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Mining and social development: Refocusing community investment using multi-criteria decision analysis


  • Esteves, A.M.


This paper addresses the question: How can mining companies assess social investment projects so that projects create value for the company and communities in which they operate? Mining companies are still wrestling with the limits of their responsibility in relation to social development even though they accept the business case for community investment at a general level. Fully aware of the practical hazards involved in taking an active role in facilitating local development, companies increasingly avoid methods that are overly paternalistic or assume the functions of the national or local governments. Gaining senior management's commitment to long-term social projects, which are characterised by uncertainty and complexity, is made easier if projects are shown to benefit the site's strategic goals. Case study research on large global mining companies, including interviews with social investment decision makers, has assisted in developing a Social Investment Decision Analysis Tool (SIDAT), a decision model for evaluating social projects. Multi-criteria decision analysis techniques integrating business planning processes with social impact assessment have proved useful in assisting mining companies think beyond seeking reputational benefits, to how they can meet their business goals and contribute to sustainable development.

Suggested Citation

  • Esteves, A.M., 2008. "Mining and social development: Refocusing community investment using multi-criteria decision analysis," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 39-47, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:33:y:2008:i:1:p:39-47

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hilson, Gavin & Murck, Barbara, 2000. "Sustainable development in the mining industry: clarifying the corporate perspective," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 227-238, December.
    2. de Graaf, H. J. & Musters, C. J. M. & ter Keurs, W. J., 1996. "Sustainable development: looking for new strategies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 205-216, March.
    3. Warhurst, Alyson & Mitchell, Paul, 2000. "Corporate social responsibility and the case of Summitville mine," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 91-102, June.
    4. Humphreys, David, 2000. "A business perspective on community relations in mining," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 127-131, September.
    5. Humphreys, D., 2001. "Sustainable development: can the mining industry afford it?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-7, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wirth, Herbert & Kulczycka, Joanna & Hausner, Jerzy & Koński, Maciej, 2016. "Corporate Social Responsibility: Communication about social and environmental disclosure by large and small copper mining companies," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 53-60.
    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. van der Plank, Sien & Walsh, Bríd & Behrens, Paul, 2016. "The expected impacts of mining: Stakeholder perceptions of a proposed mineral sands mine in rural Australia," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 129-136.
    4. 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.
    5. Aniekan Udofia & Bram Noble & Greg Poelzer, 2016. "Aboriginal Participation in Canadian Environmental Assessment: Gap Analysis and Directions for Scholarly Research," Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management (JEAPM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 18(03), pages 1-28, September.
    6. Sinan Erzurumlu, S. & Erzurumlu, Yaman O., 2015. "Sustainable mining development with community using design thinking and multi-criteria decision analysis," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(P1), pages 6-14.
    7. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:366-376 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Reynolds, Joanna & Egan, Matt & Renedo, Alicia & Petticrew, Mark, 2015. "Conceptualising the ‘community’ as a recipient of money – A critical literature review, and implications for health and inequalities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 88-97.
    9. Ruiz Martín, Antonio & Rodríguez Díaz, Manuel & Ruíz San Román, José Antonio, 2014. "Measure of the mining image," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 23-30.
    10. Mason, Claire M. & Paxton, Gillian & Parsons, Richard & Parr, Joanna M. & Moffat, Kieren, 2014. "“For the benefit of Australians”: Exploring national expectations of the mining industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-8.
    11. repec:agh:journl:v:18:y:2017:i:1:p:63-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Walsh, Bríd & van der Plank, Sien & Behrens, Paul, 2017. "The effect of community consultation on perceptions of a proposed mine: A case study from southeast Australia," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 163-171.
    13. Shen, Lixin & Muduli, Kamalakanta & Barve, Akhilesh, 2015. "Developing a sustainable development framework in the context of mining industries: AHP approach," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(P1), pages 15-26.
    14. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:210-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Lin, Philip T. & Li, Bin & Bu, Danlu, 2015. "The relationship between corporate governance and community engagement: Evidence from the Australian mining companies," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 28-39.
    16. Vigya Sharma & Tapan Sarker, 2013. "Sustainable resource development in Asia: challenges and opportunities," Chapters,in: The Asian Century, Sustainable Growth and Climate Change, chapter 10, pages 225-252 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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