Mineral Exploration

Winter 2016

Mineral Exploration is the official publication of the Association of Mineral Exploration British Columbia.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/756078

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Page 67 of 71

68 Mineral Exploration | amebc.ca INTEGRATED SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY handling of community concerns can directly affect a business's bottom line. According to the Mining Association of Canada's Site-Level Grievance and Community Response Mechanisms Guide, project-level GMs deliver business value in the following ways: • Project-level GMs serve as an early warning system, allowing the company to identify, investigate and respond to community concerns in a timely fashion before they have the potential to escalate and become material. • The design and implementation of project-level GMs convey a powerful commitment and demonstration to the host communities and other stakeholders that the company is a good neighbour and is interested in hearing about and responding to concerns. • When companies involve local community members in the design and ongoing improvement of GMs, along with a whole series of similar initiatives, companies take the steps necessary to, over time, build trust-based relationships with their communities of interest. • By incorporating evolving international best practices on human rights, GMs are essential tools to demonstrate a company's respect for human rights. • Project-level GMs can avoid the unnecessary escalation of project- level community concerns to other non-judicial or judicial mechanisms. • GMs can help avoid or mitigate negative publicity, non-governmental organization mobilization, government intervention and even shareholder activism by channelling grievances through a structured process. Conclusion Providing an ongoing, well-respected channel of communication for a community's concerns will serve as a tool for building local trust through a common understanding on matters affecting all parties. This trust will go a long way toward strengthening stakeholder support for projects. There may be many factors that will make it difficult to launch a project-level GM for the first time. These include challenges articulating the business case internally to senior management and concerns regarding the potential for unleashing a hornets' nest of complaints that may lack legitimacy if such a system is implemented. However, communities are growing larger, closer to operations and more sophisticated in their ability to organize. Establishing an instrument for collecting community-of-interest concerns will keep companies engaged, informed and better positioned to respond to the needs of their communities. C M Y CM MY CY CMY K seabridge_ME_1-4ad2015oct.eps 1 2015-10-14 1:42 PM

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