The road to societal trust: implementation of Towards Sustainable Mining in Finland and Spain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In government, industry and academia, there is a convergence of three trends: (1) the belief that responsible exploration and mining should increase across Europe, (2) industry should follow and ‘Europeanise’ international good practices and (3) a social licence to operate exists not only between a community and a company but also between society and industry. There are two examples in Europe where these trends are converging—Finland and Spain have both adopted the Canadian Toward Sustainable Mining (TSM) program, but the method of implementation is very different. As a result of Talvivaara, Finland took a network governance approach incorporating trust-building measures from the beginning by bringing diverse stakeholders together to create the Finnish Network for Sustainable Mining. Spain chose to integrate the TSM into their national standards, a more traditional and hierarchical approach but one that also relies on a trustworthy entity with clear longevity. Although implementation is in the early stages in both countries, and therefore this paper provides insights only on preliminary outcomes, results indicate that the network approach may not be better at achieving societal SLO suggesting that other factors such as narrative, dialoguing directly with society, implementing trust-building measures in a timely fashion and proven longevity may have more influence than early trust-building measures between network participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalMineral Economics
Issue number2
Early online date13 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Finland
  • Network
  • Social licence to operate
  • Spain
  • Standard

Field of science

  • Social policy


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