 88 and University of Queensland, Australia.