The Social License to Operate for Mining and the Natural Resources Supersector
The Social License to Operate (SLO) is defined as the agreement of local communities to endorse operators, projects and personnel. Failing to execute proper due diligence around SLO can cause grave business continuity challenges, like operational loss, extended project shutdown, in addition to the heightened risk to communities proximate to operating areas.
Broadly speaking, the Social License to Operate represents the perceptions and opinions of local and national society about mining, the operator and the asset in question. The Lynx Platform for SLO measures community grievances and sentiment to improve stakeholder relations for operators, and decision-making for portfolio managers.
The outcome is improved sensitivity to community grievances, improving life on the ground for communities, and the avoidance of costly bottom-line mistakes (operating near an indigenous or protected area, for example). And because community grievances often result from environmental conditions (water infrastructure, presence of dust etc.)
The “S” in SLO, “social”, is also the S in ESG; the Lynx Platform can be used as a tool to augment existing ESG metrics, provide measurement and improve reportage. Stakeholders now see and on the ground look at conditions affecting society and the planet, in addition to the systemic reputational risk stemming from it.
The SLO Dashboard provides a variety of metrics to help analysts gauge ongoing sentiment changes and salient keywords. The SLO Dashboard also provides the following SLO Status Key:
SLO Category Status Key
- Withheld or Withdrawn SLO – shutdowns, blockades, boycotts, violence, sabotage, legal challenge to SLO, political challenge to SLO – challenges to legitimacy of operator and operation itself
- Acceptance/Tolerance – Threats, Outside Monitoring, SLO as media/social media challenge – challenges to credibility of operator
- Approval/Support – Operator has SLO support of community and adjacent communities, positive SLO coverage media/social media united against criticism, political support, co-management of project/labor relations