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

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalMineral Economics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2016
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Field of science

  • Political science
  • Sociology

Citation for this output