Guest Post: Why the Future of Mining Depends on Social Change

Mar 8, 2012 9:30 PM ET

Posted by Paul Klein

“CSR represents mining companies of the future. The mining industry, more than any other, is aware of the problems more than other industries and understands the impacts of the past.” –Wes Hanson, President and CEO of Noront Resources Ltd.

From March 4th – March 7th the world’s largest annual gathering of people, companies and organizations connected with mineral exploration will take place in Toronto at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s Annual International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange. CSR will be front and center at PDAC’s third Annual CSR Event Series.

This week, I reviewed the CSR Event Series program and had the opportunity to connect with some of the people who will be  participating in the series.  Although PDAC hasn’t defined a CSR theme, my conversations revealed a common thread: how companies in the mineral exploration and development industry can help solve social problems in a way that is also good for business.

How can mining companies improve education, health care and access to social service to create a better quality of life for people impacted by mining operations? How will doing this help support business objectives, including securing financing and regulatory approvals, increasing access to qualified employees, and reducing the risk of work stoppages and other disruptions? What are the most appropriate and effective ways to communicate with stakeholders? How will business and social outcomes be measured? These are the questions that should both be debated in the CSR Series and be on the minds of everyone attending PDAC this year.

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This post also appeared on the Forbes Corporate Social Responsibility blog and can be viewed here. Distributed with permission of the author.


Paul Klein founded Impakt in 2001 to help corporations become social purpose leaders and is considered a pioneer in the areas of corporate social responsibility.

Paul has helped Fortune 500 companies and other large corporations including BC Hydro, Canada Post, The Co-operators, De Beers, Hain-Celestial, Home Depot Canada, McKesson, Nestlé-Purina, National Bank, Petro-Canada, Pfizer, RONA, Shoppers Drug Mart, Starbucks, sanofi-aventis, and 3M to improve the value of their social purpose programs. Paul has also helped many leading non-profit organizations to build shared value partnerships with corporations.

Paul is a regular contributor to Forbes, has served on the Advisory Council of the Queen’s School of Business, and has been a featured speaker for organizations including the Aboriginal Human Resource Council of Canada, Association of Canadian Advertisers, Conference Board of Canada, Canadian Business and Community Partnership Forum, Canadian Stewardship Conference, and the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada.

Paul is regularly featured in the media as a corporate social responsibility source, was included in the Globe and Mail’s 2011 Leading Thinkers Series, and was recognized as one of America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior.