Dates: Sep 2012 - Sep 2012

Region: Asia

Theme: Community Engagement

Start Date: Sep 2012 End Date: Sep 2012

From 1 – 3 September 2012, The University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining in collaboration with Insitu Development Consultants, conducted a community relations (CR) foundation course at MMG-LXML’s operation in Lao PDR. 

MMG-LXML is currently in an expansion phase with several new pits either in planning or underway. The projected life of mine is around 20 years. Land access and acquisition was a priority for securing the future of the operation. Nevertheless, the current operating environment is cost constrained given the increases in cost of production and a predicted softening of commodity prices. At the corporate level, MMG is finalising a new set of new Social Sustainability standards, which will soon be rolled out across its global operations.

The training covered:

Day 1 – Introduction to community relations and external engagement

  • Mining and sustainable development and the emergence of the CR profession
  • Models of company-community interaction
  • Social inclusion
  • Types of relationships
  • Principles and key concepts of dialogue
  • Applicability to the Lao context    

Day 2 – Internal engagement (change agents)

  • Dimensions of CR work
  • Strengths and weaknesses at this operation
  • Strategies for internal influence

Day 3 – Grievance mechanisms

  • Substantive, procedural and relational justice
  • Effectiveness criteria for best practice grievance mechanisms
  • An analysis of the operation’s approach
  • De-brief and future strategies
  • Presentation of certificates

Each session used the following general sequence:

  • concept/framework overview and explanation
  • shared discussion and clarification
  • application and analysis (scenarios, workshop, small group discussions)
  • reflection and re-cap.

The foundation course is focused us on developing skills in ‘thinking’ (i.e. analysis and diagnosis) rather than simply ‘doing’. As such, the emphasis is on introducing a range of conceptual frameworks and schematics to enable practitioners to make sense of their work environment. A shared approach to analysis enables a team-based understanding of issues and problems.

Project Aims

  • support professional development of CR practitioners
  • encourage a team-based approach to professional practice within the department
  • facilitate reflection and analysis of work processes and practice
  • identify opportunities for improvement in social sustainability across the operation.

Project Partners

  • MMG-LXML (Lao PDR)
Community Relations at MMG-LXML (Lao PDR): Foundation Course for Site-Based Professionals
Sep 2012
Sep 2012

Community Relations at MMG-LXML (Lao PDR): Foundation Course for Site-Based Professionals