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European Principles of Social License to Operate

  • Health and safety
  • Land-use planning
  • Permitting processes / policy integration
  • Reporting official statistics
  • Socio-economic and environmental impact assessments

Challenge the practice is addressing: To derive a consensus on a pan-European basis of what Social License to Operate is

Concrete practice to achieve the expected goal: - In the community dimension, those who are most interested in and affected by a project should be able to influence it throughout the entire lifecycle, from pre-exploration to closure, rehabilitation and beyond. - In the societal dimension, the public, government and industry should work together to make certain, through regulation and good practices, that the mining industry operates sustainably, responsibly and is accountable to society. - Within both the community and societal dimensions, processes aimed at establishing Social License to Operate should focus on building long-term relationships between the public, government and industry based on trust and acceptance, throughout all phases of mining and metallurgy projects. - Trust that government institutions will actively and responsibly regulate Europe's mining and metallurgy industry is the bridge between Social License to Operate in the community dimension and Social License to Operate in the societal dimension. How this trust manifests across Europe will vary, but at its centre are values synonymous with the European identity - an informed citizenry, fairness, cultural respect, good governance and accountability.

Who is the target user group of the practice/intervention or implementing the practice/intervention? Policy makers primarily but also industry

Deliverable 4.3: Social License to Operate Guidelines for Europe (p. 11)
Data item type
Knowledge base
Practice type
Public policy
Report / document
Learning relevance
Guidelines / guidance document
Unspecified (universally applicable)
Extractive life-cycle
Pre-exploration (land-use planning)
Pre-exploitation / development stage (e.g. feasibility study)
Exploitation phase
Post-exploitation phase (i.e. rehabilitation)
Sustainability scope
Planning beyond the mine life
Shared vision partnerships
Stakeholder engagement
Ethical practices
Holistic management and continuous learning