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Social dimensions of mining: Research, policy and practice challenges for the minerals industry in Australia


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  • Solomon, Fiona
  • Katz, Evie
  • Lovel, Roy
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    The social dimensions of the mining industry are increasingly acknowledged as critical to business success, yet remain the least understood aspect of the business concept of sustainable development--the 'triple bottom line' of economy, environment and society. In this paper we present our findings on the current state of the debate on, and research into, contemporary issues in the Australian minerals industry since the pivotal 2002 Mining and Minerals Sustainable Development (MMSD) Project. We identify current themes, the diversity of mining stakeholder views, and the different ways resource policy challenges are articulated based on values, drivers, and interpretations. In other words, we provide a social map or landscape of the industry in Australia. In the final section of the paper, we identify research policy and practice gaps and the emerging challenges faced by the industry and by society. In particular, we note that 'the social' is broader than the concept of 'community' allows. Understanding this will assist in meeting these challenges at local, national and international levels.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resources Policy.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 142-149

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:33:y:2008:i:3:p:142-149

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    Keywords: Minerals and mining industry Social issues Resources policy Community relations;


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    1. Heiler, Kathryn & Pickersgill, Richard & Briggs, Chris, 2000. "Working time arrangements in the Australian mining industry : trends and implications with particular reference to occupational health and safety," ILO Working Papers 343188, International Labour Organization.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ivanova, Galina & Rolfe, John, 2011. "Assessing development options in mining communities using stated preference techniques," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 255-264, September.
    2. Vintró, Carla & Fortuny, Jordi & Sanmiquel, Lluís & Freijo, Modesto & Edo, Joaquín, 2012. "Is corporate social responsibility possible in the mining sector? Evidence from Catalan companies," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 118-125.
    3. Barber, Marcus & Jackson, Sue, 2012. "Indigenous engagement in Australian mine water management: The alignment of corporate strategies with national water reform objectives," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 48-58.
    4. Gómez-Márquez, Iván & Alejano, Leandro R. & García Bastante, Fernando, 2011. "Mining compatibility with other projects in Spain: Solutions and benefits," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 22-29, March.
    5. Sonter, L.J. & Moran, C.J. & Barrett, D.J., 2013. "Modeling the impact of revegetation on regional water quality: A collective approach to manage the cumulative impacts of mining in the Bowen Basin, Australia," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 670-677.
    6. Hajkowicz, Stefan A. & Heyenga, Sonja & Moffat, Kieren, 2011. "The relationship between mining and socio-economic well being in Australia's regions," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 30-38, March.
    7. Kinnear, Susan & Ogden, Ian, 2014. "Planning the innovation agenda for sustainable development in resource regions: A central Queensland case study," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 42-53.
    8. Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John, 2013. "Using discrete choice experiments to assess the preferences of new mining workforce to commute or relocate to the Surat Basin in Australia," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 169-180.


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