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Community management remains biggest challenge for LatAm miners

Bnamericas Published: Friday, April 08, 2022
Community management remains biggest challenge for LatAm miners

Although populations in Latin America generally hold positive views of mining, the reduction of social conflicts remains a challenge.

The challenge is related to popular perceptions of the industry’s potential and its actual performance in community progress, social responsibility, and decent employment, according to Jaime Arteaga, director of Jaime Arteaga & Asociados.

During the Elami online mining event, organized by several industry associations, Arteaga presented the results of a survey for which 6,720 people in Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil were polled about their views on mining.

Results showed that 64% of respondents believed responsible mining is possible, but building consensus with communities is more difficult.

Most respondents in Colombia and Peru were optimistic about the possibility of socially responsible mining, while respondents in Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador were pessimistic.

And while 77% said mining could benefit communities, only a minority credited mining companies.

Most respondents in Colombia and Bolivia said mining can coexist with other activities, but a majority in Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil were skeptical.

Arteaga concluded from the results that communication is key.

“Social conflict has become the highest cost in this industry and that cannot be resolved without social dialogue,” he said. "Mining has to objectively show that it is contributing to the development of the region and it must seek to get people to recognize it."

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