You are a geologist or project manager working at the site level of a new mineral exploration project or an existing project that is new to your company. As part of your work, you will be responsible for, or on a team that is involved in, community engagement. You know it is important to the success of the project that your company is on good terms with local stakeholders, but your formal education and technical training likely didn’t cover this. It may be unclear to you what to do and where to begin. If this scenario is familiar, this guide is for you. It aims to be a practical and straightforward resource to support you in building a strong and positive company-community relationship at the site level.
Many guides on community and stakeholder relations have been produced for extractive sector companies. The PDAC’s e3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration was the first resource designed specifically for exploration companies interested in improving their social, environmental and health and safety performance. Recently, additional resources have been created to support extractive companies with their community engagement activities.
This guide is intended to complement existing publications. It was produced in response to extensive stakeholder consultations undertaken by PDAC in 2013 that identified the importance of developing a positive company-community relationship, and addresses the need for practical, step-by-step guidance to apply at the site level.
From a practical perspective, engagement is the central component of any relationship- building process. In this guide, we refer to community engagement as the process of dialogue and interaction that ensures all parties of interest are informed about, and have the opportunity to participate in, the decisions that affect their lives. After a brief explanation of why it is important to engage in the first place, this guide will walk you through a step-by-step process for community engagement. The steps are organized into four chronological phases: