Investing in community : Canadian junior mining companies, corporate social responsibility, and the communication gap
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Subjectmass communications; mining; industry communication gaps; Canadian junior mining companies; corporate social responsibility; developing countries; community investment; stakeholder mapping; complexity science
Drawing on experience as a communications consultant to the junior mining industry, this research emerged from my observations that anti-mining, non-governmental organization (NGO) campaigns are currently winning the public relations war against the mining industry. Increasing global awareness and anti-mining sentiment may be due in part to a lack of communication on behalf of mining companies with respect to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and specifically community investment activities in developing countries. I sought to investigate what community investment initiatives a sample of Canadian junior exploration companies are conducting and the root causes for a possible CSR communication gap or “reporting silence” in this regard, which, if remedied, could potentially help balance this negative publicity. Results from interviews with mining company executives, industry CSR practitioners, and investment fund managers identified a number of factors contributing to a community investment communication gap, and reflect upon the multiplicity of stakeholder audiences with complex and divergent information needs. My thesis concludes with recommendations as to how junior exploration companies and industry CSR practitioners might consider community investment in developing countries through a complexity science lens to explore collaborative solutions in addressing these communication gaps.
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