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Challenges that mining companies face in gaining and maintaining a social license to operate in Finnish Lapland

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  • Pamela Lesser

    (University of Lapland)

  • Leena Suopajärvi

    (University of Lapland)

  • Timo Koivurova

    (University of Lapland)

Abstract

The Social License to Operate (SLO) concept is significant precisely because it is bringing social issues and local communities to the forefront of the mining discourse. Although the concept of SLO has taken root in Lapland, and there are success stories of its implementation, challenges to gaining and maintaining it still remain. For example, to gain SLO, when speaking about community acceptance, the “community” must be clearly defined, as there may be heterogeneous groups claiming to be “locals,” such as out-migrated descendants or summer-cottage owners. Historical experience poses another challenge as residents remember their inability to affect the outcome of large-scale public works projects that exploited natural resources after the Second World War. That history carries over into present situations when new mining projects are proposed. But, challenges also provide opportunities for learning and for new solutions, and the good practices espoused by the mining companies reveal an adaptive attitude and a responsiveness to local community concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Pamela Lesser & Leena Suopajärvi & Timo Koivurova, 2017. "Challenges that mining companies face in gaining and maintaining a social license to operate in Finnish Lapland," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 30(1), pages 41-51, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:30:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s13563-016-0099-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-016-0099-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Suopajärvi, Leena & Poelzer, Gregory A. & Ejdemo, Thomas & Klyuchnikova, Elena & Korchak, Elena & Nygaard, Vigdis, 2016. "Social sustainability in northern mining communities: A study of the European North and Northwest Russia," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 61-68.
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    1. Tuulentie, Seija & Halseth, Greg & Kietäväinen, Asta & Ryser, Laura & Similä, Jukka, 2019. "Local community participation in mining in Finnish Lapland and Northern British Columbia, Canada – Practical applications of CSR and SLO," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 99-107.
    2. Helena Ranängen & Åsa Lindman, 2020. "Walk the Talk—A Sustainability Management System for Social Acceptance in Nordic Mining," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(9), pages 1-27, April.
    3. Omotehinse, Adeyinka O. & De Tomi, Giorgio, 2020. "Managing the challenges of obtaining a social license to operate in the pre-mining phase: A focus on the oil sands communities in Ondo State, Nigeria," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 18(C).

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