Report: Social acceptance in the European raw materials sector

Social acceptance and trust is seen as approval, consent, demands, and expectations from the local community and other stakeholders in relation to specific local projects. The concept has become increasingly important, especially in the extractive industry such as mining, oil, and gas, and more recently it has been adopted also in other economic sectors such as energy production, agriculture, and forestry. However, mining has been associated with a negative image amongst European citizens and worldwide. The positive contribution of mining to everyday activities, to GDP, to manufactured goods consumption, to innovation and to green technology is often overlooked. Society’s reliance on and appreciation of consumer goods is not always reflected in its appreciation of the underlying extraction and processing activities.

The Horizon 2020 calls for projects encourage consortia to investigate a possible strategy on how civil society will be engaged in order to build public acceptance and trust in the mining and recycling sectors in Europe. The workshop aimed to help in obtaining a broader understanding of how extraction activities are received in different parts of Europe and worldwide, and how they are perceived in terms of impact on society – both in terms of wealth (growth and jobs), and welfare (social and cultural values).

INTERMIN Project: “Skills and training in community relations, mining conflicts and artisanal mining in the Andes” (Page. 17 & 18)

Mr Luis Jordá Bordehore, who works at the international relations department of the Spanish Geological Survey represented INTERMIN.

The presentation was dedicated to the INTERMIN project that aims to identify the skills required (graduate) for the mining and mineral raw materials sectors, gaps between available training programmes and industry needs and explore future pathways to integrate both. INTERMIN will create a self-sustainable long-term lasting international network of training centres for professionals. This project involves educational and research institutions in the EU and the leading counterparts in third countries, based on specific country expertise in the primary and secondary raw materials sectors. Mr Bordehore described the main issues faced today by the mining industry in the Andes regarding social acceptance. The Andean regions, which comprise Peru, Chile and Bolivia have a rich mining history, developed from the Spanish colonial era until today.

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