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Differentiated social risk: Rebound dynamics and sustainability performance in mining


  • Kemp, Deanna
  • Worden, Sandy
  • Owen, John R.


This article examines the application of social risk in the global mining industry. The current approach to social risk conflates risk to people and risk to projects. We argue that differentiation is needed to determine the respective attributes of both risk types and to understand how and where they interact. Establishing a clear understanding about where a risk is directed is important from multiple vantage points: due diligence, risk and liability management and social protections. A key contribution in this article is the demonstration of 'rebound dynamics' surrounding social risk. The authors argue that social risks can generate impacts across a range of institutions, boundaries and factors. Understanding the workings of social risk in this dynamic space is critical for ensuring that the industry addresses social harm as part of its commitments to sustainable development.

Suggested Citation

  • Kemp, Deanna & Worden, Sandy & Owen, John R., 2016. "Differentiated social risk: Rebound dynamics and sustainability performance in mining," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 19-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:50:y:2016:i:c:p:19-26
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2016.08.004

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    1. Ruilian Zhang & Sandy Worden & Junzhuo Xu & John R. Owen & Guoqing Shi, 2022. "Social stability risk assessment and economic competitiveness in China," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 9(1), pages 1-7, December.
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    8. Leena Suopajärvi & Karin Beland Lindahl & Toni Eerola & Gregory Poelzer, 2023. "Social aspects of business risk in the mineral industry—political, reputational, and local acceptability risks facing mineral exploration and mining," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 36(2), pages 321-331, June.
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    11. Ottone Scammacca & Rasool Mehdizadeh & Yann Gunzburger, 2022. "Territorial Mining Scenarios for Sustainable Land-Planning: A Risk-Based Comparison on the Example of Gold Mining in French Guiana," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(17), pages 1-25, August.
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    14. Julien Bongono & Birol Elevli & Bertrand Laratte, 2020. "Functional Unit for Impact Assessment in the Mining Sector—Part 1," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(22), pages 1-12, November.
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    17. Bainton, Nicholas & Holcombe, Sarah, 2018. "A critical review of the social aspects of mine closure," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 468-478.
    18. Frederiksen, Tomas, 2018. "Corporate social responsibility, risk and development in the mining industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 495-505.
    19. Kwame Awuah-Offei & Sisi Que & Atta Ur Rehman, 2021. "Evaluating Mine Design Alternatives for Social Risks Using Discrete Choice Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(16), pages 1-15, August.
    20. Gudrun Franken & Philip Schütte, 2022. "Current trends in addressing environmental and social risks in mining and mineral supply chains by regulatory and voluntary approaches," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 35(3), pages 653-671, December.
    21. Santiago, Ana Lúcia & Demajorovic, Jacques & Rossetto, Dennys Eduardo & Luke, Hanabeth, 2021. "Understanding the fundamentals of the Social Licence to Operate: Its evolution, current state of development and future avenues for research," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    22. Demajorovic, Jacques & Lopes, Juliana Campos & Santiago, Ana Lucia Frezzatti, 2019. "The Samarco dam disaster: A grave challenge to social license to operate discourse," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 273-282.

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