Social And Environmental Impacts Of Mining Projects

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The emergence of the term SLO can be traced back to the mining sector in the 1990’s and arose primarily as a result of the public concerns about the negative social and environmental impacts of mining projects (Boutilier, 2014). Boutilier (2014) attributed the coining of the term to James Cooney, Vice President of the now defunct Vancouver-based gold mining company Placer Dome Inc. (p. 263). According to Boutilier, Cooney is said to have used the term to refer to the risks associated with community resistance to mining projects (p. 263). Other contributing factors to the development of the SLO approach include: the emerging corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability paradigms (Hall & Jeanneret, 2015, p. 214); a shift in governance towards a civil society perspective; growing public desire to be more involved in the decision-making process and get their “fair share” of benefits and adequate assurance that operations will be managed safely and responsibly (Prno & Slocombe 2014 p. 672). According to the literature, these shifts are reframing the dynamics between corporations and its stakeholders at the local, national and global level, particularly in the extractive sectors.
The business case for the SLO is rooted in the assumption that communities and the public have the power to grant or withhold support for a project or company’s operations (Prno & Slocombe, 2012, p. 347), and to take actions that can impose reputational and monetary costs (Parsons, Lacey
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